Huntersville is now home to one the state’s largest private investigative firms, which includes a network of military, security and law enforcement officials from across the country. A former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department deputy chief and a successful Charlotte businessman formed the company, which handles everything from international, multi-million dollar fraud cases and death investigations to threat assessments for high-profile clients.
On muscle cars and second careers: Both Bob Schurmeier and Robert Sterling grew up in Charlotte. While Schurmeier pursued a career in law enforcement, retiring as CMPD’s deputy chief over investigations in 2004, Sterling went into business, rising to the upper ranks of an international paper company, and later forming his own division, the Sterling Group. Through a mutual acquaintance they both learned they were collectors of 1960s muscle cars. They struck up a friendship, and using Schurmeier’s law enforcement experience and connections along with Sterling’s business acumen, they launched Investigative Security Services in 2004.
On expanding the network: With Sterling funding the start-up, ISS, at the time based in Ballantyne, started out doing background checks for a single client. But soon Schurmeier recruited former CMPD police officers, as well as former military, secret service and FBI personnel from around the country. Today the company has seven licensed private investigators, along with a network of over three dozen investigators who work on a contract basis.
On discretion: In October Schurmeier moved ISS from Ballantyne to Huntersville to be closer to his Lake Norman home in Iredell County. The company now has over 60 clients. Its largest public sector client is the Department of Homeland Security. The company often works alongside law enforcement agencies to investigate murders and fraud cases, as well as government malfeasance. The company also specializes in biometric fingerprinting, which uses state-of-the-art technology to electronically capture and then transfer fingerprints to agencies including the FBI for further investigation. Schurmeier said that over the years the company has investigated lots of juicy cases, but part of the job is also being discreet. “We’re successful because we’re quiet about it,” he says.
Find ISS at 704-525-5221 or www.isecureus.com.