North Dakota AG addresses distinction between security and investigative services

A private security company operating in North Dakota may review a videotape to detect theft but only a licensed private investigator “may investigate to determine a
person’s conduct”, according to a recent opinion issued by the North Dakota attorney general.

Therefore, it is my opinion that a private security service may not review videotapes after the fact to determine what activity took place because that activity constitutes “investigating,” which requires a private investigative service license. Whether any particular activity is “investigating” rather than providing “security service” is usually a question of fact on which this office will not opine.12 However, since the information on the gaming reports at issue generally does not involve theft or the detection of theft, it is my opinion that the review of videotapes after the fact in order to ascertain sufficient information to complete those gaming reports clearly falls outside providing a “security service” and is an investigative activity which requires a private investigative service license.

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