Becoming a bounty hunter in Massachusetts is relatively simple, following these steps:
|Meet Basic Requirements in Massachusetts|
|Go to Work in Massachusetts|
Bounty hunters in Massachusetts go after defendants who have skipped their scheduled court appearance and have become fugitives from the law. They can work independently although they usually choose to work with bail bond agencies. Last year over 90,000 prisoners were released on bail in Massachusetts, and although most did show up for their scheduled court proceedings a small percentage did not.
These are the main targets for Massachusetts’s bounty hunters, although fugitives with rewards attached to their names can also be appealing. One Boston-area fugitive on the FBI’s most wanted list has a $50,000 reward for his capture and return.
Step 1. Meeting the Basic Bounty Hunter Requirements in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has relatively few laws on the books when it comes to bounty hunter school and credentialing requirements; as the state does not have official laws requiring bounty hunters to be licensed.
A professional bondsman may act as a bounty hunter, though to be a legitimately registered bondsman in Massachusetts is a separate process. Bounty hunters, who are not also acting as bondsmen, must register with the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety. They must also notify and request assistance from a local law enforcement agency before recapturing a fugitive.
Step 2. Professional Development
Just because there are no official license requirements to become a bounty hunter in Massachusetts does not mean the field is not competitive. The best bounty hunters will stay abreast of the latest developments in state law, know how to psychologically assess their targets for particular risks or threats, and develop close working relationships with local law enforcement agencies.
Responsible training for bounty hunter jobs in Massachusetts can take the form of:
- Martial arts and self-defense courses
- Firearms courses
- Knowledge of the latest technological devices in the field
- Law enforcement training academies open to the public
- Criminal justice and law enforcement certification programs
- Associate or bachelor degree education in:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
Step 3. Going to Work in Massachusetts
Bounty hunters in Massachusetts will find that most of their business comes from working with bail bondsmen. These are third-party individuals or agencies that agree to post bail for defendants who in turn agree to pay the bail bondsman a certain percentage of their bail and appear for their court date. If the defendant does not appear for his or her court date, a bail enforcement agent – also known as a bounty hunter – will attempt to bring the defendant back into court custody.
Working as a bounty hunter can give candidates who would like to go into a future law enforcement career some good working experience of the criminal justice system. There are a number of large bail bond companies in the Boston and greater Massachusetts area that can help provide this kind of experience opportunity.