Lessons Learned

Aug 5, 2011

The birth of Colorado’s HB11-1195 can be traced back to early 2010 when several Colorado private investigators, through their efforts with HB10-1012 discussed with legislators the goal of restoring licensing to the state of Colorado. At the time, several legislators expressed an interest in assisting the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado to introduce a bill for the 2011 session. Some legislators even hinted that a PI licensing bill could be in the works regardless if the profession did not introduce one of their own. In fact, the efforts of Colorado private investigators to restore licensing to Colorado have been ongoing for over 34 years.

Sometime in December 2010, the PPIAC Licensing Committee presented its progress
to the PPIAC Board of Directors. A decision had to be made whether to introduce
a licensing bill for the 2011 Colorado Legislative Session or wait until the following
year. At the time, with little more than a rough draft of the Licensing Key
Points, several of us voiced that it would possibly more prudent to wait until the following year. Many factors led me to be concerned with the plan to introduce the bill in 2011. Among other reasons, the Licensing Committee was behind schedule and legislative funds had not been raised which prevented PPIAC from hiring a lobbyist. No bill sponsors had been secured as the dynamics in the Colorado Legislature had changed from 2010. No longer was one party in control of both the House and the Senate. Instead, the Republicans held the majority in the House, while Democrats held control of the Senate.

Some believed these challenges were too much for PPIAC to overcome. The consensus of the Licensing Committee was that PPIAC should “ride the wave” of HB1012 and
utilize the connections and networking created in 2010. Comments were made indicating this could be a “perfect storm” for a licensing effort. I realized the Licensing Committee was determined to work overtime to help raise funds, hire the lobbyist, work with
the bill writer to get a bill put together, and secure bill sponsors.  All
of this would have to be done within a short period of time for the Licensing
Committee to meet all the deadlines involved for each process.

Still, how would PPIAC ever introduce a bill to garner support and dare we believe,
even sponsorship on a bi-partisan level? The answer was inspired in part by the
dozens of Colorado-based private investigators who are voluntarily licensed in
other states as a way to show they are indeed vetted and have displayed proof
of a minimum amount of experience, among other qualifications. Thus, the answer
for PPIAC was to secure bi-partisan sponsorship, and the only way to secure
bi-partisan sponsorship was through a voluntary licensing concept.

The rest is history as the phrase goes. Through this process, though, I took
away several important lessons. The first is that sometimes life presents you
with challenges that at the time may seem extremely difficult and even
insurmountable. However, how was I to know if PPIAC could succeed if it did not
try? We would have to step out of our comfort zone, utilize teamwork and support those who were confident a licensing bill introduced in 2011 could succeed and have destiny take its course.

The other lesson I learned is that sometimes the answers to life’s problems are
right in front of you. HB1195 provided me the opportunity to take away
reminders to some of life’s valuable lessons. As investigators and as human
beings, whether we consciously realize it or not, we are lifelong learners. HB11-1195
showed that our association and profession is comprised of investigators that
are willing to work hard to make a difference in the future of our profession
and our businesses. I’m proud of PPIAC and what our members have accomplished.