Good relationships between undercover officers and confidential informants deliver better results. Building up mutual trust and understanding encourages informants to provide more valuable and useful information leading to more numerous and robust convictions.
But what happens when a strong, professional relationship goes too far? WDTN reported yesterday on the dismissal of Montgomery County Sheriff Deputy Steven Gardiner’s dismissal after it turned out that he was covering up a sexual relationship he was having with a paid confidential informant. The disgraced, and married, deputy even invited the informant on a holiday to Hawaii. It seems that the Sheriff’s office acted swiftly and strongly to fire Gardiner, and rightly so. Inappropriate relationships of this nature reek of corruption and abuse of power and do little to instill confidence in law enforcement.