Should Mississippi's private investigators be required to have a - - Jackson, MS

Should Mississippi's private investigators be required to have a license?

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - How secure do you feel when hiring a private security guard or a private investigator? 

Well you might want to investigate their personal backgrounds first. Mississippi is the only state in the southeast that doesn't require a license for these businesses. 

Private investigators like Richard Brooks want to get a bill passed through the legislature requiring licensing for private investigators. 

Brooks says, "A P.I. has access to background data bases and can know everything about you in a matter of minutes."

As it stand now anyone can start up a private investigation business with access to sensitive personal date even convicted criminals.

"Sex offender rape, doesn't matter, armed robbery, doesn't matter. The only thing we have to do in Mississippi is, if you run a business, you have to get a business license," Brooks says. 

"This bill doesn't cover process servers or security guards, or anything like that. This bill covers private investigators, but in Mississippi you have to check them out because you don't know what you are getting. And most elected officials I spoke to have no idea. The person that does your hair and nails has to be licensed. But the person you can hire to check out everything about somebody doesn't have to have anything."

According to Brooks,  House bill 713 has been introduced by Representative Mark Baker of Rankin County. Over the years, similar bills have not made it out of committee.

This former military and civilian law enforcement officer equates Mississippi with the wild west when it comes to the private investigator business and says it's long past due for regulation.

Brooks described Mississippi as a magnet for people who can 't get licensed in other states as private investigators.

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