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The steps to becoming a bounty hunter in Kansas are as follows:
|Receive Proper Authorization in Kansas|
|Meet Education and Training Qualifications in Kansas|
|Be Prepared to Work Independently or for a Bondsman in Kansas|
Kansas once had very strict bounty hunter laws but many of them have been repealed by the state legislature and Kansas is now one of only 15 states that allow bounty hunters to operate without a specific license. However, anyone with a felony or Class A misdemeanor conviction on their record is automatically disqualified from being a bounty hunter (often called fugitive recovery agent) in Kansas. In addition, bounty hunters cannot go after a fugitive until they receive authorization to do so on behalf of a licensed bail bonds company.
There’s an abundance of bail bonds companies in Kansas, with 13 of them in Wichita alone, including Affordable Bail Bonds, Second Chance Bail Bonds and Premier Monitoring. Bounty hunters in Kansas generally receive 10 percent of the amount of the bond, payable after the fugitive is apprehended and the bail fee is recouped. Many bounty hunters in Kansas are retired police officers who want to earn extra money.
Step 1. Receive Proper Authorization in Kansas
Fugitive recovery agent jobs require these professionals to gain authorization from a licensed bail bondsman before being allowed to apprehend fugitives (bail jumpers) and transport them to a jail facility. Agents should carry the authorization with them at all times while on the job. Fugitive recovery agents in Kansas are also required to inform local law enforcement authorities of their intention to make an arrest.
Step 2. Meet Education and Training Qualifications in Kansas
Some may think that with a lack of specified requirements, anyone can purchase a pair of handcuffs, get a license to carry a gun and go into the business. In reality, fugitive recovery agents must be knowledgeable about such things as federal/state bounty hunter laws, skip-tracing and surveillance techniques, criminal psychology, etc. An individual with an associates or a bachelors degree in criminal justice has a much greater chance of being given authorization to go after a fugitive. There are at least 30 schools of higher education in Kansas that have criminal justice programs.
In addition, certain personal characteristics are needed to do the job well. They include:
- Physical Strength
- Clear Thinking
- Negotiating Skills
Bounty hunter training courses are also available, like the 12-hour fugitive recovery training offered for a fee by the Kansas Bail Agents Association. The course focuses on bail law and bail ethics. Persons who complete the course receive 12 hours CE credits with the Kansas Insurance Department.
There is some indication that Kansas bounty hunter laws will again become stricter in the near future. The 2012 shooting death of an inexperienced bounty hunter elicited a flood of calls for required training.
Step 3. Be Prepared to Work Independently or for a Bondsman in Kansas
It is recommended that individuals with little or no prior bounty hunting or law enforcement experience begin by signing on as an “in-house” agent with a reputable, licensed bail bonds company. In addition to gained experience, these companies have computer skip-tracing programs and surveillance equipment that independent fugitive recovery agents must purchase on their own.
“Dog the Bounty Hunter” comes to Kansas
On May 7, 2012, the Wichita Eagle newspaper reported that Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife Beth, stars of the popular reality TV show “Dog, the Bounty Hunter,” were in Wichita on their way to Hutchinson, Kansas (nicknamed “Salt City” because of its salt mines). The Chapmans supposedly had agreed to help track down a couple of bail jumpers for Barb’s Bail Bonds. Rena Smith, general manager of Barb’s Bail Bonds, met Dog at a bail bondsman convention in Las Vegas and asked him to come to Kansas. The Kansas case or cases may be featured on a future episode of the TV show.