Wednesday, June 11, 2008

INFORMANTS, GOOD, BAD OR INDIFFERENT

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

1 comment:

Kerry Pople said...

It is amazing that no matter how much time passes how little things, and people change? Too many, especially in corrections, don't know the value of a really good CI and how the investigator should take care to keep his word. I have seen too many burned, when no longer needed. Then the other side of the coin, too many trusted implicitly and at the expense of the truth. Training is certainly needed and I have recently had the privilege of attending a couple of CI trainings. Unfortunately, too many think they know all there is to "working" a CI. I put that in quotations because I often see the CI working the investigator. A very strong point you make about the CI lying. Often, the investigator takes a blanket word after being set up by the CI. This now sacrifices any possibility to get the truth, or at the very least causes coworkers to have to work harder and longer. The opposite is just as frequent, the CI thrown aside after he is used up. Too late does the investigator realize that he has now lost the trust of everyone else. No more CI's from that pond, or area. Information travels as fast as a bullet and can often do more damage. Who knows the answer? I think you said it...training....