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Curious Jr.: Meet a Private Investigator

Danielle Sarah Storch

Detectives and private investigators aren’t just fictional characters. Private investigator David J. Cohen tells us about his job and what a private investigator really does

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Photo: Shutterstock


Can you describe what a private investigator does?

The job of a private investigator includes helping people locate various things and finding out information about people. For example, someone might call me to find a missing brother or sister or a relative they haven’t seen in years. Someone might call me to do a background check about someone they’re thinking about hiring, like a cleaning lady, to find out if they’ve ever committed a crime. If someone has a court case against someone, and they need to know what cars the person owns or what accounts they have, I can find that information for them. Insurance companies hire private investigators because people sometimes say they have a disability, maybe they pretend they need a wheelchair, to get money from their insurance company. I’m hired to follow them to see if they’re telling the truth.

What is the most satisfying job you ever did?

I always love helping people. The Torah tells us that just like we need to learn Torah with people, or help with a minyan, we also need to help out others in the community. I had a case once where someone had given up their daughter for adoption 36 years before. They hired me to find their daughter for them. It took a bit of searching, but baruch Hashem, I found their daughter for them. That made me feel great.

Photo: Shutterstock

What skills does someone need to be an investigator?

Private investigators must be able to work well with others. We’re always gathering information, and we need to cooperate with many different people. For example, many times we must work together with the police department to gather information. We may have to speak to a rabbi. Sometimes we need to find someone in a school and speak to teachers who taught them. We may have to work with people who might not be so nice, but we have to work together to accomplish our goal. Sometimes we might need to work with another investigator who has a difficult personality. It’s important to always try our best to work together.

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