In the Beginning …

On September 20, 1990, the Indiana State Police issued a private detective license to Trace Investigations in Bloomington, Indiana. Two years later when the license was up for its first renewal, the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency had oversight of private detectives and security guards. The rest, as they say, is history. Under Indiana law we are now known as private investigators, not detectives, and our license renewals are on four year cycles.  We’ve seen a lot of changes in the business world over the intervening years.

A Car, a Camera, a Pager …

In those early days, I was a sole practitioner, a private detective with a car, a camera, a pager and a portable typewriter at a home office for writing reports. Now, our staff has grown, as has our office space downtown, and the technological changes we’ve seen since 1990 are astonishing. The days of copying VHS video tapes and developing case photos from 35mm roll film for our clients are a part of history. These days we can transmit photos and videos by smart phones and digital camcorders from the field and dictate our reports to voice recognition software. Rarely will you find us at a table in a courthouse reviewing old “fee” books, looking for criminal or civil filings on a subject as part of a background investigation. Most of the court indices from Indiana’s 92 counties are online and easily accessible. Yet, some things are slow to change. There are still counties in Indiana where limited funding has slowed the implementation of online public access to court files. We are in those courthouses every week, searching the books and pulling case files.

A Focus on Client Needs …

One other important thing hasn’t changed in all this time, either, and that’s the focus on our clients’ needs. Most of our work has always been for attorneys, providing investigative support in anticipation of litigation, and for businesses, conducting workplace investigations and background screening for new hires. From the very beginning, I believed that any business is only as good as the last satisfied client. I knew that returning clients and their referrals would be the key to my success as a business owner. We have always strived to be thorough, timely and reliable in bringing results to our clients. Of course, many cases bring unique challenges to the table and we can’t guarantee results. In the months to come we will share some of those case histories with you. In the meantime, we will stay focused.

In closing, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our loyal clients, on behalf of all of us at Trace Investigations, for your contributions to our success. We are here for you.

Don C. Johnson, CLI, CII
Founder and President
Trace Investigations, Inc.