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  • Article - Bounty Hunters

    The author of this article, Dr. Alex Tabarrok, is an economist who has formally studied the role that bounty hunters play in society. The bottom line from this study is that bail enforcement agents provide distinct economic benefits to society that the police are unable to provide (and I can attest to this), at literally no cost to the taxpayers (it can cost $tens of thousands for one police SWAT raid), and that citizens who find bounty-hunting "distasteful" should learn to appreciate. In fact, Dr. Tabarrok found that the very fact that defendants know that there are bounty hunters who will track them 24 hours a day, across state lines, and with what the author calls "very robust" fugitive arrest powers, keeps many of these nice people from jumping bail in the first place.

    http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?AID=1775

    In this video, Dr. Tabarrok and "Dog" Chapman are interviewed by John Stossel:

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/11180...ylist_id=87185

    I would be very interested to get a look at the whole study, but there's no doubt about it: This country would be a much more dangerous place without these people doing their jobs, and the fact that they do so at not one penny of cost to taxpayers makes any question about their value a dead no-brainer, in my opinion.

    There probably should be more of them, and there should probably be a federal law that sets licensing/training standards for bail enforcement agents and grants them uniform powers throughout the country, regardless of any state laws to the contrary. (We have federal licensing for gun dealers, stock brokers, healthcare professionals who prescribe drugs, etc., so there's nothing novel about this.) This would improve both public and law enforcement confidence in them, and would eliminate the patchwork of conflicting state laws that they have to deal with. State boundaries have no real meaning when it comes to fugitives, and as such it makes no sense for each individual state to have its own peculiar laws that govern (or restrict) the methods or means of their capture and arrest. A bail agent should be able to pursue the fugitive anywhere in the country, knowing that there is just ONE grant of arrest powers that he needs, and that there is just ONE set of legal standards governing his authority and his actions that he must abide by. This is the same basic concept that grants the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce, rather than allowing each individual state to make its own laws and thereby interfere with the free flow of goods and services across state lines.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-19-2011, 11:26 AM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    I am utterly, but very pleasantly, shocked! I figured, upon seeing the title, that this would be a typically negative post/article! Although we in the profession DO NOT identify with Duane "Dog" Chapman whatsoever, it's nice to get good publicity once in a blue moon! Thanks, SecTrainer!
    Tom Duprey
    Owner/Relentless Risk Management

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by BailBondInvestigator View Post
      I am utterly, but very pleasantly, shocked! I figured, upon seeing the title, that this would be a typically negative post/article! Although we in the profession DO NOT identify with Duane "Dog" Chapman whatsoever, it's nice to get good publicity once in a blue moon! Thanks, SecTrainer!
      But you do have a pepperball gun, right?
      ATTN. SPECOPS AND GECKO45 my secret username is CIDDECEP and I am your S2. My authorization code is Six Wun Quebec Oscar Fife. Your presence here is tactically dangerous and compromises our overall mission parameter. Cease and desist all activity on this board. Our “enemies” are deft at computer hacking and may trace you back to our primary locale. You have forced me to compromise my situation to protect your vulnerable flank. This issue will be addressed later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting stuff...

        Leaving a few gaping holes though. IMO the police were made to look incompetent by this dog n pony show. First off... Dog, and other bounty hunters are under no obligation to look for absconders they arent responsible for. The police dont have that luxery. Bounty hunters have a case load of ohhh one or three absconders they are looking for. The avarage warrant cop may have 200 he's got paper on. Bounty hunters do not have the restraint of law, and rules the police must follow.

        I have nothing against bounty hunters... I believe them to be an important part of the judicial comunity, and play a more than usefull role. But to compare them to the police is just silly.

        Spuk!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Secret spuk View Post
          Interesting stuff...

          Leaving a few gaping holes though. IMO the police were made to look incompetent by this dog n pony show. First off... Dog, and other bounty hunters are under no obligation to look for absconders they arent responsible for. The police dont have that luxery. Bounty hunters have a case load of ohhh one or three absconders they are looking for. The avarage warrant cop may have 200 he's got paper on. Bounty hunters do not have the restraint of law, and rules the police must follow.

          I have nothing against bounty hunters... I believe them to be an important part of the judicial comunity, and play a more than usefull role. But to compare them to the police is just silly.

          Spuk!
          But it is just those differences that make the bail enforcement agent relevant and useful to society, Spuk. No one was criticizing the police. They were merely saying that there are differences, and those differences are the reasons that the police are notoriously inefficient when it comes to capturing these people. It was not necessary to go into a bunch of excuses for the police as to all of the various reasons or circumstances (articles have word limits, and shows have time limits, after all).

          As a former cop, I took absolutely no offense at anything that was said - and a lot of it could be applied to other areas as well. I have no illusions about the fact that there are things that a private investigator can do more efficiently than a police detective, for instance. I have no illusions that there are subjects that a police department would bring in a private trainer to provide and wouldn't even dream of providing internally. (Motorcycle cops are mostly trained privately, for instance.) I have no illusions that there are technologies such as wide-area networks that private entities can provide better than the police communications division could do.

          Your criticism is unwarranted, IMHO, so lighten up. No one was dissing the police. It was neither the purpose of the article or John Stossel's piece to explore all of the reasons that police don't serve more warrants. They were both focusing on the role of bail agents in society.

          In fact, it would probably be a very good thing if we outsourced all warrant service to private organizations on a per-service payment basis. I'd bet you anything - as a former cop who served warrants - that a lot more of them would get served, and it would free up those cops to be doing other things! As it stands now, the number of outstanding warrants that many police departments have is actually scandalous, and there is too much reliance on "happening to run across" these subjects. Then, if they leave the jurisdiction, there may be no one (from the police department) who is actively chasing them down unless it's a high-priority (dangerous felon) or high-publicity fugitive situation. There are even certain kinds of felony warrants (e.g., financial crimes such as commercial fraud) that tend to languish. The reasons or excuses as to why this is so really don't matter because you can't always plead how busy you are, etc.
          Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-20-2011, 12:21 PM.
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm in no way being critical of the private bail enforcement system. I think it works. And works well. I agree that one reason it works well is the lack on constraints that legally and administratively bind the police.

            However I did get the distinct impression that the police were short changed. Case load is everything. The private bail enforcers have the ability to pick and choose their cases. For example... if there is 200 outstanding bench warrants in pugusoa Ok. And of these 200 active warrants 100 are ROR's ( release on own recognisance). Of the remaining 100 10 of these are bail in excess of $20,000. The remaining are wanted on bail of 1 to 5 thousand dollars. Who is responsible for all of them?... The warrant officer for that jurisdiction. Tahts who. Now a bounty hunter may come in and work on some of them... And thats great. But the great majority will still fall to the responsibility of the police.

            Again I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with the current system... heck I'd like to see it expanded to allow Bounty hunters to go after any and all of them for a set reward... I just believe that only one side of the story was given. And it was all "DOG" and no police.

            A also am a former police officer. I was not insulted by the comments. I just didnt see the entire story. I think the police perspective was glossed over, and pretty much left out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Secret spuk View Post
              I'm in no way being critical of the private bail enforcement system. I think it works. And works well. I agree that one reason it works well is the lack on constraints that legally and administratively bind the police.

              However I did get the distinct impression that the police were short changed. Case load is everything. The private bail enforcers have the ability to pick and choose their cases. For example... if there is 200 outstanding bench warrants in pugusoa Ok. And of these 200 active warrants 100 are ROR's ( release on own recognisance). Of the remaining 100 10 of these are bail in excess of $20,000. The remaining are wanted on bail of 1 to 5 thousand dollars. Who is responsible for all of them?... The warrant officer for that jurisdiction. Tahts who. Now a bounty hunter may come in and work on some of them... And thats great. But the great majority will still fall to the responsibility of the police.

              Again I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with the current system... heck I'd like to see it expanded to allow Bounty hunters to go after any and all of them for a set reward... I just believe that only one side of the story was given. And it was all "DOG" and no police.

              A also am a former police officer. I was not insulted by the comments. I just didnt see the entire story. I think the police perspective was glossed over, and pretty much left out.
              Again, that was not the focus of the story. And if a police officer had been on the show, he couldn't have said anything that most people don't already know. The police are overworked. Okay, we've said it.
              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

              Comment


              • #8
                About 10 years ago their was a story regarding this topic on 20/20 or some other program that did an investigation of bounty hunters. It was mentioned that they make more fugitive arrest then all fed agencies combined at no expense to tax payers. Like security and private EMS they are providing a public service at no expense to the tax payers.

                I often hear members of the Police community making statements regarding the lack of training of private security. My usual response is who paid for your training/equipment? Tax payers do! Who pays for our training ,we do. IM sure if someone paid for our training and equipment and paid us to be trained we would improve our industry. So you can see their are many benifits in the public sector that we don't have in the private industry.Credit should be given to those who serve regardless of public or private.

                Comment


                • #9
                  the whole idea of a class of private "goons" running around with

                  some definite authority to enter where normally they couldn't on the pretext of 'searching for fugitive' or 'serving court summons', etc makes me nervous.

                  Personally, I see a great need for a re-vamped "police ID/badge" so you know if it is a real cop...something that couldn't be so easily copied by a skilled 4th grader with clay and paint set. Something technical. What I have no idea, but the whole "fake cops" thingy seems to be growing by leaps and bounds especially in Hispanic community.

                  I see all sorts of problems with giving Bail Agents some power to barge in to search for fugitives without a warrant or some other adult supervision, to say nothing about conditioning the public that they must except such barging in, and its predictable criminal mis-use by non-bounty hunter criminals.

                  Seems to me any bounty hunter could claim he is in "hot(or warm) pursuit" of some random fugitive and barge into any home or business and while there gather non-related info sought by competitors, estranged spouses, etc....and it appears they do quite a bit of "barging into" innocent and unrelated person's properties without any compensation to the innocent and unrelated persons. Sure, I guess such an 'injured party' could file suit against the bounty hunter, but that isn't practical. Is there any "hot pursuit" provision for bounty hunting? Maybe I'm wrong but I think "Dog the Bounty Hunter" frequently chases people into other's homes without asking permission to enter, and certainly without checking who legally owns or is leasing the property. Does "fugitive's house" include their family and friends where they might be kinda-sorta hanging out, for bounty barging purposes?

                  Then of course there is the whole thing of them being able to "get past your defenses" and put you in a very vulnerable position just on their say so, again without any supervision. How can that NOT quickly evolve into a tool for rape, kidnapping, etc?

                  On "Dog the Bounty Hunter" I remember a case where someone is telling Dog "get off my property, etc" and Dog is telling them they are "harboring a fugitive" and committing a crime, etc. How does the "bounty hunter can't enter someone else's house without permission" VS "harboring a fugitive" work? Maybe I'm just not sure if someone is on my property but don't want anyone besides a real cop w/warrant barging in and around (for any one of lots of good reasons, like damage they might cause, to say nothing about my legal liability if they injure themselves on my property).


                  Maybe we should ask why there is such a need for all this in the first place, and why some other nations don't have these issues, and re-institute things like the 1925 Immigration Quotas (which had to do with groups and propensity for crime, which was the "preserve our nation character" euphemism was all about).

                  Did we have large scale entrenched and growing "Organized Crime" prior to replacing the "Spoils System" with Unionized Civil Service for police? No. Why do we need "The Feds" to deal with "OC" when the OC members are committing so many mundane crimes fully under jurisdiction of local police? Because "the people", as well as the entire upper command structure of the police dept including elected officials, no longer have any power to simply fire and replace cops they THINK are corrupt or otherwise lacking.
                  Last edited by Squid; 08-26-2011, 08:49 PM. Reason: edit

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Squid...
                    Sir...

                    I think you may have some misunderstandings. While the term bounty hunters is sexy, and attractive... Thats not what they do. For the most part they are bail/surety recovery personel. Like repo-men for people. While there is some federal law giving these people somewhat liberal legal tools in recovering specific wanted people... They are also regulated by state law.

                    I have worked with several over the years. It's a business. Other than on TV it's rare for any of them to excede their authority. I admit there are a few wannabe's out there, but we find that in any security related specialty. IME most dont get all dressed up, and tacked out to pick up an absconder. In fact they tend to be very low key. Again they tend to stay within the law.

                    Spuk!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Squid?

                      You might want to leave the organized crime stuff to the professionals. Clearly this is a subject you dont understand.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A little late but got me curious

                        Taylor v. Taintor held something like a bounty hunter can cross state lines and break into another's home to bring them back right. Well how are many states allowed to bar this? Like in Texas, bounty hunters can't go into someone's home without permission, and some stats outright outlaw bounty hunters from taking fugitives.
                        Last edited by ContractSec Level III; 10-01-2014, 03:11 PM.

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                        • #13
                          We've got a couple of different threads within the thread. I've met 3 fugitive recovery agents in my time - 2 were absoultely normal and low key, the third was a jumpsuit wannabe who wanted to argue whose badge had more authority.

                          The WQ article is excellent - I actually read it when it came out. As noted, they are similar to repo men - and the law is on their side, as long they "color inside the lines." If people could just harbor fugitives in their homes with no consequences, we'd only catch homeless bail jumpers, so they have to have some ability to get their man.

                          Squid, I didn't quite understand your last point about Feds vs. OC. Other countries don't have the same problems because they don't have the same history. Not to get too esoteric, but I think private agents are tolerated under our system because "we the people" are (in theory) our own rulers - we make the law, so, like The Force, it flows through us and binds us together. (And no, I have not been partaking of Washington's herbal bounty - the 12 hour shifts are just catching up with me.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
                            We've got a couple of different threads within the thread. I've met 3 fugitive recovery agents in my time - 2 were absoultely normal and low key, the third was a jumpsuit wannabe who wanted to argue whose badge had more authority.
                            p
                            Yeah I remember reading that from you from the other thread. I personally would have arrested the yahoo on the spot after the first warning to leave.

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                            • #15
                              This was a three year old thread.
                              Every time you necropost, God kils a kitten.

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