With NLPRS gaining more and more attention, I thought that it would be best for me to publicly post our procedures and guidelines in conducting an investigation, so that anyone who is wishing to contact us will have an understanding of what to expect. This all may look a little intimidating, but it really isn't.
This guideline is indicative of an ideal situation. NLPRS understands that there may need to be some adjustments made; we are willing to work with the client to make them as comfortable as possible, while at the same time allowing us the ability to be as complete as possible.
This opening post covers procedures for privately owned property, whether it be a residence, business, or private land.Initial Contact
After having contacted NLPRS, we will begin things with a short telephone interview so that we can ascertain the situation. This helps us better understand what is going on and to get a foundation for the investigation itself. Typical questions asked would be the nature of the event, frequency, if the caller is the property owner (and if not, if they are able to speak on their behalf). Under no circumstances will NLPRS conduct an on-site investigation with permission from the owner, or someone authorized to act on the owner's behalf.
In addition, we will try to schedule with the caller and / or property owner a face-to-face meeting, preferably at the location in question (explained in the next paragraph), and hopefully any witnesses. If not, no problem, as we can easily meet in a safe and neutral area, such as a restaurant or coffee shop, the ultimate choice being that of the client. NLPRS will usually have two representatives present, never more than that. This is done for two reasons. The first is so the client can get a better feel for us; you can read all of our posts you like, but words on the screen is just that, words on the screen. As founder and lead investigator, I want you to be as comfortable with us as possible. After all, you're inviting us into your home or business, why wouldn't you want to know us? Secondly, this is so we can conduct a more thorough interview. We'll be asking a series of questions regarding the property and the event, as well as any history, thoughts or opinions on the event, and what it is you would like from us in these regards. If a witness is unable to attend, we will supply a copy of the questionnaire. That person can then either email us the answers, or mail us the report; envelop and postage is provided by us.
At that point, if you are comfortable with us proceeding, we would ask for a tour of the location. We want to see where the event(s) have occurred and where witnesses were. We will be taking pictures and mapping the area (measuring distances and locations) so we can make a representation of the area. This helps us to not only determine the best locations to place cameras or other equipment, but also allows us to look at the area from different perspectives, and the ability to come back to it later. Think of it like this: we are conducting a field investigation, and need to reconstruct (in essence) a crime scene.
The client and NLPRS will set-up or arrange a date or series of dates to conduct an investigation, depending on the nature of the event and the client's wishes or needs. In order to best replicate the circumstances, NLPRS will ask to perform an intial investigation of the area around the same time as the event, or at a time that best matches repeated encounters or history. This initial investigation primarily consists of observations, monitoring meters, and whatever may be geared towards that specific case.
Once the calendar is set, we have one more step to go: the ever fun paperwork. NLPRS has a few forms to be signed by the property owner (or representative). These forms include a Confidentiality Agreement, Permission to Investigate, and Assumption of Risk.
- Confidentiality Agreement - NLPRS agrees not to reveal any names or specific addresses / locations that might otherwise be used to identify the client in any of their online posts unless first agreed upon with the client
- Permission to Investigate - this gives NLPRS permission to be on site and to conduct an investigation for a determined time frame, and allows the investigative team the use of electricity or facilities (if applicable). This also makes NLPRS liable for any damage incurred during the investigation, as well as the client for any tampering of equipment left on the premise.
- Assumption of Risk - Any information collected is joint property of both the client and NLPRS, and information will not be used in a negative or malevolent manner against either NLPRS or the client. Furthermore, all parties agree that the client is not responsible for any physical harm or injury that may occur.
Depending on the nature of the event and the size of the area covered, this meeting can take at least an hour to complete.Investigation
Prior to the onsite investigation, NLPRS will conduct research of the area to see if there is any historical or documented accounts that might be related to the client's event.
NLPRS will arrive on site at the time requested by the client to set up monitoring devices and other equipment, in as unobtrusive a manner as possible. We understand and realize that we are guests on your property, and will take measures to honor and respect your property as if it were our own or how we would want others to treat ours. Prior to equipment set up, we will conduct a walk through of the areas being investigated, visually recording everything; this is being done to document where items are located and the condition of the property.
Once the equipment is set up and checked for working order, we will begin the investigation. Team members will begin to check the area with meters, take extensive amounts of photographs, and whatever else may be required to that type or specific nature of event. Remote cameras or sensors will be recording throughout this portion of the investigation, and will remain running throughout the duration. Please note, this is a generalized procedure. Your procedure may be different depending on the circumstances.
When the hands-on portion of the investigation is complete, the NLPRS team will hold a second walk-through to document the property condition as well as equipment placement, as certain pieces of equipment may be left behind to continue recording. This equipment will be present for a predetermined amount of time, as agreed upon by the client, to be removed from the property by an NLPRS member at the appropriate time, along with a final recorded walk-through.
A hands-on investigation may take up to a few hours. This is because we want to be as thorough as possible; we want to conduct various sweeps of the area with different members in the hopes that some might catch something where others had not.Completion
Review of the photographs, readings, and video takes a fair amount of time. It stands to reason that the more there is to go through, the longer the review will take. We ask the client for patience in this matter.
All evidence found will be brought before the entire NLPRS staff in an attempt to get a variety of opinions and thoughts, or to see if perhaps someone may recognize what was captured, before being brought to the client so that we can present the evidence from all perspectives.
When the review is completed, we will contact the client to arrange a meeting where we may show and discuss our findings. A final document will be signed to indicate that the client is satisfied with the condition of the property. The client will also be presented with a copy of all the paperwork as well as a disc containing all the images and findings.