The Mississippi Private Investigators Association is very proactive in ensuring that its members are highly ethical, since the state is the only one in the South and one of only five in the country that doesn’t require the licensing of PIs. The association conducts background checks on prospective members to ensure that they are of high caliber.
Richard A. Brooks, the president of the association, told The Clarion-Ledger that the state has “become a magnet for unscrupulous people wanting to work” as PIs. Anyone can buy a business license to establish him or herself as a PI and have access to databases of information on people. Even felons can currently become PIs in Mississippi.
In one case, a PI in Mississippi who had legally changed his last name to Corleone set up a married man with a woman, took photographs of them talking, and then tried to blackmail the man. State troopers pursued him, but he fled the state.
The Mississippi House unanimously passed a bill earlier in 2015 to license PIs and create a board to oversee them funded by license fees. Unfortunately, the bill never made it out of committee, since current efforts in the state are focused on reducing the …read more