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NCJ Number: 150235 Find in a Library
Title: Guidelines for Police Undercover Work: New Questions About Accreditation and the Emphasis of Procedure Over Authorization
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:135-151
Author(s): H Hamilton; J O Smykla
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 17
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Qualitative data obtained from surveys of 89 of the 100 largest police departments in the U.S. were used to examine the prevalence of undercover investigations, the types of crimes investigated by undercover officers, and the types of guidelines instituted by departments regarding undercover investigations.
Abstract: All 89 responding agencies conducted undercover investigations, mostly related to drug law offenses, vice crimes, stolen property, and organized crime. Sixty-four departments reported they had guidelines governing these investigations. These guidelines were predominantly procedural or authorizational. Procedural guidelines covered topics including recruitment of undercover officers, chain of command, equipment to be issued, reports, safety precautions, and auditing procedures. Authorizational guidelines described when and when not to conduct undercover investigations. They specified what types of investigations were authorized, what activities were restricted, and what controls were in place to ensure compliance. The guidelines in 34 responding agencies emphasized procedure over authorization, while 21 had authorizational guidelines exclusively or in combination with procedural guidelines; survey responses were incomplete for the remaining nine departments that had guidelines in place. 2 tables and 17 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Crime prevention planning; Police intelligence operations; Undercover activity
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