COVER STORY


A Man Who Loves Challenges


Daytona
Beach P.I.
Jake Ross
always
gives 
110% in a
profession
that 
provides
the 
Challenges 
he seeks


     You've got to admit, Jake Ross has the perfect name for a private eye: two one-syllable words with a tough-sounding first name.
     But this is one private investigator who refuses to rely on a name or a gimmick to obtain cases, he would rather use his experience and skills to prove himself on every case. 
     "I was an auto mechanic, but it was not a challenge for me," Ross recalled of his life in the 1960's. "I always wanted to be a law enforcement officer. I fell in love with it."
     He obtained an associate degree in law enforcement from Daytona Beach College and became a police officer in DeLand, Florida.  Typical of Ross, just being a police officer was not good enough:  he obtained three commendations and was named officer of the month eight times in two years between 1969 - 1971.
     People took notice. He was recruited by the state of Florida and became the first black state attorney's investigator in Florida, a position he held until opening his own private investigator office in 1975.
     "I started out going door-to-door," Ross says. "It was hard at first, but I was determined to be successful.  I wanted people to be able to select a private investigator the same way they did a doctor or attorney and expect the same type of ethical service."
     Many of his earlier cases were missing persons and accident reconstruction, with industrial undercover, personal injury cases and other kinds of work added along the way to expanding his full-service agency. Growth in Florida over the years meant a growth in workers' compensation cases and missing persons. "Daytona Beach is a tourist town, and people love to come here. A lot of parents call because there are a lot of runaways."
     
Ross admits to preferring missing persons and personal injury cases. (His first person account of his most memorable missing  persons case follows this profile. "There's nothing like finding someone, and I remember that case as clear as if it was yesterday: the grandmother was so hurt, the tears in her eyes, the picture of those beautiful kids.")
     "On one recent personal injury case, I was retained to do a surveillance on a man who was reportedly 100%  disabled. I kept checking his house but he was not at home. So one day I arrived at 5:30 in the morning. He left at 5:45 a.m. I followed him and learned that he drove to Orlando every day and did construction work," Ross said. 

A disciplined professional
     Ross exudes professionalism, and it's no accident.
      In addition to his associate degree, he has a bachelor of arts in sociology and criminal justice from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, and a Masters in Education from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale.
     He is a member of the World Association of Detectives (WAD), the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI), the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Society for Industrial Security and the International Foundation for Protection Officers.
     "Being an investigator is something I always enjoy, and being in business for yourself, you work harder," the 48-year old Ross says.  His personal Schedule for success includes getting up every day about 4 a.m., walking 4 or 5 miles on a nearby stretch of beach, home to lift weights ("I feel good!"), then in the office by 8a.m. where he usually remains until 6 p.m.
     Ross is asked if he wants to comment 
 
P.I. Magazine  Spring, 1994 next page
Click here for "The Kidnapped Grandchildren" by Jake Ross
 


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