The tensions between the operational need for confidential informants and the requirement to maintain police integrity have made themselves clear in yesterday’s San Francisco Examiner article.
Police Captains clearly see confidential informants as an essential part of policing. However, police bosses have to balance this with the need to operate in a safe, legally compliant and transparent way. The Examiner article reveals that the way in which confidential informants are managed is currently being reviewed at San Francisco Police Department. By improving management processes and officer training, SFPD will hope to reduce opportunities for police misconduct whilst still allowing the agency to benefit from the invaluable intelligence that confidential informants provide.