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Debra Allen, Private Investigator
I started Allen Investigations in 2004, but I have always been in the business of helping people in some capacity, starting with my career as a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy, where I worked as a specialized detective in the Crimes Against Children Division and the Homicide Division. I retired from the Sheriff’s Department and became a Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Senior Investigator where my investigative skills were further honed. After retiring from the District Attorney’s office, I knew I couldn’t let my 25 years of investigative experience just sit and collect dust. I knew I wanted to continue helping people and I knew my experience would be best utilized in the private sector in private investigations.
I am now a licensed private investigator in both Arizona and California and I specialize in post adoption searches and reunions. My investigation services range from finding birth parents for people who were placed for adoption up to complex homicide investigations. When it comes to adoption services, I have helped over 3000 thousand people with successful reunions and I know I can get you answers. So many people are using DNA kits nowadays and often don’t know where to turn, what the information means or what to do with that information. I can help answer all of those questions.
I am also an Arizona licensed bail bond agent, a legal document preparer a published author, guest lecturer and the business owner of P.I. Cruises, where you learn and earn continuing education units at sea, Allen Bail Bonds and Allen Traffic Survival School. I am a member in good standing with many local, state and federal organizations in order stay in touch with current professional trends, the latest advances in investigative tools and for continuing education in order to best serve my clients.
After losing both parents in 2011, I developed a love for family history and genealogy. I have always known my family, but I just wanted to learn more, and I submitted my DNA around March of 2017. My primary intent was to determine my ethnicity. I had no idea how my life was about to change in such a positive way. Shortly after my DNA results returned, I received an email from this lovely lady telling me we were related.
At that point, I had no desire to search out “new” family members, so I was very reluctant and resistant to believe I had a “brand new” family. However, DNA doesn’t lie and the information that I had always told about my “paternal grandfather” (even though I never met him), was NOT correct! To see photographs and learn about my paternal grandfather and meet my father’s siblings and their family has brought to my family and me an immense amount of joy of a new sense of family.
So, with that being said, my love for learning more about my own family (especially my dad’s paternal side), connecting people with their biological families, and helping research adoption cases evolved. While my background is in education, I have recently accepted a part-time position in education at the college level so I can spend more time with my new passion for locating people with unknown parentage and post-adoption investigations. Nothing thrills me more than to tell our client, “I’ve found your family.”
I grew up in Colorado and was inspired by a few family members to join the law enforcement profession. I moved to Arizona and started my law enforcement career there in 1997. I moved up the ladder reaching the rank of Sergeant. The area I worked in was very rural and often times, police were first on scene where medical help was needed, so I became a certified EMT in order to help injured residents as I was often the first one to arrive. I served as the medic on my department’s SWAT team.
Being involved in law enforcement provided me with a lot of great opportunities to serve the public in a variety of ways and I discovered I didn’t want to stop helping people or being involved in the community after my shift was over, so I joined the Mohave Valley Chamber of Commerce. I soon became a community leader on the board of directors and eventually became president of the board of directors in 2007. I earned a legal management degree in 1993, a liberal arts and sciences degree in 2005 and my criminal justice degree in 2008.
My law enforcement career was cut short when I was involved in a head-on collision while on duty. I suffered severe injuries which prevented my return to duty and I had to medically retire. After my accident, I tried doing something else for a few years and found it wasn’t filling my need to serve my community and do what I love. I am Debra’s administrative assistant and am learning the bail bond system and the administrative duties required in a very busy private investigation and bail bond office.
After successfully using DNA clues to find and reunite with my biological father, I became passionate about helping others with similar stories. I gained my experience as a search angel with Search Squad and with DNA Detectives. This led to the start of my career as a professional genetic genealogist researcher. I decided to team up with Debra and Allen Investigations because of her 35 years of experience and outstanding reputation in post adoption investigations. I enjoy using DNA with genealogy to solve all types of unknown parentage cases but those involving paternal searches have a special meaning for me. I love when I can bring closure to someone who has never known their beginnings.
Prior to joining Allen Investigations, I was self-employed for 20 years as a virtual administrative assistant and have a vast background in office administration. When I am not working, I am spending time with my husband and two teenage boys.
I started my law enforcement career in 1989 with a large Southern California Sheriff’s Department as a Public Information Clerk. After several promotions, I managed the Records Division of the department’s largest contract station, where I supervised 19 employees. It is also where my social media skills were honed as I ran the station’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Within the first 6 months of managing their social media pages, their page followers grew to an increase of over 250% on Facebook alone. It didn’t take long for the other social media platforms to follow with almost the same increase in followers. From there, I transferred to the Public Affairs Division where I maintained the department’s website and assisted with the department’s social media platforms.
I am a certified mediator and conflict resolution specialist and currently serve as a board member on my department’s EEOC (Employee Equal Opportunity Committee). I have experience as an independent consultant, completing assessments of records divisions for municipal police departments.
I have known Debra for almost 30 years, both professionally and personally. She has the strongest work ethic of anyone I’ve ever met. She is the most tenacious person I know and when it comes to finding answers for her clients, she doesn’t take no for an answer. It is for these reasons (and many more) that I wanted to work with her again professionally, managing her social media pages and maintaining her website.
I am a certified officer of the superior court with 10 years of experience. I serve most court documents to include summons/complaints, divorce and family documents, non-criminal subpoenas, small claims documents and evictions and unlawful detainers. I also prepare discovery work and handle court filings. I am dependable, expeditious and diligent which is why I chose to work with Debra as she possesses the same qualities.