If there’s any doubt that Connecticut is a patriotic, all-American state, its nickname of “The Constitution State” should answer that. They are one of two states that never ratified the Prohibition (18th) Amendment, and they also host the oldest public library in the nation, the Scoville Memorial Library, whose collection dates all the way back to 1771, before the founding of the country. When someone jumps bail or flees from justice here, dedicated professional bondsmen, surety bond agents and bail enforcement agents—colloquially known as bounty hunters—track them down and bring them in to face justice. If this is a career that appeals to you, here’s an overview of what you need to know.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Connecticut
Bounty Hunters in Connecticut are properly referred to as bail enforcement agents, professional bondsmen or surety bond agents. To practice this trade requires obtaining licensure, training, background checks and a range of fairly strict requirements. However, for those who pass the rigorous qualifications, it’s a very rewarding career. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection administers licensing for Connecticut bail enforcement agents.
Basic State Requirements
- Education: 20 hours of formal, approved training courses are required and must have occurred no more than five years before applying for licensure.
- Age: You must be 18 years or older.
- Degree: No specific degree is required, but many pursue secondary education in fields like criminal justice to increase their skills.
- Experience: There’s no specific experience requirements for the job, but mentoring and experience can improve your client relationships and base.
- Citizenship: U.S. citizenship is required for Connecticut bounty hunters.
- Background Screening: Background screenings and fingerprinting ensure that no felons or those with serious misdemeanors become Connecticut bounty hunters.
- No Police Officers: Police officers may not moonlight as bail enforcement agents.
- Carry Permit: If you wish to carry a firearm you must have a pistol permit and complete a certified firearms education course.
Application Process in Connecticut
- License Application: Your application carries a $200 fee, payable by certified check, and requires your fingerprints, four personal character references, a passport-type photo, your high school or college transcripts, and proof that you completed your training course. About 8 weeks later you’ll have a face-to-face interview.
- Licensure: Your license is good for a year and then must be renewed, which costs $100.
Degrees related to Bounty Hunters
Other degrees sought by some bounty hunters include criminal justice, law enforcement, sociology and psychology.
Major Cities in Connecticut
Connecticut cities where bounty hunters can often be found include Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Bridgeport and Greenwich.
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in Connecticut
Bounty Hunters track down those who have jumped bail and failed to report for scheduled court hearings. They capture and return these fugitives in return for a fee, but they must work in close conjunction with law enforcement and obey all relevant laws.
Closely-related careers to bail enforcement agents include process servers who deal with legal paperwork, and private investigators who perform similar job functions.
Employment Numbers in Connecticut
Employment numbers for bail agents aren’t tracked by the BLS, but private investigators, a similar field, are. According to these, there should be a 6.1% increase over the next five years from 2012 numbers.
Salary Ranges in Connecticut
The potential salary for a bounty hunter in Connecticut ranges between $51,000 and $66,000, with a statewide average of just over $58,000.