A dear friend of mine, retired LASD Sergeant Richard Valdemar,recently wrote an article in the POLICE MAGAZINE about an informant nicknamed "Spider" from Varrio White Fence. It is a shame that what happened to this informant due to the lack of empathy on the part of some cops that were APPARENTLY not trained properly, at least in my opinion.
Any cop worth his salt, knows that a good informant is worth his weight in gold. Again, it is up to the cop to set the parameters of what his informant does or doesn't do. Of course, there are good and not so good informants, the good ones will be loyal, the others will go to te highest bidder even if the informant knows that the cop would sell him out.
We handled a mass of them during the early days of the Prison Gang Task Force and they told us of the other cops wanting to have the informant work for them. That is what I mean by loyalty.
Sure we had our share of informants that lied to us, but they didn't last long. On the other hand we had some that were more believable than a few cops that I knew over the years. Yes, they can be a pain in the ass and sometimes everything in their life appears to them as a major tragedy, when in fact it is only a minor set back.
I don't remember if there were any classes on HOW TO HANDLE AN INFORMANT or not, but it appears that in some departments, is is direly needed. Like Richard points out(paraphrasing),"a human life should be in the utmost of the cops mind when he uses the informant. I realize that this may sound basic to most cops, however, the proof is in the untimely death of what could possibly been prevented ... Moco