Surveillance is gathering any source of evidence for an investigation, or as we like to call it; human intelligence gathering. The (3) three main types of surveillance that private investigators utilize are: surveillance in the vehicle, on foot, and surveillance from remote cameras.  

Before we dive deep into our story on surveillance, we want to ask you a question. Do you know who “Karen” is? Karen is a slang term for a white woman perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal, this person is usually the one asking to speak with the manager. It’s now a trend on social media; where every entitled person people meet, is referred to as Karen.

So, if you’re a private investigator what do you do when you’re sitting on a public roadway and Karen comes up to you and accuses you of stalking? 

Stalking is the term used to refer to a pattern of behavior directed towards an individual by another that results in the person to whom the behavior is directed fearing for themselves and/or others. The big difference between surveillance versus stalking is that there is some sort of personal interest. We are hired to do surveillance on people, since we are a professional private investigations company. Our intent is to collect intel for the client. It shouldn’t put that person in fear because they shouldn’t know we’re there. Also, we do our own due diligence on each and every client, and make certain that they sign an agreement with us stating that there is no order of protection or restraining order in place at the time that they hire us. We also make them sign that they have no previous stalking charges. If there is an order in place, then we do not conduct surveillance by any means. 

Story time…

Covert Results was conducting surveillance on a child custody case, and the intent of the investigation was to conduct surveillance to determine if one of the parents is getting intoxicated while driving with a child— putting the child in danger. We established surveillance in a nice area of town, just north of Nashville where million dollar homes are located. As we always do, Covert Results surveillance investigators pick a good location where we can park legally, so we can see the target residence. After being parked on the public roadway for 45 minutes, Karen came up to the vehicle demanding to know why we were there. As a private investigator, you have choices at this moment. You can outright make up a ruse, or you can tell them the truth. Sometimes, as they say: the truth shall set you free. But it may be best to make something up to make the questioning party feel more comfortable. It is totally legal to make something up, as the general public is not entitled to know why you are sitting there while you do your job. In analogy, as private investigators you can think of it as little league baseball where the coach always tells you: if the ball hits you what are you gonna do? Are you gonna try to turn a double play? Is there someone on first base? That’s something you have to do, think ahead. If someone comes up to you, you have to confidently project exactly the story you’re going to give them. So if Karen is demanding why you’re sitting near her house on the street, you can choose to tell the truth or make something up.

In this specific circumstance, one of our investigators, who is a retired police detective, decided to show his retired badge and just said he was in the area working a case. He simply told Karen that he was a retired police officer. Karen didn’t take too kindly of that, and stormed off. Within minutes other people were driving by staring. Another individual walked up and was asking questions as well based on what this lady had posted on their group social media page. This Karen utilized social media to state that there was someone acting as a private investigator in the neighborhood, trying to notify everybody, give up our position, and stir drama. What we say to that is: you know what Karen, if it was that important and you were worried for your safety, you should’ve called the police. If the police do get called and come out, we show them our credentials and tell them we’re working a case. No big deal. We were legally parked, and there was nothing wrong with what we’re doing. 

Once we found out about the social media post, we immediately moved our position, and changed vehicles. So that’s something that you can do as a private investigator. If you know that someone within that neighborhood is trying to basically post about a vehicle sitting or a possible private investigator. You move your position, and it would be best to change vehicles as well. 

At Covert Results, our team of more than 15 licensed private investigators comes together on a monthly basis to train in surveillance. Both on foot, and in a vehicle. Surveillance is an art, and it is not easy especially in a big city like Nashville with a lot of traffic. You have to do constant practice since it’s really difficult. 

If you’re a citizen or a potential client in the future, you should not attempt surveillance on your own whatsoever. It is very difficult and can be dangerous. Remember, if the case ever gets to court, be in child custody or cheating— the client cannot be their own witness. So it is better to leave it to the pros such as Covert Results to conduct the surveillance for you. Let us handle the Karen’s of the world. 

Covert Results is the premier private investigations, armed security, cyber security, and training company you’ve been searching for. Our team of highly skilled experts has amassed over 100 years of experience in all fields, from investigations to security concerns. Being a member and working within a global network called The Entrepreneurs Organization allows us to provide excellent service anywhere on Earth – truly bringing peace of mind through our world class services! Be sure to follow @CovertResults across Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the latest information regarding investigator expertise as well as lighthearted moments shared by our community! If you need us to guide you to that peace of mind you are looking for, call or text 615-861-1680 or email