I was raised in the Bay Area and went to schools there. I had long decided that I wanted to be a police officer because of many “positive” contacts I had with some of them. Some were family friends who encouraged me to take up a career that was less dangerous and paid more.
I decided I would find out for myself. I began with the Menlo Park Police Department and went to the police academy in San Mateo, CA. I worked the minority area which included the East Palo Alto area. During my time there I was shot at once, assaulted on a regular basis while making arrests and had face to face confrontations with armed people many times.
I came over to the valley and went to work with Oakdale Police Department. I worked traffic violators with radar, took routine calls and also had occasions to face armed persons. I was sent to San Jose State University and became a hostage negotiator because of my ability to talk to, gain the trust of and successfully disarm upset and hostile persons.
I went to work for Stanislaus County as a felony welfare fraud investigator. I worked there for nine years, the last four as a supervising criminal investigator with nine great support staff. I had a problem with my heart and had to leave. I became a licensed private investigator and have been doing to for nine years.
I work any and all types of cases and have many good references. I specialize in criminal defense and have many satisfied clients. I am particularly proud of saving an eighteen year old young boy /man with a clean record that shot a gangster that was threatening to kill him because the boy refused to join the gang. The DA offered 25 years to life and 3 strikes. After my investigation showing the police were not doing their job adequately in his neighborhood, he was offered, accepted and received seven years and one strike.
In several of my defense investigations I have uncovered improper and in several cases illegal conduct by police officers. Most police officers are upstanding and honest officers. It is the few bad ones that tarnish the image of the honest and sincere officers. I am saddened by the actions of those few self-serving, deceitful and corrupt officers whose conduct reflects adversely and negatively on those of us who put our lives on the line daily with honor and integrity. As a police officer I knew all of the laws and quoted each one as I was making arrests. I gathered the evidence, prepared truthful reports and gave the case to the district attorney. If I had to go to court, I testified candidly and honestly and was able to sleep that night.
Unfortunately, as a defense private investigator, I have had the displeasure to find that in several of my cases, the officer/s “testified” in order to justify their dishonest and illegal conduct. I have found that working as a defense investigator is more challenging mentally then my tour of duty as a police officer and felony investigator.
Back then, I knew the law, made the arrest and transported them to jail. (Hooked ’em and booked ’em in the vernacular) Now as a defense investigator, I realize that the person I used to put behind bars has a life, family that cares and very well may be innocent.
The challenge starts when listening to the arrestee’s side of the situation. If he/she did commit the offense, then the challenge is to seek out the extenuating, mitigating and explanatory circumstances to provide the arrestee with the best defense possible. Even guilty persons are guaranteed an adequate defense.
That is my job and I enjoy it.
Warren Yates, Private Investigator
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