The beginning of 2012 has been a very busy time with regard to legislative issues for PPIAC. After the passage of the Colorado voluntary PI licensing law last year, this is the time when the entire program is beginning to take shape, with the first license scheduled to be issued in July of 2012. PPIAC has been working closely with DORA (Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies), who will be overseeing the PI licensing program. DORA has reached out to us several times in order to keep all investigators informed on any updates in this program. You can now find information about this program on DORA’s web site, and if you still have any questions you can email their program directly at PI@dora.state.co.us.
Now that we have a definition of a licensed private investigator in Colorado for the first time since 1977, we are able to pursue benefits for being a licensed private investigator. One of those benefits has already been established and will be put into place on or around August of 2012, by the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. With the passage of House Bill 12-1231, the Department of Motor Vehicles will recognize the licensed private investigator on their request forms. This will allow a place on the form to indicate your Colorado Private Investigator license number. In turn, the licensed PI will no longer be subject to further scrutiny when requesting records. As it stands now, if the counter clerk at DMV feels uncomfortable with the person making the request, the requestor might be asked to fill out a second and third type of request form. This will not be the case for the licensed private investigator as the Department of Motor Vehicles will know that this person went through a Colorado Bureau of Investigations and FBI background check and therefore they will know who they are dealing with and that the information will be used for legal and legitimate reasons. This will not exempt any other individual from making the same request this will just make it more streamlined for the licensed investigator. Passage of this bill also brought Colorado in line with the federal DPPA (Driver’s Privacy Protection Act), which was not possible before we had a definition of a licensed private investigator.
We will continue to look for benefits for the licensed private investigator, while fighting for the rights of all PPIAC members, licensed or unlicensed.
A good example of the fight that PPIAC is involved in for ALL investigators, is the fight against HB 12-1036, named the Colorado Open Records Bill, which is actually an amendment to the Colorado Open Records Act. PPIAC is the one association that has shown opposition to this bill and voiced that opposition in a very aggressive manner. I believe this bill is very dangerous in how far it could go to closing down records which are in the custody of law enforcement. PPIAC has met with the Office of the Attorney General, who is the driving force behind this bill, however to date, the AG’s office has resisted any amendments in this bill from PPIAC. We have had numerous attorneys look at this bill and they agree with PPIAC in that this bill is too broad in the number of records that could be affected. The bill has passed the full House of Representatives and is now laid over in the Senate Judiciary committee. The bill is laid over due to the testimony in opposition of the bill, by PPIAC. We believe that the only reason that there is not more opposition to this bill is that it has flown under the radar. Therefore we, as investigators, need to protect our livelihood and tell all of our clients about this potentially harmful legislation. Click here to read this bill for yourself.
PPIAC will continue to keep you updated on all legislative issues and if you are a PPIAC member you will get updates emailed to you via our list serve.