Though criminals roam the streets, the investigators at Sly Fox aren’t far behind them. The Louisiana-based all-women detective agency is the only one of its kind in the state. The award-winning agency takes on cases of all sorts, specializing in child custody, infidelity, and insurance fraud. With offices in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Sly Fox’s carefully selected group of private investigators travel across the state and beyond in order to expose crime and make the world a safer place, especially in cases concerning children.
Founder Brianne Joseph started Sly Fox after she was confronted with the grim hiring realities of an industry that overwhelmingly skews white and male. Only 15% of private investigators are women, and even fewer are women of color. Joseph has estimated that approximately 3% of the 60,000 private investigators operating in the U.S. are Black women like herself. Joseph created Sly Fox Investigations with the intention of providing more opportunities for female PIs to find work in their career of choice.
Joseph has stated that women are natural fact finders, which in her opinion, makes them some of the most ideal candidates for investigative positions. Since Sly Fox has a carefully selected staff of diverse women, detectives are able to immerse themselves into different environments in order to solve the case at hand. They examine an array of documentation before going into the field to form a complete picture of each case. For instance, in a child custody case, Joseph or another investigator on the Sly Fox team may venture to the neighborhood the child’s guardian lives in. They may observe the home for any yelling, signs of physical abuse, or anything else that could be amiss.
It requires a lot of heart and courage to do what the members of Sly Fox do. In particular, Joseph has spoken openly about her dedication to cases that involve children. In an interview with Gambit, a publication based in New Orleans, Joseph recounted numerous instances in which she had to make the decision of either moving from her position to use the restroom or remain put in hopes of uncovering more evidence. She is extremely dedicated to her work and, as such, urinated in a jar and carried on with the investigation. According to Joseph, uncomfortable conditions are a small price to pay for keeping people safe.
Sly Fox is constantly expanding its network to further the presence of women in the private investigation field as well as protect people in the agency’s home state of Louisiana and beyond. The agency’s public Facebook page reports that one case in particular took detectives all the way to Ohio to catch their subject. If you were to visit their page, you would find several posts about webinars the agency is offering to the general public. These info sessions range from how to handle a plea of guilty or not guilty all the way to masterclasses on what to look for as an investigator.
The accessible webinars that Sly Fox provides further open the door for women to participate in private investigative work. The core belief to which Joseph has remained committed while working with her company is that everyone has a right to have access to information that will keep themselves and their loved ones safe. They also have the right to know the truth and should be given the tools to uncover it.
Perhaps the biggest message of all that comes from Sly Fox Investigations is that women deserve the same opportunities as men. While the agency’s name may not be a part of the larger mainstream discourse of empowerment and women’s rights, it’s working hard every day to influence women's role in the sphere of crime-fighting.
The radical existence of an organization like Sly Fox disrupts the male and white-dominated field of private investigation. In doing so, Brianne Joseph offers women of all backgrounds and races the opportunity to follow their passion for detective work with the proper tools to ensure their success. Sly Fox is the only all-women private investigation agency in Louisiana so far, but its future looks bright and its ability to enact positive change will surely continue for a long time to come.