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Bail Bonds Enforcement Agents: Media Portrayal and The Perfect World

  • March 10, 2017
  • by Jeff Yorke

Editor's note: This article was written by an industry professional and guest contributor. The views and opinions in this article are of the author and do not reflect the views of AboutBail. If you are interested in becoming a guest contributor, send an email to [email protected]


bail-bonds-enforcement-agents-media-portrayal-and-the-perfect-worldI’ve seen the movie Domino. I’ve watched Dog the Bounty Hunter on TV. I’ve heard the misconceptions from friends and family. It seems to me that a lot of people are confused as to what a fugitive recovery agent actually does, what they are allowed to do, and, most importantly, what they aren’t allowed to do. So I wanted to set the record straight, or at least a little straighter than it already was, and chalk up the truth about fugitive recovery/bail enforcement.

The Importance of a Good Mind

Plenty of buddies have come up to me and asked how to get into the bail enforcement business. I tell them go to school for it and they scoff at me incredulously. Most of these guys are gym buddies or guys that I play football and baseball in the park with, guys that I know but don’t really know all that well, and most of them are pretty stacked. One of these guys is a little over six-feet-tall, and I’ve seen him put up 315lbs on the bench. He’s ripped. He’s bulky. The guy is a monster. He was also one of these guys that gives sort of a condescending laugh when I tell them that they need to take classes, as if they are back in high school being forced to stimulate their minds when all they want to do is go outside and run around.

They Come Quietly

I tell them that fugitive recovery is not like it is portrayed in the movies or in reality TV. While it is a relatively dangerous job, they don’t understand that you’re not talking on some two-way radio with somebody who’s calling the shots and telling you where to go. You’re not generally banging doors down and apprehending criminals who are trying to flee. A lot of the time, I find the guy or gal and they simply say “You got me,” and put their hands behind their backs to be cuffed. The hardest part is finding them.

A Lot of Detective Work

A bail enforcement agent is more a detective than he is an enforcer. We’re sleuths. Hunters. Once you actually find the skip, figure out where they frequent and where they work, the most difficult and taxing part is over. We pour over credit card statements, contact and question friends, family members, drug dealers—anybody that we think can get us a lead—and we do stakeouts. You’d think from the movies that stakeouts would be fun, but I dread them. I hate sitting around for three or four hours, just watching a place. You can’t just recline back, snooze, and wait for something huge to happen, because if you’re doing that you’ll miss everything. You have to be alert. The mind, and its powers of observation, are bail enforcement agents’ best friends.

Things CAN Get Heated

There are times when things get sticky, but it is very rare. Fugitive recovery agents get guns pointed in their faces, they sometimes have to deal with wily boyfriends if the skip is a woman, and we have to refrain from injuring the skip or the jails won’t take ‘em. But what’s funny is that I can count on both hands all the times that a recovery has lead to violence—like I said before, most of the time skips are brought in just by talking to them.

Just Trying to Make a Living

The problem is that everybody wants to see “action”. I tell ‘em: you want to see action? Go join the military. Become a cop. What fugitive recovery agents actually do is not what you think it is. We are not “Dog the Bounty Hunters”. We’re not soldiers or tactical assault personnel. We’re just guys and gals that are trying to make a living.

In a perfect world, the TV shows and the movies wouldn’t sensationalize our jobs, making people think that 95% of the time we’re running around shooting things up and the other 5% of the time we do paperwork. In a perfect world, people would realize that it’s the other way around; 95% mental work and 5% action, if that. But I guess in a perfect world, people wouldn’t skip out on bail either, and I wouldn’t have a job.


About the Author:

Jeff Yorke is a bail recovery agent and freelance writer. His favorite topics to write on involve all facets of law enforcement, including bail bonds. When he's not working, Jeff enjoys playing pickup football with his friends and maxing out at the gym. This article was written on behalf of Bail Bonds Direct.


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