Editor’s Note: In this Chapter the word "Sheriff" is changed to "Chief of Police" and the words "Sheriff’s Office" and "Sheriff’s Department" are changed to "Police Department" pursuant to the St. Charles County Charter Article IV, Sections 4.250 and 4.1300, as amended in 2012 and effective 1-1-2015, and St. Charles County Ord. No. 15-012, Section 2, adopted 1-26-2015.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §1, 1-8-2001]
The following words, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Section:
- DETECTIVE AGENCY
- Any person engaged in the detective business, for hire, who employs one (1) or more persons as employees, assistants, clerks, bookkeepers or operatives in his business; provided, that persons engaged in such business, whose employees, other than office employees, are in full uniform, shall not be classed as a detective agency, but shall be regulated by the requirements of St. Charles County Code Sections 605.010—605.180 concerning Private Watchmen and Security Guards.
- DETECTIVE BUSINESS
- The business of making, for hire, an investigation for the purpose of obtaining information with reference to any of the following matters: Crimes against any commonwealth or wrongs done or threatened; the habits, conduct, movements, associates, transactions, reputation or character of persons; the credibility of witnesses or other persons; the location or recovery of lost or stolen property; securing evidence to be used before authorized investigating committees, boards of award or arbitration, or in the trial of civil or criminal cases; the causes, origin or responsibility for fires or accidents, or injury to real or personal property; or strikes and labor difficulties. The definition shall not include the service of process, but shall include persons who offer their services in return for compensation for the personal protection of individuals, executives or public persons.
- ENGAGE IN THE BUSINESS OF PRIVATE DETECTIVE
- Any person who hires himself out to conduct the business of a private detective and who, in so holding himself out, identifies himself as doing business in the unincorporated area of St. Charles County. That identification may be by address, telephone or fax.
- ESTABLISH, CONDUCT, MAINTAIN OR OPERATE A PRIVATE DETECTIVE AGENCY IN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF ST. CHARLES COUNTY
- To have an office in the unincorporated area of St. Charles County or a telephone or fax, place of business identified to the public as a "St. Charles" telephone number, but not identified as located in an incorporated area within St. Charles County.
- PRIVATE DETECTIVE
- A person engaged in the detective business for hire, who does not employ or use any employees, assistants, clerks, bookkeepers or operatives. The term shall not include the service of process or persons in full uniform regulated by St. Charles County Code Sections 605.010—605.180 concerning Private Watchmen and Security Guards.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §2, 1-8-2001]
No person shall engage in the business of private detective in the unincorporated area of St. Charles County, nor shall any detective agency be established, conducted, maintained or operated in the unincorporated area of St. Charles County, without having first obtained a license to do so as provided in this Chapter. The Chief of Police may establish a fee for the cost of such license so long as the fee does not exceed the cost of issuance.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §3, 1-8-2001; Ord. No. 13-001 §5, 1-3-2013; Ord. No. 13-050 §5, 6-28-2013]
Any person intending to establish or conduct the business of a private detective or a detective agency in the unincorporated area of St. Charles County shall file a written application for a license which shall contain the following:
If the applicant is a person, the application shall be signed and verified by the person, and if the applicant is a firm or partnership, the application shall be signed and verified by each individual composing or intending to compose the firm or partnership. The application shall state the full name, age, residence, present and previous occupations, covering a period of five (5) years prior to the application, of each person or individual so signing the same and shall show that he is a citizen of the United States. The application shall also give the location of the office in the unincorporated area of the County, and if there is more than one (1) office, the location of each of same and facts sufficient to show the good character, competency and integrity of the person so signing the application. The application shall be approved as to each person so signing by not less than five (5) citizens, each of whom shall certify that he has personally known the applicant for a period of at least five (5) years prior to the filing of the application, that he has read the application and believes each of the statements made therein to be true, and that the person is honest, of good character, competent and not related or connected to the person so certifying by blood or marriage. The certificate of approval shall be signed by each of the citizens and duly verified before an officer authorized to administer oaths.
If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall be signed and verified by the president, secretary and treasurer thereof and shall specify the name of the corporation, the date and place of its incorporation, the location of its principal place of business in the County, and shall be accompanied by a copy of its certificate of incorporation. Each and every requirement of Subsection (1), as to a person or the individual members of a firm or partnership, shall apply to the president, secretary and treasurer of the corporation, and each of the officers, his successor or successors shall, prior to the entering upon the discharge of his duties, sign and verify a like statement, approved in like manner, as is by Subsection (1), prescribed in the case of a person or individual member of a firm or partnership. In the event of the death, resignation or removal of any officer, due notice of that fact shall forthwith be given in writing to the Chief of Police.
Upon the filing of the application with the Chief of Police, he shall investigate the application and the matters and things stated and within fifteen (15) working days after the receipt thereof by him, shall render a decision on the application.
Every applicant shall provide on the application the information that the applicant, if he be a person, has acquired appropriate errors and omissions insurance in the amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00), or in the case of a firm, company, partnership or corporation, errors and omissions insurance in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00).
An applicant who is currently employed by a governmental law enforcement agency as a Commissioned Police Officer of the State of Missouri or employed by a fire district or department within the State of Missouri may be licensed for secondary employment as a private detective during the term of his employment with such law enforcement agency or fire department upon presentation of evidence of his current employment and the proper proof of insurance as set out above. Each officer or fireman must have secondary employment approval by his employing department to the extent required by that department's policies and procedures.
During the one (1) year term of the license, all licenses granted under this provision cease to be valid simultaneously with termination of commissioned status for Law Enforcement Officers or with termination of employment for fireman.
Responsibilities and obligations when performing in the licensed status shall be those applicable to the licensed function being performed, except that nothing in this provision shall diminish or enlarge upon the duties and responsibilities of Peace Officers as provided for by applicable law or the applicable department's regulations.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §4, 1-8-2001]
If it appears from an examination of the application and the report and recommendation of the Chief of Police that the applicant is of approved competency and integrity, and has not had his license as a private detective revoked or limited in another jurisdiction, the Chief of Police shall issue and deliver to the applicant a license to engage in the detective business in the County. The license certificate shall be in a form to be prescribed by the Chief of Police and shall specify the full name of the applicant, the location of the place of business of the applicant, the date on which it is issued, and the date on which it will expire.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §5, 1-8-2001]
All licenses shall expire on the thirtieth (30th) day of April following the date of issue. The fee for each license issued shall be collected in full at the time of the issuance and delivery thereof.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §6, 1-8-2001]
When a license shall have been granted to any person to engage in the business of private detective, or to establish, maintain or conduct a private detective agency as provided in this Chapter, any license shall be renewed after its expiration merely on the application of the licensee, except in the case of a licensee whose license shall have been revoked, the license may not be renewed.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §7, 1-8-2001]
Licenses may be issued at any time during the license year upon compliance with all the provisions of this Chapter and the payment of the full fees herein prescribed. No license granted under this Chapter shall be transferable.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §8, 1-8-2001]
The license provided for by this Chapter shall be revoked by the Chief of Police upon hearing duly had pursuant to the requirements herein, for any of the following reasons:
If it shall appear that the licensee has knowingly violated any of the provisions of this Chapter;
If it shall appear that the licensee has knowingly instructed any employee to violate any of the provisions of this Chapter;
If it shall appear that the licensee has knowingly made a false report in respect to any of the matters in which the applicant may be employed;
If it shall appear that the licensee has divulged any information which he acquired from or for his client to any person other than his client, except when authorized by his client to divulge the information, or as he may be required to do by law;
If it shall appear that the licensee has knowingly and willfully sworn falsely in any judicial proceeding, or suborned perjury therein;
If it shall appear that the licensee has knowingly permitted any employee to make a false report or has knowingly permitted any employee to divulge any information acquired from or for his client;
If it shall appear that the licensee has accepted money or gratuities from any person whose affairs he may have been employed by any other person to investigate;
If it shall appear that the licensee has, or knowingly permitted any employee to make a false statement to induce any person, business, firm, corporation or other entity to hire the licensee.
In the event that a hearing shall establish that any co-partner or any person, member of a firm or any officer of a corporation holding a license hereunder has done any of the things set forth in the foregoing Subsections (A)(1—8), then the Chief of Police shall revoke the license of the person, partnership, firm or corporation.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §9, 1-8-2001]
The Chief of Police shall appoint a hearing officer who shall abide by the following procedural rules while taking evidence at hearings:
Introduction of evidence. The hearing officer shall abide by the following in the introduction of evidence:
Any interested person may introduce evidence so long as it complies with these rules and the fundamental rules of evidence.
Oral evidence shall only be taken in compliance with Section 120.100 of the Ordinances of St. Charles County.
All proceedings shall be suitably recorded and preserved. A copy of the transcript of such proceeding shall be made available to any interested person upon the payment of a fee which shall in no case exceed the reasonable cost of preparation and supply.
Records and documents may be introduced so as to be a part of the record, but the records and documents may be considered as a part of the record by reference thereto when so offered.
The hearing officer shall take official notice of the St. Charles County Charter and ordinances and all matters of which the courts take judicial notice. The hearing officer may also take official notice of technical or scientific facts, not judicially cognizable, within his competence, if he notifies the parties, either before the hearing or during the hearing of the facts of which he proposes to take such notice and give the parties reasonable opportunity to contest such facts or otherwise show that it would not be proper for the hearing officer to take such notice of them.
Copies of writings, documents and records shall be admissible without proof that the originals thereof cannot be produced, if it shall appear by testimony or affidavit or certification by the custodian of the writings, documents or records that the copy offered is a true copy of the original.
Any writing or record, whether in the form of an entry in a book or otherwise, made as a memorandum or record of an act, transaction, occurrence or event shall be admissible as evidence of the act, transaction, occurrence or event, if it shall appear that it was made in the regular course of any business, and that it was the regular course of such business to make such memorandum or record at the time of such act, transaction, occurrence or event or within a reasonable time thereafter. All other circumstances of the making of such writing or record, including lack of personal knowledge by the entrant or maker, may be shown to affect the weight of such evidence, but such showing shall not affect its admissibility. The term "business" shall include business, profession, occupation and calling of every kind.
The results of statistical examinations or studies, or of audits, compilation of figures, or surveys, including interviews with many persons or examination of many records, or of long or complicated accounts, or of a large number of figures, or involving the ascertainment of many related facts shall be admissible as evidence of such results, if it shall appear that such examination, study, audit, compilation of figures, or survey was made by or under the supervision of a witness, who is present at the hearing, who testifies to the accuracy of such results, and who is subject to cross-examination by the Board or Commission, and if it shall further appear by evidence adduced that the witness making or under whose supervision such examination, study, audit, compilation of figures, or survey was made was basically qualified to make it. All the circumstances relating to the making of such an examination, study, audit, compilation of figures or survey, including the nature and extent of the qualifications of the maker, may be shown to affect the weight of such evidence, but such showing shall not affect its admissibility.
Any party desiring to introduce an affidavit in evidence at a hearing must file the affidavit with the hearing officer not later than seven (7) days prior to the hearing.
Witnesses. The hearing officer may accept the testimony of witnesses provided that each witness takes the following oath:
"I do solemnly declare and affirm that I will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in these proceedings under the pains and penalties of perjury."
Duties and powers of the hearing officer. The following shall be the general duties and powers of the hearing officer.
The hearing officer may adopt rules of procedure consistent with the provisions of any departmentally adopted rules or any Federal and State law and the St. Charles County Charter and ordinances at the outset of the hearing.
The rules adopted by the hearing officer must be deemed necessary by him to conduct the hearing and must be stated in the record.
In the event that the Chief of Police has not adopted Rules of Procedure or where the hearing officer's own Rules of Procedure are lacking, the hearing officer shall follow Robert's Rules of Order.
Each hearing officer shall keep a record of all proceedings.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §10, 1-8-2001]
Immediately upon the receipt of a license issued by the Chief of Police pursuant to this Chapter, the licensee named therein shall cause the license certificate to be posted up and at all times displayed in the conspicuous position in his place of business, so that all persons visiting the place may readily see the same. In case of revocation, the license certificate shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police within five (5) days after notice in writing to the holder has been given that the license has been revoked.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §11, 1-8-2001]
If it shall be established to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed by him, that an unexpired license certificate issued in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter has been lost or destroyed, without fault on the part of the holder, the Chief of Police shall issue a duplicate license certificate for the unexpired portion of the period of the original license.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §12, 1-8-2001]
If the holder of an unexpired license issued pursuant to this Chapter shall remove his office, he shall, within twenty-four (24) hours immediately following the removal, give written notice of removal to the Chief of Police, which notice shall describe the premises to which the removal is made and the date on which it was made, and he shall send his license certificate to the Chief of Police, who shall write or stamp, over his signature, a statement to the effect that the holder thereof, on the date stated in the written notice, removed his office from the place originally described in the license certificate to the place described in the written notice. The license certificate with the endorsement thereon shall be returned to the licensee named therein.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §13, 1-8-2001]
Nothing in this Chapter shall apply to any Peace Officer belonging to the Police force of the State, or of any County, City, Town, Village or other municipal corporation thereof, appointed or elected by due authority of law, nor to any person in the employ of any Police Force or Police Department of the State or of any County, City, Town, Village or other municipal corporation thereof, while engaged in the performance of his official duties, nor to any person in the employ of any Fire Marshal, or Fire Department of the State or of any County, City, Town, Village or other municipal corporation thereof, while engaged in the performance of his official duties, nor to any State's Attorney or any person in the employ of any State's Attorney while engaged in the performance of his official duties.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §14, 1-8-2001]
The holder of an unexpired license for a detective agency issued pursuant to this Chapter may employ, to assist him in his work and in the conduct of his business, as many persons as he may deem necessary and shall at all times during such employment be accountable for the good conduct in the business of each and every person so employed. Any person so in the employ of the holder of a license for a detective agency need not be the holder of a license certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §15, 1-8-2001]
Private detectives or detective agencies with a place of business not located in unincorporated St. Charles County as well as those so licensed herein shall notify the Police Department of their presence in St. Charles County whenever they are engaging in surveillance or similar activity.
Notice may be made by written, personal or telephonic means.
If notice is made in writing, the notice shall be directed to the Chief of Police at 101 Sheriff Dierker Court, O'Fallon, Missouri, 63366.
If notice is made in person, it shall be made to the Watch Commander in the Patrol Division, Bureau of Field Operations.
Telephonic notice shall be made to the Watch Commander or the Captain of the Bureau of Field Operations directly or through the Police Department dispatchers in the Department of Emergency Communications who will provide the information to the Watch Commander.
[Ord. No. 15-083 §4, 9-8-2015]
Failure to provide notice shall result in a warning on the first (1st) offense and a fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per offense thereafter.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §16, 1-8-2001]
No person who is or has been an employee of a holder of a license for a detective agency granted under the terms of this Chapter shall divulge to anyone other than his employer, except as he may be required to by law, any information acquired by him during employment in respect to any of the work to which he shall have been assigned by the employer, or any information obtained by him in the employer's service. No person who is an employee of a holder of such a license shall make any false reports or account to the employer.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §17, 1-8-2001]
It shall be unlawful for any person to act as or hold himself out as a private detective for hire within the County, or for any person to solicit, engage in or to hold out himself as being engaged in the business of furnishing or supplying of private detectives within the County, unless the person is licensed under this Chapter or is regularly employed by a duly licensed private detective; provided however, that this Chapter shall not apply to Peace Officers or fire investigators employed by a Federal, State, County or local political subdivision while engaged in their official duties or to secondary employment by such persons as private Policemen or watchmen, or other persons engaged only in the business of doing private Police duty and not in the detective business. Nothing in this Chapter shall negate the licensing requirements set forth in St. Charles County Ordinance Sections 605.010—605.180 concerning Private Watchmen and Security Guards.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §18, 1-8-2001]
Violation of the provisions of this Chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each offense, and each day such violation exists shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Ord. No. 01-002 §19, 1-8-2001]
Enforcement of the criminal penalties Section shall be the responsibility of the County Counselor's office.