Frequently Asked Questions

Our highly skilled and experienced investigators posses an intricate knowledge and in-depth understanding of their area of specialty, allowing APS to meet the specific demands of our clients while continuing to provide a variety of investigative services and resources.

What is the history of APS?

Applied Professional Services (APS) was founded by a retired Houston Texas police detective and native-born Duluthian in 1995. The firm focused on insurance fraud investigations before adding process service and security. In 2020, the firm was purchased by a long-time former employee and the security division was sold to a national security firm.

Today, APS Investigations is headed by Tyler Rikkola, President of APS. Our firm continues to grow and provide services to the general public, insurance industry, and legal community.

Do private detectives work with law enforcement?

While some of our activities may appear similar (surveillance, interviewing witnesses, etc.) our work is distinct from law enforcement. APS Investigations maintains a friendly relationship with law enforcement agencies and occasionally have a need to share information with each other. Many of our investigators are former law enforcement officers or have completed a police academy or other formal law enforcement training prior to their employment with APS.

However, our investigators do not regularly work with law enforcement.

Do private detectives carry guns?

Yes. Our firm is fully licensed in both Minnesota and Wisconsin and our investigators are fully authorized to carry firearms and other defensive weapons after completing thorough and regular training.

Do private detectives arrest people?

Generally speaking, no. Private detectives are generally concerned with obtaining information that our clients use to pursue their legal or business objectives. With only rare exceptions, we leave the apprehension of criminal violators to law enforcement professionals.

Does APS break into people’s homes or businesses? Do private detectives break the law to get the information they need?

No. private detectives at APS are licensed professionals with a firm knowledge of the criminal code and legal requirements for our investigations. We do not break the law and will not accept clients who request or expect our agents to violate the law.


Do you spy on people?

Our private detectives do regularly conduct surveillance. This includes activities commonly associated with the term “stakeout” and we do so only within the bounds of the law. Our firm uses cameras and other recording devices to develop the evidence needed by our clients.

Can APS install a secret camera in my home?

APS can install a covert camera in nearly any location; however, the laws surrounding the recording of individuals without their consent vary from state to state.  Important considerations about whether people who may be recorded have a reasonable expectation of privacy is a paramount consideration prior to installing any recording device.  As a result, this is decided on a case-by-case basis after carefully considering the client’s needs, reasons, and the legality of the installation.  APS Investigations will not break the law to serve a client and we will not help a client violate the law themselves.

Do you perform surveillance for insurance companies?

Yes. Our firm provides surveillance of insurance claimants to verify their claims. We have conducted thousands of workers’ compensation and personal injury surveillance cases since 1995.

Process Service

Do you service legal processes in rural Minnesota?

Our private detectives serve thousands of legal documents per year. We provide process service throughout Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin on a standard and rush basis. We also coordinate with other firms throughout the United States to effect services in all 50 states.

How much do you charge for process service?

Our fees vary depending on the location of the service and the deadline you require.


Does APS search for missing people and are you successful?

Yes, our firm does a number of missing persons cases each year. 

Recently our firm was retained to search for a family member who had gone missing. Our investigators were able to determine that the individual had died of homicidal violence and identified the manner and method of his death, the location of his remains, and obtained recorded confessions to key aspects of the crime. This matter is currently being prosecuted as a murder.


Work With Us

For over 25 years, APS has been successfully providing investigations, process service, and high-end security for clients throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.