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NCJ Number: 192741 Find in a Library
Title: Art of the Ruse: Does Winning a Battle Mean Losing a War?
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:28  Issue:11  Dated:November 2001  Pages:26-32
Author(s): Christa Miller
Date Published: November 2001
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the use of the ruse as an important investigative strategy and tactic in law enforcement and its' potential legal and ethical ramifications as weighed against its practicality.
Abstract: A ruse is a strategically planned deception by law enforcement concealing the officer's identity or their intent and has been seen as effective and potentially saving significant months of investigative work. A ruse, also know as undercover work or "stings," is intended to obtain fugitives from justice, establish probable cause for arrest or search, access a person or property without use of force, and interview an uncooperative individual. Even though ruses are viewed as effective and useful in law enforcement investigations, they have also been recognized as violating both Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights and creating ethical concerns. It is important that officers are aware of this controversy and knowledgeable in the legal and ethical ramifications of ruses. In doing so, they can avoid unnecessary controversy. When planning a ruse, several issues should be considered: the department or officers' level of expertise with ruses, the access to potential alternatives, the relationship between the agency or department and others, and the consultation with line staff, as well as management.
Main Term(s): Undercover activity
Index Term(s): Code of ethics; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Legal liability; Plain clothes operations; Police-run fencing operations; Professional conduct and ethics; Undercover training
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