For Dave Durden, timing was everything. From military service to entrepreneurship, he’d built an impressive skillset through training and education. However, requests from clients and a tip from his wife led him to our Professional Investigator Certificate program. Now, Dave continues to serve his community with an enhanced professional repertoire.
Dave retired from the Army after serving nearly 30 years. He said, “It never crossed my mind at the time that I would make a career out of the military. I was selected for the Green to Gold Program while I was in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, returned to UGA to complete my degree, and was commissioned through the UGA ROTC department.”
Decades of training coupled with a desire to give back to the public resulted in launching Protective Reach, LLC, with his wife, Raquel (also a military retiree). Their company offers a variety of classes and customized training in areas of personal security and threat assessment and mitigation.
“We live in a world that requires [us] to be better prepared and to better prepare those around us to respond to or deal with potentially dangerous situations,” Dave said. “Helping others develop a better sense of situational awareness and providing them with some tools to make them a little ‘harder target’ is very rewarding.”
The demand for protective services was also coupled with requests for investigative services, the latter of which Dave did not have formal training. Coincidentally, Raquel received a flyer about the Professional Investigator Certificate and shared it with him.
“That kind of happened at the same time and dovetailed together. I started looking into it and, frankly, I had the same reference as most people about private investigation – it’s what you see on TV,” he said. “I was pleasantly surprised to find out when I started looking into it that is a very much professionalized industry. There are educational requirements, continuing education, training and so forth.”
Using his VA Education Benefits, Dave enrolled in 2016. He said the information learned in the course allowed him and his wife expand their services.
“A client who may have investigative requirements may also request additional training via our other course,” he said. “In some cases, if a case is related to the physical security negligence or risk assessment, we can not only leverage our security background but can now use the investigative skills learned in the KSU course.”
Dave encourages others to explore this course, regardless of professional experience. “Most people with an interest will find a topic of concentration. Someone could focus on computer forensics, insurance fraud, commercial or retail investigations, missing persons, or surveillance. An individual can really find their on lane in the road and pursue it. This course is a fantastic first step in getting into that career field having a better understanding of all the aspects of what is available out there.”