HANCOCK - When a friend had difficulty finding someone to serve papers in a divorce issue, Randy LaLonde and Dolores Kilpela of Portage Investigative Consultants recognized the opportunity to put their law enforcement backgrounds to good use. After researching local needs, and obtaining a private investigator's license, they opened PIC in March.
"We initially looked at process serving, and we realized there's nothing in the local area", said Kilpela. "The closest private investigators are in Marquette, and we thought we could really meet a need in the Copper Country."
To meet that need, LaLonde and Kilpela opened PIC to provide private investigations, background checks, and process serving to the Copper Country. Both have backgrounds in law enforcement LaLonde worked as a police officer at Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan for seven years before transitioning to the Michigan Department of Corrections. He filled a variety of roles over his 18 year career, including corrections officer at maximum security prisons, prison counselor, and resident unit manager. Kilpela was a police officer for ten years in Oregon, including several years as a lead investigator in the detective division. Her responsibilities included investigating serious felonies, person crimes, child abuse investigations, narcotics investigations, surveillance and background checks. Both LaLonde and Kilpela have several years experience teaching criminal justice courses at the college level.
PIC offers several different tiers of background checks. The first tier is basic, and consists of a criminal history check and sex offender check. From there, the background check packages become more in-depth and complex, according the level of information the client requires.
Who might be interested in background checks? Lots of people, according to Kilpela. "Organizations with volunteers or employees who work with kids may want background checks, such as churches or civic organizations." "Or businesses who hire employees, especially if they're not from the local area. We can do different levels of background checks according to what the business or individual needs" added LaLonde.
The different levels of background checks can be especially helpful for businesses, before investing in a new employee. Landlords may consider screening potential tenants. Even private individuals may be interested in background checks, such as parents looking to know the full history of a childcare provider they are considering.
Kilpela and LaLonde both have extensive experience in the area of investigation, interview and interrogation, and evidence collection. "Private investigations are a fluid process" said LaLonde, "and we can tailor an investigation to meet a client's needs". Kilpela and LaLonde anticipate working with individuals as well as attorneys and insurance agents who may be interested in private investigations.
In addition to background checks and private investigation, PIC assists clients with process serving. If a client is involved in a legal proceeding, such as a lawsuit or divorce situation, PIC can serve legal notification to the parties involved. "We can serve papers anywhere locally, or out of the area if that's what a client needs" said Kilpela. PIC can expedite the process when a client needs the service performed quickly.
PIC's offices are located in the Jutila Center in Hancock, and a free consultation is available by appointment. For more information, visit www.portageinvestigative.com or call (906) 201-0894.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Portage Investigative Consultants. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.