FAQ

What types of investigations does Sentinel Consulting Group provide?

We provide a host of investigative services and offer them to all industries, specifically to corporations, law firms, non-profits, government agencies and individuals, among others. Our clients appreciate the fact that our team has a diverse background and extensive depth of experience which provides for a more comprehensive and complete investigation. Because every investigation is different, the types of services and steps taken also vary from one case to another. However, the most frequent services that we offer are as follows:

  Surveillance

  Cellular & Computer Forensics

  Technical Security Counter Measure (Bug Sweeps)

  Hidden Camera/GPS Product Installation/Tracking Services

  Undercover Investigators

  Skip Trace / People Locates

  Asset Searches

  Crime Scene / Traffic Accident Investigations

  Interviews & Interrogations

  Investigative Research

  Background Checks

  Service of Process

 

 

What is your turnaround time?

Like most questions in life…..”it depends” would be the best answer. We make every effort to have the initial (free) consultation within 24 hours of receiving your inquiry. From that, we can determine the scope of the investigation, consulting project or protective service and create a strategy for the case. This step is critical to ensure we clearly understand your needs, goals and that you have a strong understanding of what we can do for you. It is important for us both to be on the same page so that we are providing services which provide the best opportunity to ensure your satisfaction.

We strongly believe in the 5 P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Most of our projects can be started within 24-48 hours (if not sooner) from the consultation, but we will NOT run straight out into a service such as surveillance for example, without ample time to plan ahead. This is for good reason, being that an improperly planned surveillance operation is nearly guaranteed to fail and often that means the investigator gets burned while simultaneously not getting the evidence you need. So, be cautious of investigators who are willing to get right in the car and attempt to start filming for they are (A) not very busy and you must wonder why (B) putting your case at risk (C) potentially jeopardizing your confidentiality by getting burned by the target. While we are using surveillance as an example, the same would be the case for providing executive protection without the advance work or conducting a security audit without first understanding every aspect of a facility and it’s potential threats/risks. Patience and planning are what will get us the results that are desired, not anxiousness and rushing into something.

Our goal is to partner with our client, clearly understand their goals, create realistic and successful strategies and then execute with a combination of services of that will leave you extremely satisfied with the results. We cannot guarantee anything, but our greatest chance at success is through this structured process.

 

 

How much do you charge for your services?

Charges for our services vary depending on a number of factors including the scope, type of service provided, location and other stipulations. Our rates are competitive in the industry and we do not engage in “nickel and dime” charging on the final bill.  For example, we provide a free (1 Hour) consultation to discuss the details of the case/project. This can be conducted by phone or in person and allows both parties to determine the viability of success and satisfaction prior to any charges incurring. Secondly, we do not charge for reasonable (15 minute max) phone calls and email correspondence between our team and clients. The primary reason is that we want to have a completely free flow of communication between both parties. This avoids any withholding of critical information for fear you will be charged every time you call. Lastly, we believe that only those expenses which are true investigative or consulting stages should be charged for. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see small tasks taken by our team, which are never charged for. (e.g. brief team coordination/collaboration meetings)

Most of our investigations, consulting and executive protection projects are billed at our standard hourly rate. There are exceptions with a few of our services which are typically billed at flat rate. Those include:

Computer Forensics – Flat rate (PC or Mac)

Cellular Forensics – Flat based on device type

TSCM (Bug Sweeps) – Billed per sq. ft.

GPS Trackers – Install + Daily/Weekly/Monthly rental rates

For specific rate details, please call or email us and we can set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case and the associated costs.

Where did your company name originate?
SENTINEL – to watch over or guard

CONSULTING – to provide professional or expert advice

GROUP – a number of people who are connected by some shared activity, interest, or quality

 

When our founder first considered the name for this company, he recognized several problems with the industry and wanted to ensure that Sentinel was branded in such a manner that it reflected exactly who we are as a company.

While the word Sentinel is not extremely common and many people don’t know what it means, it is very specific to our overall mission of protecting others. Whether through our consulting, protective services or simply seeking the truth and facts desired by our clients, it embodies our goals.

We chose Consulting because even though we provide investigative services too, everything we do is done in a manner that consists of a partnership with our clients, standing alongside them in an effort to meet their needs.

Lastly, our belief is that no one person is qualified enough to provide ALL of the various services generally offered in this industry. We utilize experts with diverse skill sets and backgrounds, often in a collaborative effort. Therefore, the word Group seemed fitting to symbolize that you are not hiring a single person but rather a team of people and we will utilize those with the best experience to work on your case or project.

How do you protect my information?

Confidentiality is extremely important to us, just as it is for you. Therefore, we take the following steps to ensure your privacy:

  All consultations are held in strict confidentiality and any conflicts of interest are cleared prior to discussing the case.

  Client information is only shared internally amongst the investigators or consultants working on the project.

  We maintain a nearly paperless operation. What documents are printed are either stored for evidence in a secure location or shredded for protection of privacy.

  Electronic files are kept on an encrypted and secured hard drive.  Those documents shared electronically are typically done so through a secured (and encrypted) cloud storage solution.

  Unless required through a court order by law enforcement, no documents, evidence or other information is shared without our client’s permission.

  At no time do we divulge any information about our clients to the person under investigation nor will we EVER work both sides of a case.

 

 

Why not drive a Ferrari?

magnumpi

 

Wish we could, although it may be a bit painful sitting on surveillance for 6 hours in the back of it, or frustrating getting burned on every case. Without question, Magnum PI has set one of many images in the public’s mind about what we do. However, this is one myth about PI’s which is very inaccurate.

 

Where did the word “gumshoe” originate?

A precursor the tennis shoes, back in the 1800’s many people wore shoes which had a gum-rubber sole and the phrase “to gumshoe” meant to sneak around quietly. It is an old slang term used to describe private detectives.

Blonde Detective Joke

A policeman was interrogating 3 blondes who were training to become detectives. To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he shows the first blonde a picture for 5 second and then hides it.

” This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?” The first blonde answers, “That’s easy, we’ll catch him fast because he only has one eye!”

The policeman says, “Well…uh…that’s because the picture shows his PROFILE.” Slightly flustered by this ridiculous response, he flashes the picture for 5 seconds at the second blonde and asks her, “This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?” The second blonde giggles, flips her hair and says, “Ha! He’d be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!”

The policeman angrily responds, “What’s the matter with you two?? Of course only one eye and one ear are SHOWING because it’s a picture of his profile!! Is that the best answer you can come up with?” Extremely frustrated at this point, he shows the picture to the third blonde and in a very testy voice asks, “This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?” He quickly adds “…think hard before giving me a stupid answer.” The blonde looks at the picture intently for a moment and says, “Hmmmm…the suspect wears contact lenses.” The policeman is surprised and speechless because he really doesn’t know himself if the suspect wears contacts or not. “Well, that’s an interesting answer…wait here for a few minutes while I check his file and I’ll get back to you on that.” He leaves the room and goes to his office, checks the suspect’s file in his computer, and comes back with a beaming smile on his face. “Wow! I can’t believe it…it’s TRUE! The suspect does in fact wear contact lenses. Good work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?”

“That’s easy,” the blonde replied. “He can’t wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear.”

You might be a private investigator if….
  1. You enjoy a lot of alone time, sitting in a freezing car waiting for something that may never happen
  2. It doesn’t bother you to explain to people 1,000 times that you do something other than catch cheating spouses
  3. You accept that most people have no clue what you actually do on a daily basis
  4. Your family mini-van doubles as a secret agent car with dark tinted windows and equipment everywhere
  5. Everything you do can then be told to no one at all
  6. Your time is always spent considering the best vantage points for surveillance
  7. The family Digital SLR camera has photos of lovers before and after your kid’s soccer game pictures. “Whoops, wrong SD card left in there.”
What types of security consulting services do you provide?

All of our consulting services are customized based not the type of facility, threats, risks and other circumstances. However, following is a list of the most common services chosen by our clients:

Physical Security Audits – Commercial & Residential

Threat Assessments

Security Policy Development

Security Guard Screening/Training

Active Shooter/Mass Violence Prevention & Response Plans

Tabletop Exercises/Drills

Physical Penetration Testing

Security/Investigations Training