In 882, when Ford was thirteen, he joined a local street gang called "Grey Skies." However, he had to quit the gang two years later, when his parents moved to Sorret. Ford was very upset by this, at first, because he'd always had great fun playing with his fellow gangsters. But soon he decided that he should just find a new gang. Unfortunately, there were no gangs in Sorret, so he decided to do whatever the most fun thing to do in Sorret might be, and it was pretty easy to figure out that that was studying magic. So he applied to Sorret Magic Academy. His father, Liam, was a spirit-talker who had been a vice-bishop in Plist, and quickly found a position as such in Sorret. But the reason they had moved to the village was Ford's mother, Tricia, who was a renowned master physician, who had been hired to teach medicine to the great grandnephew of Coman, who was both Bishop and Grand Sorreter. Both of Ford's parents therefore developed close ties to Coman, and so he agreed to take Ford on as his apprentice.
After less than five years of study, in 889, Coman declared that Ford had attained adept status. There were some in the village who believed Coman conveyed the status upon Ford prematurely, since the Grand Sorreter was in poor health, and knew he didn't have long left to live. But the truth is that Ford had thrown himself fully into his studies, over the years, and found magic to be even more fun and rewarding than being in a gang had ever been. In fact, he was more skilled than many Sorreters who had spent twice as long studying magic, and possibly could have graduated sooner than he did. Still, it wasn't long after his graduation to adept that Coman died, and Ford continued his education under Durell, a former student of Coman's. He attained master-adept status in 895, at the age of 26.
In 899, Durell began sending Sorreters to other villages, to work with the newly established inter-village gangs. It was only natural that Ford was selected to go to Plist, his home village. He found that four years earlier (the same year Ford had become a master-adept), the leadership of his old gang, Grey Skies, had been bought out by a businessman named Seth, who had renamed the gang "the Greys." However, by the time Ford joined, that name had also been abandoned, as the gang was now the Plist branch of InterGang. Ford was quite happy in his new position, as he now felt he had the best of both worlds, gangster and Sorreter. Although being in a gang now was nothing like it had been when he was a kid, and none of his old childhood friends were still members of the gang. But he'd brought a few of his apprentices with him from Sorret, to serve in his sorretry department of the gang, so that he could continue acting as a master, rather than merely a department chief.
In 904, when the surname law was passed, Ford chose the name 'Inspector.' The story he likes to tell about his reasoning is that when he'd been in Grey Skies, as a youngster, there was always this one police detective who gave him trouble (though it was more fair to say that Ford and his fellow gangsters gave the police trouble). This particular detective preferred the term "inspector," rather than "detective," and Ford had always enjoyed mocking him for it. Whenever he'd be questioned by the cop, or would run away from him when being chased, he'd make a point of addressing him as "detective," and heavily stressing the word, which prompted his nemesis to reply in annoyance, "It's inspector!" much to Ford's amusement. Since moving back to Plist, he'd encountered the same old cop a few times; he was now a deputy chief. When the surname law was passed, he was sure the former detective would want to take the name "Inspector," and Ford thought it would be hilarious if he could beat him to it. (Even if the cop didn't plan on taking that name, Ford thought it would still be a fun way of needling his old nemesis, by making the deputy chief call him "Inspector.") And since surnames would be officially recorded the following year during the Census, which was conducted in order of villages' founding, Ford returned to Sorret, to visit his parents, and to convince them to select the name "Inspector" for themselves. Sorret, after all, was a much older village than Plist, so its citizens would get to choose names before any Plistians would. However, he didn't mention his real reason for wanting the name, to his parents. Rather, he told them it seemed to him like a name that fit each of their respective callings. An inspector, he said, is really someone who wants to learn fundamental truths. This could be done through any number of fields of study, such as medicine (in his mother's case), religion (in his father's case), or magic (in his own case). ...Which is the reason they give, when anyone asks why they chose their surname.
In 908, Ford was killed in Pritt, apparently by gangsters from LandOrder. However, the exact details of his death, or why he was even in Pritt, remain a mystery. He was replaced as chief Sorreter of the Plist branch of InterGang by one of his former students, Edison Marmalade.