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Undercover Operations: Law and Policy Guide provides the first comprehensive survey of law and policy ever assembled in one publication on criminal undercover operations. It is intended to assist law enforcement professionals who oversee and engage in this highly sensitive investigative technique.
The book is also intended for trial practitioners who prosecute or defend persons accused of crime where evidence is gathered through undercover activity. Finally, it is of educational value to those who teach or instruct police tactics and other subjects in the field of criminal justice.
Today, undercover operations are a staple of most established federal, state, and major-city law enforcement agencies and have proved to be successful crime fighting technique for generations. Yet, they remain controversial, primarily because they may involve such tactics as contrived crime; police initiation of, and participation in, crime; and exposure of innocent persons to financial loss or even physical danger. While the risks associated with these tactics can be minimized, rarely can they be eliminated.
To address these risks, the courts, through decades of decisions, have established a body of criminal and civil law, and federal agencies, particularly the FBI, have developed policies – all of which have been assembled in this publication.
Subjects such as the requisite predication to conduct an undercover operation, entrapment of the innocent, and civil liability are included. In addition, specialized areas of crime which present unique challenges to the use of the undercover technique – such as public corruption, domestic security and unrest, and international terrorism – are broken out in separate chapters.
Written by the FBI's former chief legal advisor for criminal undercover operations, this book is a vital reference guide for law enforcement personnel, trial practitioners, and academics whose professional duties touch on, to any degree, the provocative, intriguing, risky, but highly effective law enforcement technique of undercover operations.