Shawn Spencer is perhaps one of the oddest fictional private detectives that was ever created. From the mind of Steve Franks, an irresponsible, immature, and often over the top private detective was born. Alongside his best friend, Burton Guster, and the Santa Barbara Police Department, Shawn helped solve many cases while the show, Psych, was on air, and he did it in his own unique and definitely unforgettable way.
While Shawn had no real police or private detective training, he grew up with a police officer for a father, who trained him from a young age to observe everything around him, and with Shawn’s natural memory ability, he was able to hone those skills to be useful on the job of a police officer, which was his father’s dream. Shawn did not follow in those footsteps, and after a series of anonymous tips to police departments to help them solve crimes, he actually got a job as the consultant for the police department under the ruse that he is a psychic (in order to stay out of jail) and that is how he solves the cases.
Though he never went to the police academy, he did take the detective’s exam and passed at the age of 15 and continues to be a great shot with a gun. He roped his best friend and confidante, Burton ‘Gus’ Guster into working with him as a consultant. They late started their own private investigation company called Psych, where they took on private cases as well as working for the Police Department.
The detectives at the police department put up with his often over the top shenanigans when he is “having a psychic vision” which will lead to a break in the case. Detective Carlton Lassiter is the most against his hiring and doubts his psychic abilities, while his partner, Juliet O’Hara believes Shawn is who he says he is and believes in him.
Over the course of the years he worked with the police department, he helped bring serial killers to justice as well as working the smaller cases with his own firm. He was a very unconventional private detective, but thanks to his memory and his observation skills, he was able to become the asset that that police department needed in order to solve the crimes they did. And all of this was done without any formal training or much effort put in at all.