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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118447 Find in a Library
Title: Undercover Operatives and the Crux of Credibility
Journal: Security Management  Volume:33  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:59-62
Author(s): B I Landis
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 4
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To sustain employee discharges based on undercover investigations, security managers must base their evidence presentation on what impresses arbitrators considering the grounds for the dismissal.
Abstract: Most often, proof of employee drug abuse or drug dealing as well as other serious misbehavior is obtained through undercover activity by security personnel. When cases go to arbitration, the case often rests on the undercover operative's word against the grievant's denials that the alleged activity occurred. The arbitration decision thus focuses on operative credibility, corroborative evidence, police involvement, and procedural matters of due process. The operative's credibility is enhanced when his/her background and job experience is commendable and the undercover activity is conducted professionally, objectively, and without any appearance of bias. Police involvement in the undercover investigation also enhances the operation's credibility. The drawback to police involvement, however, is in the legal limitations this places on the investigation. Evidence to corroborate the undercover operatives testimony can include video and audio electronic surveillance. Such evidence without an undercover operative's direct observation, however, is usually insufficient to prove the alleged activity. An undercover investigation should be undertaken only after the employer considers whether it might jeopardize the firm's long-term employee relations.
Main Term(s): Undercover activity
Index Term(s): Arbitration; Employee dismissal; Employee theft; Employer-employee relations; Security management; Substance abuse in the workplace
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