KAPI, The Kansas Association of Private Investigators, was a Kansas non-profit corporation formed in November 1992 and formally dissolved in December 2012. KAPI was formed to establish and perpetuate high ethical and professional
standards and excellence of professional service in the private investigative industry in accordance with the association's Code
of Ethics. Members were required to follow this Code of Ethics:
As members of this association we each share a singular responsibility for maintaining inviolate the integrity and
trust of the private investigators profession, in discharging this responsibility, therefore we mutually pledge that:
- We will always perform our professional duties in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards.
- We will concentrate our efforts toward the support, protection and defense of liberty and justice for all.
- We will observe strictly the precepts of truth, accuracy and prudence.
- We will respect and protect confidential and privileged information.
- We will promote programs and legislation designed to raise the standards, improve the efficiency and increase the effectiveness
of the private investigation profession.
- We will work together toward the achievement of the professional objectives of the association.
- We will strive to assist and work with other members.
Licensing and Regulation
Private Detectives in Kansas are licensed and regulated by the State Attorney General's Office under provisions of the Private Detective Licensing Act K.S.A. 75-7b and Kansas Administrative Regulations for Agency 16. Confirmation of the licensing status of a Kansas Private Detective may be made with the regulatory agency by contacting the Private Detective Licensing Section, Office of the Attorney General, Topeka, KS at 785-296-4240. Kansas Attorney General - Private Detective Licensing Information
Unlicensed investigators.The provisions of the licensing act allow certain exemptions from licensing. These are:
- Corporate investigators performing internal investigations;
- Law enforcement officers;
- Credit reporting, but not investigative credit reports;
- Charitable, nonprofit corporations;
- An attorney and their employees;
- Collection agencies and their employees;
- Insurers, agents, brokers and adjusters;
- Persons engaged solely in the business of public record searches;
- Private patrol/security personnel;
- Persons engaged in marketing research.
Unlicensed investigators are not required to carry liability insurance and do not have their background checked by the State of Kansas. Their qualifications and legal responsibilities are set by their individual employers. Persons claiming these exemptions are limited to using only one exemption; if their action requires use of more than one exemption, then they are probably violating the licensing act.
Hiring an unlicensed investigator may subject you to criminal or civil penalties.
It is not recommended by K.A.P.I.
Each licensed private detective is issued an identification card which is signed by the Attorney General. It bears the private detective's name, license number, recent photograph, signature and thumb prints. It will state whether the private detective is authorized to carry firearms and will list the firearms which may be carried. Those private detectives who carry firearms may use a firearm permit identification badge of an approved design.
The background, education and experience of private detectives vary considerably, but each Kansas Licensee is required to be at least 21 years of age, a citizen and of good moral character. Background checks are made prior to issuance of a license. Licensees are bonded or insured; those who carry firearms are required to have specific initial and annual training as well.
Many private detectives take advantage of certification and accreditation processes available from various professional organizations or trade schools. Private detectives who have these certifications or accreditations from various training sources may indicate these by abbreviations after their name. Here is a partial list of the abbreviations:
The content and quality of the training on which these certifications are based varies. Some private detectives may list academic abbreviations such as B.S. (Bachelor of Science) or M.A.J. (Master of Administration of Justice) or experience background as well. Since the state licensing statute for private detectives screens initially only for minimal licensing qualifications, be sure to ask questions about the individual's experience and training when selecting a private detective.
- A.S.P. Aerial Surveillance Professional
- C.A.I. Certified Arson Investigator
- A.R.C. Certified Accident Reconstructionist
- C.A.S. Certified Asset Specialist
- C.B.I. Certified Background Investigator
- C.C.E. Certified Collections Expert
- C.C.S. Certified Collection Specialist
- C.D.E. Certified Document Examiner
- C.F.E. Certified Fraud Examiner
- C.F.I. Certified Firearms Instructor
- C.F.S. Certified Fraud Specialist
- C.H.I. Certified Homicide Investigator
- C.I.C.I. Certified Insurance Claims Investigator
- C.I.P. Certified Investigative Professional
- C.L.I. Certified Legal Investigator
- C.L.V.S. Certified Legal Video Specialist
- C.M.I. Certified Master Investigator
- C.M.P.I. Certified Missing Persons Investigator
- C.O.S.I. Certified OnLine Searching Investigator
- C.P.E. Certified Polygraph Examiner
- C.P.I. Certified Professional Investigator
- C.P.P. Certified Protection Professional
- C.P.S. Certified Process Server
- C.S.S. Certified Surveillance Specialist
- C.U.P. Computer Use Professional
- E.S.P. Electronic Surveillance Professional
- I.I.S. Interview & Interrogation Specialist
- I.P.S. Investigative Photography Specialist
- P.S.P. Process Service Specialist
- U.I.C. Underwater Investigation Certificate
Kansas Private Detectives do have a mandatory biennial 8 hour continuing education requirement to maintain licensing.
A private detective has the same legal arrest or use-of-force authority as any other private citizen in the state. They are not law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers are prohibited from engaging in the private detective business in Kansas.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Investigative reports and records of a private detective are usually released only at the direction of the client paying for the services. However, investigative reports and records of private detectives are not judicially-recognized as privileged communications. The privacy of any records containing such privileged communications or third party information is protected by the provisions of various federal and state statutes. Most of these require service of a court order or subpoena on the private detective to legally access the records. The Office of the State Attorney General does have some limited authority to access business records of private detectives to perform its regulatory function, but this access is subject to the limitations of the other codes and statutes. The licensing act requires that all private detective records and reports be maintained for at least three years.
Services provided by a private detective vary as do the charges for them. Typical services provided include: civil and criminal investigations; internal and undercover investigations; risk, threat or vulnerability analysis; security surveys; personal security; surveillance; electronic monitoring; pre-employment background checks; polygraph exams; debt collection; asset location; process service; witness interviews; accident reconstruction; evidence development and security administration or training.
Services are usually priced on an investigative hourly basis with certain items, such as mileage, equipment rentals, records access costs, etc. being considered reimbursable expenses. Some services may be priced at a flat rate. Many firms will require a deposit or retainer prior to beginning work and some offer or require a service agreement. Quotations or explanations of charges are provided by most investigators. Contingency prices (those based on recovery percentages or similar performance) are prohibited by the licensing act.