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Speaking Truth to PowerConfidential Informants and Police Investigations$
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Dean A. Dabney and Richard Tewksbury

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290464

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290464.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Pitfalls of Working with Informants

Pitfalls of Working with Informants

(p.166) Eight Pitfalls of Working with Informants
Speaking Truth to Power

Dean A. Dabney

Richard Tewksbury

University of California Press

Chapter 8 contrasts the content of Chapter 7 with a focus on the pitfalls and potential problems involved in law enforcement officials working with confidential informants. The problems and pitfalls of working with confidential informants are classified as personal, professional, and individualized issues. Personal pitfalls include the intrusion of work and informant relationships on private/personal time and allowing one’s relationship with some informants to cross the line into a “personal” relationship. Professionally law enforcement officials can face problems with informants in the form of being misled by unreliable informants and informants who attempt to skirt their “responsibilities” or deals with police. And, as the individual issue pointed to most frequently by policing officials as a danger of working with an informant is “being burned,” and having informants provide explicitly false information and/or information that sets an officer up for attack, failure or embarrassment.

Keywords:   Pitfalls, personal pitfalls, professional pitfalls, individual pitfalls, ethics

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