Private Eye Visits HHS


Jessica Terrizzi, Contributor

The Criminal Justice classes went on an in-school field trip on November 22, 2013, to listen to Private Investigator Brian Creter speak about his profession.

Creter is a Senior Investigator in the Threat Assessment and Management Division of Gavin De Becker and Associates, a private security firm in Los Angeles, California, near Hollywood. His responsibility as a private investigator is to provide security and protection to public figures. Although he was not allowed to disclose the identities of his clients due to a 50-year confidentiality agreement, he was able to reveal that he has 40 clients and 50 percent of them are on Forbes’ list of the “most influential people.” He also shared that 8 out of the 10 people on the list of the most-threatened people are among his clients.

Creter explained that a private investigator/bodyguard must have more intellect than physical strength. The job relies on figuring out how to get out of a situation before it even happens. For this reason, he must plan ahead. This might include going beforehand to a site where his client is going to be working in order to take note of all the exits and to create an escape route, or it could consist of creating a distraction for the paparazzi so they do not harass the client.

Becoming a private investigator for Gavin De Becker & Associates is not easy, but Creter has a strong background that prepared him for the job. According to the Gavin De Becker and Associates website, Creter graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. He also received his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a split concentration between Law Enforcement Intelligence/Crime Analysis and Federal Criminal Justice from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. His thesis was on Cybercrime. Prior to joining Gavin de Becker & Associates, Brian worked with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, where he investigated consumer issues.

In addition to formal training, Creter told the students that the job requires honesty and medical training. The investigators/bodyguards need to be honest because they are going to be in the houses of billionaires where they will be tempted to steal from the client. The medical training is implemented in case a client is injured and the bodyguard needs to take immediate action.

As a private investigator/bodyguard, Creter says he gets to do a lot of exciting things. For example, on New Years Eve, he protects one of his clients in Times Square. Also, he was given the opportunity to escort one of his clients to an event at the White House. Some of his time is spent investigating stalkers, extortionists, and threats to his clients. He stated that the most common issue he deals with is stalking (which, in his field is called “pursing”). Oftentimes, Creter noted, the stalkers who are delusional and believe they have a romantic relationship with a celebrity are more dangerous than those who threaten to harm them. Creter stated, “My favorite part of the job is definitely knowing that every day isn’t going to be the same.”

To end his presentation, Creter referred to the book The Gift of Fear, written by Gavin De Becker himself. This book deals with intuition and how we should always follow our gut feelings. He encouraged the students to always listen to their intuition because it is never wrong. He stated, “If you have a bad feeling about something, don’t do it.”