Ethical Issues in the Use of Confidential Informants for Narcotic Operations

Confidential informants are crucial to many law enforcement investigations and are especially essential in the field of narcotics investigations. Informants can provide specific information that is simply not available from other sources. However, the informants are often criminals themselves; if not properly managed, they can render a law enforcement investigation useless, destroy an agency’s credibility, and even endanger officers’ lives. To use confidential informants successfully, agencies must develop formal and sound informant control procedures.