“As providers of the world’s leading software solution for confidential informant management we like to keep all our customers and potential customers informed of the latest developments in this arena, so sharing our unique expertise with the law enforcement community. In his latest blog John Buckley provides insight on new legislation being introduced in Washington State.
Following the murder of a confidential informant Jeremy McLean
Washington Senator Adam Kline has introduced a new bill (5373) in the State Senate that will dictate how informants are to be managed in the future.
Many of the key elements of the proposed Bill can be found in similar legislation known as Rachel’s Law that has already been enacted in Florida following the death of another confidential informant Rachel Hoffman. The legislation is likely to have a major impact on the interactions between law enforcement and potential confidential informants. Agencies managing confidential informants are likely to notice a sharp increase in the records they are expected to keep and the amount of supervision that cases will require. Having said that agencies have little to be concerned about provided they are proactive in addressing the legislative requirements.
The following may help those responsible for managing confidential informants within their agency to be prepared for the changes that such legislation may bring.
- It is a good time for agencies to come together and consider setting up state-wide procedures for managing confidential informants. State-wide procedures create a much more robust regime and enable joint task forces to work together much more effectively and with significantly reduced conflict.
- Developing a more proactive approach to using confidential informants will increase the amount of intelligence that an agency obtains from its authorized confidential informants. Each agency should have a centralized register of all the confidential informants being used and the capability to task them against specific investigations. Such an approach is fundamental to the concept of intelligence led policing.
- With the advent of new rules and regulations it is a good time for house-keeping. The worth of every existing confidential informant should be evaluated and all re registered/authorized under the new regime. It is often surprising what such a review process turns up!
- Training is an essential part of managing confidential informants and no officer should be allowed to manage an informant without being trained to recognized standards. Lack of officer training is one of the main reasons that leads to the death of confidential informants. The setting of state-wide standards for training is hard to argue against.
While law enforcement has nothing to fear from legislation dictating how confidential informants should be managed, they do need to keep a close eye on the content of the legislation. Officers working on a regular basis with confidential informants will often see issues that the legislatures are totally unaware of.
For those readers outside the state of Washington now is a good time to take cognizance of the legislation in Washington and Florida, and make sure your own house is in order. These states are setting the standards that citizens expect of law enforcement and it is only a matter of time until you are facing similar legislation.
John regularly advises ABM in relation to the development of abmpegasus software for managing confidential informants. He has written two books on managing confidential informants and is an internationally recognized expert on confidential informant management. His latest title, Managing Intelligence; A Guide for Law Enforcement Professionals, will be published in June and deals with the structures necessary for an agency to have an effective intelligence system.
abmpegasus is a modular piece of expert-led software that helps law enforcement agencies and police manage confidential informants, intelligence and covert operations in accordance with best practice, policy and legislation.
If you would like more information on the abmpegasus confidential informant management software please contact Dawn Starling on firstname.lastname@example.org t: +1 703-326-1366 or complete an ABM Software contact form and a member of our team will get in touch.
If you would like advice or further information on confidential informant related matters please to contact John at email@example.com or contact +1 703-326-1366