Despite the risk involved in confidential informants, it seems surprising how often law enforcement agencies appear to get it wrong. The latest example of failed confidential informant management concerns an Alamonte Springs Police Department lieutenant who, according to The Palm Beach Post, allegedly downloaded the list of informants on to a portable drive but accidentally left it on the roof of his car before driving home.
If confidential informants don’t have confidence that law enforcement agencies will manage their details properly, they will stop helping in the fight against crime. Law enforcement agencies must review their policies and procedures to make sure that confidential informants’ identities and information is protected and managed. After all, the consequence of a compromising confidential informant’s identity can be (literally) fatal.
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