From the Editors: We are proud to have selected Brian Taylor of Innovative Investigations, LLC in our first “Pursuit Magazine Professional Spotlight.” Brian is a good friend of Pursuit Magazine and has contributed excellent articles that have been well-received by our readers.
Thank you, Brian, for your service to the professional investigations community and the United States!
Innovative Investigations, LLC consists of four partners who have varying specializations with law enforcement and military backgrounds. We are licensed in the state of Kentucky with reciprocal licensing in Tennessee. Darrin Larrabee and I established Innovative Investigations in 2010. We have three specialists; Tim Upchurch, Donnie Salmons, and I are all Collision Reconstructionists. Donnie Salmons is also our go to investigator for digital media forensics (it ain’t just computers anymore). Darin Larrabee is in charge of General Investigations and Process Service. In addition, we offer background investigation services for employers and property managers.
I come from both a law enforcement and military background. In 1987, after graduating high school, I became the third consecutive generation in my family to serve in the US Armed Forces by joining the US Air Force; I spent most of my time in the service deployed to Eastern Asia. Once I was honorably discharged, I obtained employment working as an industrial electrician (the field I was trained for in the Air Force). In 2001, I decided to pursue the law enforcement career I had desired since my childhood. I went to work as a corrections officer in a local county jail and entered the US Army National Guard as a military MP as well. When the opportunity presented itself, I applied to work at a major police department and was hired! Shortly after I started the police academy, however, I was deployed to Iraq in December of 2002. I had very mixed feelings between obtaining the career of my dreams and my strong desire to continue and serve my country. Thankfully, the choice was made for me by the US Government and I gladly deployed with my brothers in arms and a Military Police unit out of Louisville, Ky. Our main mission was providing convoy security and POW transportation. Our most remarkable mission was to provide perimeter security for the first constitutional talks among the new-elected Iraqi dignitaries. In all honesty though, the real significance of the event for me was not the high-level talks and history being made but the fact we were fed real food for the first time after four months of MREs (dehydrated military sack lunches)!
Upon my return from Iraq, I anxiously rejoined the police academy and knew that this was the type of career for which I was born. I spent the next 8 years working as a Patrol Officer and Collision Reconstructionist for some of that time. Unfortunately, it all goes by too fast and I quickly found myself halfway to retirement! The ill-timed realization that I would be retiring very soon was also about the time the economy was tanking and once stable pensions were disappearing. As a result of this uncertainty my partner, Darin Larrabee, and I began to brainstorm our options in 2010. Wanting to continue to be in a position of helping people find the truth when the truth was not always obvious, we decided to step out and take a huge risk (for us) and formed a business when all of the cool kids were busy pulling their money out of the economy.
Having my military service behind me and realizing that many have sacrificed for my freedom to take that risk, I couldn’t wait to prove the economy wrong.
In August of 2010, my first partner and I launched Innovative Investigations, LLC and we haven’t looked back since; we eventually brought two more partners into the business to provide a greater depth of experience and the ability to offer a wider variety of services. We set out to provide information with integrity, results our clients could have confidence in, and to never compromise our principles! We believe this sets us apart from some agencies that are, all too often, willing to change the results as the invoices get larger. Along with our commitment to truth and these principles, I decided to become a member of the Kentucky Professional Investigators Association, an association that requires high-standards of its members to further the reputable industry we all seek to promote.
One of the most rewarding experiences in our business is to hear a client say, “I have tried everything and nothing is working for me, so I called you.” The reward comes when we are able to supply what that client could not obtain anywhere else.
I quickly learned that the job was not all about rewards, however. One of my first clients was an elderly couple who were coming to the realization that physical life was not eternal. They had lost contact with their only child for about 6-8 years and they wanted to patch things up and be able to leave the child an inheritance. The mother, being a good mother, was overly confident things would pan out regardless of my precautions to her that in fact, they may not. After about 6 months we were finally able to locate a phone number. I called the number and got a voicemail; there was no name mentioned in the voicemail greeting, so I recorded the message to play for the client and see if they recognized the voice. The mother broke down stating “It’s HER! It’s HER!” I advised her that I would await a call back and if there was no call back I would attempt other means of contact. Finally, we were able to contact the adult child and she wished not to have any contact with the mother whatsoever. It was then the most difficult phone call I’ve had to make in years. In the end, although the mother was crushed, she was very pleased with the tenacity of our efforts to locate her daughter and the honesty of our results.
Looking forward now, our newest service offering is digital media imaging and data recovery. Since Donnie Salmons has signed on we have the experience and software necessary to locate data that, quite simply, is a little creepy. Mr. Salmons has been trained and certified from the top instructors in the field and has obtained the newest software available. Our software is used within some of the highest levels of government to obtain hard drive data and we are very excited to offer this new service.
Becoming a member of this great profession, I have learned that there is a huge sense of camaraderie among most investigators, an asset I have enjoyed as a military member and a law enforcement officer. Through this camaraderie has come a vast amount of mentoring from several investigators across the country. If you are seeking to become a private investigator, I would encourage you to first do your research and see if this is the career for you and realize that there is a lot of glamorization of this profession that is nothing but pure fantasy. Make sure you are aware of the enormous benefits this career offers as well as the snares that exists that can put you and your family at risk. The pitfalls are many, from legal risks to physical risks, but by doing your research and making a knowledgeable decision these risks can be greatly reduced.
Once you have decided this would be the career for you, the next step would be to inquire with experienced investigators to see about possible mentorships; this can lead to possible employment opportunities if you prove to be a good asset.
As a business owner, one of my most important mentors has been Scott Harrell. Now I know what most of you are saying, “OF COURSE! What a suck up!” However, I have had the experience and training as an investigator already. Where everything was absolutely foreign to us was the subject of marketing and growing our business. Scott, being the innovator he is, has shown me opportunities where I never would have thought they existed. He is a leading example of what a mentor should be. He is always willing to help and ALWAYS thinking outside of the proverbial box.
With his help, we are on the road to great success.
From Scott: Congratulations, Bryan, for being selected for this month’s Pursuit Magazine Professional Spotlight! The entire staff came to an agreement on your selection. Thank you for your kind words. Scout has generously agreed to offer you a free 1 year subscription to its web-based Investigation Management Software, too!
Most importantly though, and I know my partners would agree, we would never be where we are today without our families; they have made great sacrifices to get us where we are today. In my case, many times I find myself working up until 9 or 10 at night on marketing or completing assignments. My hopes are to build a business that my children can continue if they choose this career path in life. It is with a great deal of pride that I can report that my daughter has spent the day with me doing surveillance in Ohio on one case and, additionally, has shot video footage for me on another! She has shown some interest and I love getting the opportunity to feed my children’s hopes and dreams every chance I get. I have always been passionate about helping people and I hope that our business will be a conduit to help others in many more ways than just traditional investigations. Most importantly, I hope that my business will serve as an example to my children that no matter what happens to trip up your path through life, you can succeed if you invest time and effort into any undertaking.
I will end this article with my favorite quote from Winston Churchill; it is a rule I live by and the best advice I could give…
”Never, never, never give up”
Would you like to reach Innovative Investigations, LLC?
Brian Taylor, Managing Partner
Innovative Investigations, LLC
PO Box 2073
Richmond, KY 40476
Network with Innovative Investigations:
New for 2012, we are beginning the “Pursuit Magazine Professional Spotlight” in which we will feature one (1) of our subscribers on the home page of PursuitMag.com for an entire month in a self-styled promotional article. Think of it as a mini-autobiography of you and your business reaching all of our subscribers (several thousand people and growing every day), social network followers and website visitors in a VERY big way.