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    Surveillance Investigations in New Jersey


    Work With A New Jersey Private Investigator You Can Trust, Contact Former Jersey City Police Chief Bob Cowan For A free 30 minute consultation.

    Many cases will require some level of surveillance by a Private Investigator, at Cowan Investigations we start by gathering as much information as we can from the client prior to commencing the job. This sounds like an obvious starting point, but it is surprising the number of clients who resist a Private Investigator in the acquiring of this critical pre-investigation intelligence. Many clients simply prefer only to give you the subjects name, age and address and then leave the rest to the Private Investigator as if we have some magical insight. At Cowan Investigations our detailed interview regarding the subject’s workplace, habits, hobbies, favorite places to go, together with other information will exceed industry standards, i.e. doctor appointments, therapy appointments, marital status, number of children, hobbies, gyms, preferred grocery stores, restaurants etc. The acquiring of this information prior to the beginning of a surveillance allows for a clear picture of the subjects routine and helps us avoid trying to obtain this information from the client while we are out in the field on an active investigation. Additionally, it is important if at all possible, that we obtain recent photographs of the subject and any other relevant individuals in addition to detailed descriptions of vehicles he/she may operate including license plate numbers. This information, together with a search of public records and databases, will save us time and allow for providing the client a more cost-effective investigation.

    Prior to Google Mapping and other advancements in technology, in order to do his/her job properly a Private Investigator would be remiss if he/she did not go into the field in order to establish the surveillance site and alternate positions prior to initiating the surveillance. However, it is now possible for the Private Investigator to create an accurate surveillance plan prior to commencing the covert operation by using the mapping systems previously referenced. This allows the Investigator to locate a suitable area to set up and park, look for potential problems and scout ahead for likely entrances and exits to the area, this is the second step of a successful surveillance.

    It is important during a surveillance to take and retain notes which consist of clear and concise facts, not opinion. It is essential that the surveillance notes be written as if the Investigator expects these notes to be subpoenaed into court in the event the Investigator is required to testify.

    Often times during a surveillance it will be necessary for the Private Investigator to follow the subject in a vehicle, whether it be day or night, each comes with its own pitfalls; one thing is clear, on television it looks a whole lot easier than it really is. During the day it is much easier to blend in with other traffic and it is also easier to have this same traffic obstruct your surveillance at critical moments.b At night under the cover of darkness in light traffic you are much less noticeable and in most instances can stay close enough to keep up with the subject. However, the real problem at night occurs when you are on either very rural roads and/or other roads that are devoid of traffic, in other words, just your vehicle and the other vehicle. There are several ways to account for these drawbacks; first and foremost is the gathering of as much information and intelligence as possible regarding the subject of the investigation, another method of providing for successful mobile surveillances is through the use of a two person surveillance team. Whatever the method to be used, it
    will be dreamstime_xxl_33346200 thoroughly discussed with the client prior to the commencement of the investigation.

    When I first became a Private Investigator I drove a non-descript SUV which I used for surveillance activities. Using the SUV did not last long, after sitting in MOST NEIGHBORHOODS for 15 minutes or so residents begin to wonder who you are and what you are doing; I quickly noticed that by conducting surveillances in this manner I was putting my clients investigation at risk. Shortly thereafter, I purchased a surveillance vehicle that enabled me to access the rear of the vehicle from the drivers seat. In any surveillance heavy investigation I now utilize this vehicle. I can remain in the rear of the vehicle taking video for hours on end and from a person standing outside my surveillance vehicle it appears to be an unoccupied parked car. This surveillance vehicle is now one of three dedicated surveillance vehicles owned by Cowan Investigations.

    It is imperative while the Private Investigator is preparing for a lengthy surveillance that will largely take place from the confines of a vehicle that the Private Investigator provide for certain personal needs. 1) The surveillance vehicle must be fully gassed up, 2) the Investigator must take the food and beverages he/she will need in a cooler inside the vehicle 3) without being too descriptive, it is important the Private Investigator be able to take care of personal needs while remaining inside the vehicle, I have not often been to a surveillance location which has access to a porto-potty, enough said. Failure of the Private Investigator to take any of these three steps by thinking it is okay to just jump out at a fast food location, gas up and use the bathroom is just not acceptable and will result in a significant risk that the investigator will either miss a significant visual moment or even worse, lose track of the subject, thus causing unwarranted expense to the client.


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    Social Reviews

    Cowan Investigations Icon Cowan Investigations

    2360 Lakewood Road suite 3 unit 236, Toms River

    5.0 33 reviews

    • Avatar Megan Parker ★★★★★ a month ago
      I approached Cowan Investigations from out of state with a delicate situation that needed to be handled in NJ and Liz made me feel at ease and in good hands immediately! Both Liz and Bob reviewed my case and got back to be the same day … More with a great price and additional suggestions to make sure I was satisfied with the planning they had come up with. It was important to me for all parties involved in my case to feel comfortable and Liz and Bob definitely fit the bill! They took the time to gather all the information needed and completely exceeded my expectations. I originally chose to call Cowan Investigations because of the professional website and Bob's credentials, but it was the personal care and service that cemented their agency for me. Thanks again Liz!!
    • Avatar Tommy Musselman ★★★★★ 3 months ago
      I didn't personally have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cowan but Liz was so incredibly efficient and professional!! Within hrs she had already gotten answers to a question that has tormented me for a long time.
      If you need ANY investigative
      … More work done trust Cowan. This was my 1st time dealing with an investigative service and I was best pleased!! 5 stars all the way! A special thank you to Liz. You're a dear and I will always remember your warmth, sympathy and professionalism. Always.
    • Avatar Anthony S ★★★★★ 8 months ago
      Best of the Best!
      Worked with Bob during his tenure as the former Chief of the Jersey City Police Department. All I can say is that you will be getting what you pay for with this results driven company.
      A leader within the industry with
      … More over 34+ years in law enforcement as well as a proven track record of accomplishments in the field. If I needed a private investigator, Cowan Investigations would be my first choice, hands down.
    • Avatar Rae ★★★★★ 12 months ago
      I would highly recommend Cowan Investigations. From the time you speak to Liz on the phone until the time Bob is finished with the investigation you will always know what is going on, what is taking place, and what they found. You will … More be provided with detailed information and surveillance. Bob is very well trained in this field and will provide you with outstanding work. Both Bob and Liz are very compassionate and caring people and make you feel comfortable through the whole process. At the end of the investigation you’ll know that you have hired the right people for the job.
    • Avatar Jay White ★★★★★ 9 months ago
      As a retired Deputy Police Chief with the Jersey City Police Department I had the privilege of working with Bob Cowan for over 25 years.
      Bob is an honest and ethical professional who shows empathy towards people in unfortunate situations.
      … More
      Bob’s objective analysis and evaluation of an issue enables him to address the true problem at hand.
      His strong analytical abilities coupled with thorough research and attention to detail make him an ideal private investigator.
      I know his clients will receive a comprehensive detailed report that will stand up in any hearing or court of law.
      Bob is a high caliber dedicated professional who will give it his all to address the issues at hand and achieve results.
    • A Google User ★★★★★ 10 months ago
      As a retired Deputy Police Chief with the Jersey City Police Department I had the privilege of working with Bob Cowan for over 25 years.
      Bob is an honest and ethical professional who shows empathy towards people in unfortunate situations.
      … More
      Bob’s objective analysis and evaluation of an issue enables him to address the true problem at hand.
      His strong analytical abilities coupled with thorough research and attention to detail make him an ideal private investigator.
      I know his clients will receive a comprehensive detailed report that will stand up in any hearing or court of law.
      Bob is a high caliber dedicated professional who will give it his all to address the issues at hand and achieve results.
    • Avatar Sarah V ★★★★★ a year ago
      I have been married for over 25 years, 2 years ago things just started not feeling right, I started having suspicions that my husband was cheating. I felt trapped, I was embarrassed to talk about it with anyone. I put up with feeling … More this way for two years.
      I began researching private investigators because I was fed up with being lied to and deceived, talked to like I was crazy. I called a few investigators but I did not feel comfortable, I felt like I was talking to used car salesmen. Just before I was going to give up I called Cowan Investigations. From the minute I began speaking to Liz Cowan I began to feel comfortable, she was very genuine, caring and knowledgeable on how to proceed. Liz set up a call with Bob who I immediately could tell was very experienced and knew how to proceed.
      Over a 4 day period Bob and Joe uncovered the evidence I needed to confront the lies and other deceptions I was subjected to, which let me make the decisions I needed to make for myself. Above all I was able to regain my self respect by getting the proof I needed.
      From time Liz answered the phone until Bob and Joe finished the investigation, I was overwhelmed by the professionalism and caring they displayed towards me and the investigation.
      Thanks again Liz, Bob and Joe, you’re the best
    • Avatar Fidel Hernandez ★★★★★ a year ago
      If there was a way to give this Gentleman ten stars, I would. Don't be mistaken by the use of the word "gentleman" he is a hound and he zeros in on the minutia of the investigation. He is a real detective with a extensive … More background in law enforcement.
      I thought that I had a really good understanding of my case and then I hired Bob Cowan. He exposed so many things that were hidden in plain sight that it blew my mind and consequently gave me much needed peace of mind.
      From the time he took my case, he kept in constant contact with me. All throughout, he explained things in way that I could understand. He was reassuring, professional and the best guy for the job!
      I am in the unenviable position of knowing what I am saying. It can and is, at times, overwhelming when you have to hire a private investigator. This usually arises from a traumatic experience and the reason why you should surround yourself with someone who knows what this experience fells like.
      I trust Bob Cowan and hope he continues to help others, like he helped me. I am grateful to have been referred to him! Thank you, Sir.
      And yes, I would be remiss if I didn't thank his wife Liz. She took my initial phone call and she knew I needed his help. She was warm and kind. Just what you need when you are faced with these situations...Thank you, Liz.
    • Avatar Susie K ★★★★★ a year ago
      I recently had the need to use a private investigator. After looking at several options, I decided to call Cowan Investigations. The decision to call them turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I really like the fact that … More Mr. Cowan has a law enforcement background and is a former Chief of Police for Jersey City. After my first conversation with Liz Cowan I knew I had called the right people. She made me feel very comfortable when I answered all the questions she needed to get the facts regarding a very complicated situation. Liz is very thorough, caring, and very professional and usually available when I had questions. Liz and Bob make you, their priority. I NEVER had to worry if Mr. Cowan would be working on my case at the time I was promised. He was always at the location, on time, very descrete and went way above and beyond my expectations. I was informed of the progress on a daily basis and over a period of 4-5 days, had enough evidence to prove my case. The reports are very professionally written with dates and time stamped. It says a lot when my lawyer called Bob Cowan and complimented him on the great report he gave to my lawyer, to take to court. I feel the evidence gathered by Cowan Investigations and presented to the judge, by my lawyer, made a huge difference in the judge's decision. I met Mr. Cowan and shook his hand after I won the case. I highly recommend Cowan Investigations and will definitely use them again if needed. Thank you for all your hard work, you are the best!

    Cowan Investigations
    Based on 3 reviews
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    Hector Vargas
    Hector Vargas
    7 hours ago
    amazing job being done for the community.
    Bill Schaff
    Bill Schaff
    10 hours ago
    We cannot thank Bob and Liz enough for helping us with a matter that was probably outside the realm of their normal practice. They were instrumental in assisting us in reaching out to an unscrupulous used car salesman. The individual wouldn't return our calls and obviously, did not wish to be found.Due to their tireless efforts and many phone calls, we were finally put in touch with him. With their help, the situation was fully resolved! They handled the situation with the utmost care and professionalism. We strongly recommend Cowan Investigations as they are very good at what they do!
    Justin Delaney
    Justin Delaney
    March 18, 2018 ·
    Cowan Investigations
    Based on 1 Reviews
    Fidel H.
    Fidel H.
    2019-11-28 07:20:51
    On this thanksgiving day, I can say that I am very grateful for the peace of mind this detailed investigator gave me. Not only did he provide me with the...