Wednesday, February 22, 2012

PIs Fight anti-GPS Legislation


Private investigators in Virginia have been fighting against proposed anti-GPS legislation since it first was floated nearly two years ago because it excludes them. ISPLA executive committee member, Nicole Bocra of Infinity Investigative Solutions in Virginia, summed up the objections of HB 807 for the Associated Press:  “Private investigators perform a public service by working on insurance fraud, embezzlement and other white-collar crimes,” she said. Their efforts will be hampered if they can’t electronically track suspected embezzlers as well as cheating husbands. “We play a vital role in this system.”  She noted that, unlike police, they cannot obtain a warrant, which by the 2012  U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v Jones is now required of law enforcement. The bill passed out of a Virginia House of Delegates committee. However, Nicole Bocra, and representatives of Private Investigators Association of Virginia and the Professional Investigators and Security Association did not cease their fight to defeat this bill.
On February 20, Phil Becnel of Dinolt Becnel and Wells Investigative Group of Virginia, an ISPLAPAC financial supporter, posted the following announcement:
“I am very pleased to announce that Del. Joe May's GPS tracking bill was killed in the Virginia Senate today by a vote of nine to six. Although there is a slim chance that the bill could be reintroduced this session, this is highly unlikely, meaning that we are probably out of the woods on this issue until next year.
I would like to extend a very special thank you to our lobbyist in Richmond, James Towey, for pulling the right strings behind the scenes and to our members John Morse and John Kipley for helping to represent our industry’s position this morning in Richmond when so many of us (me included) could not make it down there. I would also like to thank Nicole Bocra for pulling everything together at the final hour and for her tireless work on this issue over the past couple years. This was a joint effort of PIAVA, PISA and ISPLA ......and it just goes to show you what we can accomplish when we all work together as an industry.”
A Washington Post article on this legislation is at:
ISPLA stands ready to assist our colleagues in any way it can on this issue in the future. In Michigan, where ISPLA Chairman Peter Psarouthakis of EWI & Associates, Inc. has handled legislative matters, GPS tracking by professional investigators conducting lawful investigations is legal. He has furnished legislative material used to enact the favorable GPS statutes in Michigan to our colleagues in Arizona, Georgia, New York, and Virginia.
Bruce Hulme
ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
www.ISPLA.org

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