Retired OPD Officer Establishes Local Private Investigation Company


A retired officer from the Ocala Police Department provides private investigative services to the local community.

Jeff Bairstow gave a presentation on his company, Sentry Service Investigations, at Wednesday’s 1 Million Cups Ocala event in downtown Ocala.

Retired Ocala Police Department officer Jeff Bairstow presented his company, Sentry Service Investigations, at 1 Million Cups Ocala on Wednesday

Bairstow uses his nearly 29 years of law enforcement experience to assist local residents with investigations.

He was born in Ocala but lived for a time in New Orleans before moving back to Ocala in 1986. He started working at a local car dealership and used the time before his shifts to take training in police recruit school.

In November 1987, he joined the Ocala Police Department as an officer. He worked as a patroller, K-9, and was a narcotics officer until his retirement in 2016 at the age of 49.

Still feeling the need to work and be productive, he decided to start an investigative company and Sentry was born.

“A lot of people, when they think of private investigations, the first thing that comes to their mind is cheaters,” Bairstow said.

According to Bairstow, about ten percent of Sentry’s cases involve investigations for cheating and infidelity. The majority of cases concern issues of child support.

Describing his area of ​​work in more detail, he said: “A lot of what we do is researching assets. If someone has a judgment against someone, we can do some research to try and find assets to help that person recover some of that judgment. When you sue someone in court, the judges don’t give you money, they just say, “Okay, here’s a piece of paper saying you have judgment against them. That’s it.”

Sentry provides a variety of investigative services: background checks, Livescan Level 2 fingerprints, polygraph services, civil and criminal investigations, insurance fraud, missing persons cases and processing service.

Bairstow said: “We always used to say that defense lawyers worked on the dark side when I was in the police department. So now we are reviewing and reviewing the cases for the defense attorneys to see if the case is a good one or if there is something that can help a defendant. Believe it or not, sometimes people get arrested for something they didn’t do. It happens. Not much, but it does happen.

Bairstow also pointed to a recent case involving a missing person. The week before Thanksgiving, an 83-year-old man who needed oxygen was reported missing by the Lady Lake Police Department. Sentry located the man the day before Thanksgiving in Marion County.

“Because of these jurisdictional limits, it is difficult for a detective to cross Marion County and leave town. As a private investigator, we are licensed throughout the state of Florida, so we don’t have jurisdictional issues like law enforcement does, ”Bairstow said.

This lack of competence, according to Bairstow, gives his company an advantage during investigations.

For more information, visit the Sentry Service Investigations website and the company’s Facebook page.


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