It’s been said that Jason Munday is driving a red Ferrari to local crime scenes and leading the glamorous life of a private investigator – well, not quite. While he greatly enjoys his job, the former law enforcement officer says that the life of a private investigator isn’t quite as flashy as television shows would lead the viewer to believe.
“We do a lot of stuff that’s pretty low-key,” he said. “Some of it is not at all exciting and a lot of it is kind of boring. We want to blend into the environment and not stick out by driving a red Ferrari. Right now, I’ve got five cases that are state appointed doing criminal defense – three are homicides, one an attempted murder and one for shooting into an occupied dwelling, all in different counties.”
The type of cases that Munday covers varies from state appointed criminal cases like what he’s working on now, to domestic cases – where either the husband or wife is thought to be cheating usually make up the bulk of his case load. He also covers custody cases involving parental rights, fraud cases, serves civil papers for lawyers, conducts background investigations, and serves at executive protection security for high end clients.
A former Lincolnton Police Department lieutenant with more than two decades of experience, Munday comes from a family of law enforcement officers and is the son of a retired Alcoholic Beverage Control agent.
“I ran for sheriff but when I didn’t get that, I got my private investigator’s license and business license and opened up a private investigation, security and training business,” he said. “It was something that I was familiar with, and I wanted to use my experience, education and training that I had in law enforcement. I have relatives who have opened their own businesses and been successful so I thought it would be the next logical step and would be doing something that I really wanted to do.”
It’s not uncommon for former law enforcement officers to get their PI license, Munday said.
“It’s the same thing, just a privatized form of it,” he said. “The skill set that I developed for law enforcement allowed me to transition into this career. I use the same techniques, equipment, and practices, but usually towards a different goal. It’s the same kind of working environment.”
Munday is the lead investigator, but he contracts with other private investigators as needed. He’s licensed to work throughout North Carolina and Florida with plans to get licensed to work in other states. At this time, Spartan Secure Solutions, which opened in late 2018, employs five private investigator associates and nine private security officers.
“We try to be a full service private investigative firm,” he said. “A lot of agencies just want to do certain things and they’ll recommend clients to us for things that they don’t do. For example, there’s one that specializes in trademark and copyright infringement. If someone comes to them wanting somebody for a domestic case and they don’t want to do it, they’ll send them to us.”
The bulk of Munday’s work is done outside of Lincoln County, but he’s been working pro bono with the family of Will McCarter in Lincolnton investigating his as of yet unsolved murder. He has an office in downtown Lincolnton, but he spends most of his time in his car.
“There’s been times that I’ve had to work 36 hours straight in the car,” he said. “It can be tiresome. It’s not super exciting, but not totally boring. Sometimes it requires us to be flexible where we might be expecting to be doing stationary surveillance and then the person leaves, and we have to follow them to Tennessee or wherever. You never know where you’re going to end up, so you have to be prepared for everything.”
Unfortunately, Munday doesn’t always get his man or woman.
“You know when you’ve been made or they’ve gotten away,” he said. “We’re not batting a thousand, but we’re pretty close. Sometimes it’s not a big deal, but sometimes it is. You’ve just got to be flexible and go with it. We must make sure that we’re doing it safely and using common sense. I’m at the point of my life that I don’t press the issue. It’s better to lose surveillance and be able to go home. There’s been some situations where people have been belligerent towards me, but that’s part of the game. Especially when you serve papers. They don’t like that.”