In an exploration of requirements of undercover detections what does and individual find ethically correct and incorrect? How does the undercover detective create a persona that they work as without morally destroying who they are? Everytime a government or state official make the choice to go undercover they are briefed and give the information of what is approved and what is not. When going through the different articles, it was brought to light that detectives have to go through murky waters to gain the trust of some of the hardest criminals. I have chosen: Ethical Dilemmas of an Undercover Police Officer. (2015), Rutledge (2007), and Harfield, (2012), McCartney, S., & Parent, R. (2015) because they were the authors that stood out are I read through the articles and give different examples of the actions that officials have to take to stay undercover.
Keywords: Ethics, professional, undercover rules, rules
Undercover Detective: What Depth of Deceit
Individuals that have never experienced being undercover see the position as lies and deceit to gain the information that is required to take criminals off the the street. Little do they know that undercover detectives consider their personal ethics every steps of the way). Of course there are some that fall into the clutches of the excitement of adrenaline that comes with the undercover detail ? “It would be satisfying if the detective never had to be deceitful to gather the require evidence from the criminal suspect in order to solve a crime” (Rutledge, 2007) but that is not the method that works in, most, cases. In order to gather the appropriate information, there are rule and regulation that undercover individuals are trained to follow for safety purposes. According to “The Lawful Use of Deception, a general rule is that deception can be used as long as it is not likely to induce an innocent person to commit a crime or confess to a crime that he or she did not commit (Rutledge, 2017)
SHould Detectives Underwood and Freeman be allowed to commit misdemeanors such as smoking cannabis (marijuana) or shoplifting (petit theft) in order to keep the undercover status from being compromised?
“Informer, handlers, investigators, and manager may all have different views on what might be justifiable in any given circumstance and it may be difficult for outcome focus practitioners to omit expediency when calculating the moral equation” (Harfield, 2012). Undercover personnel should not commit the misdemeanor such as smoking cannabis (marijuana) or shoplifting (petit theft) in order to keep their undercover status from being compromised. Due to “the potential harmful consequences arising from reliance upon informers include the individual corruption of those employed as law enforcement officers and even the institutional corruption of law enforcement agencies themselves” (Harfield, 2012) bit is important for the undercover detectives to not get to deep into the operations.
Taking the beginning step to commit the first misdemeanor, most likely, will cause the criminal in question to commit more which places detective Underwood and Detective Freeman at risk of their personal ethics. Is committing misdemeanors worth the the personal eths of the two detectives that have chosen to go into the position of being undercover?
Should Detectives Underwood and freeman be allowed to commit felonies such as grand theft or robbery in order to keep their undercover status from being compromised?
It is inappropriate that Detective Underwood and Detective Freeman to be allowed to commit such felonies such as grand theft or robbery in order to keep their undercover status from being compromised because the action stem beck to personal ethics. If Detective Underwood and Detective Freeman have two consider the action than the action is not the correct action. When the detective choose to take on the position they were both informed of the the choices that they may have to make depending on the situation and they would consider there what they could live with on a personal level. They were informed of the possibilities and the consequences that they could possibly placed in. According to “Ethics in law enforcement, there are times that law enforcement officers who are in investigative roles are often confronted with ethical issues during the investigative process at which time causes investigators to walk a line between being tenacious in their investigations and being overzealous in refusing to give up a case that ought to be closed due to a lack of evidence” (McCartney & Parent, 2015). That is the reason that it is so important that when choosing an undercover detective is important. ” Officers must be aware not to allow their personal feelings to interrupt objective, critical and reflective consideration of the case and should routinely ask themselves how a case would look in court when all the facts are known by the defence counsel and the judge; as well as Would their credibility suffer as a result” (McCartney & Parent, 2015)?
Are the undercover officers compelled to intervene in order to prevent crimes that they have knowledge of ahead of time?
It is not in the undercover detectives best interest to intervene in a situation to prevent that they have knowledge of ahead of time. The intervention could cost them the undercover work that they have already put into motion. Any knowledge that Detective Underwood and Freeman come across should be reported back to their supervisors so that their mission may remain secure because the smaller information is not as important as the larger.
The outcomes and the repercussion that will from being from being an undercover operative. There is a possibility there could be time that Detective Underwood and Detective Freeman will be required to be active in an illegal activity where they have to make a decision the best way to handle the situation holding on to their personal ethics. Detective Underwood and Detective Freeman should be are of the danger that could possibly occur within the undercover operation.
When the detective first begin to interact with the criminals both undercover detectives will, most likely undergo a background (names, ages, family, friends, etc.) by the individuals that they trying infiltrate to ensure that the two detective are who the say. Once the information has been approved it will be necessary the detectives never stray from the roles that have begun.
Detective Underwood and Detective Freeman should be prepared to find different techniques to ensure that ensure all the information that both detectives come across it relayed back to their handler, the more information relayed the soon the operation can, hopefully, end.
In my opinion, I do not believe the actions while being undercover should go against anyone ethical belief. If an individual has the consider or think about the action then that is proof that the operation should not be done. If there is not hesitation then either a person it is not wrong or is lacking a natural conscience.
Ethical Dilemmas of an Undercover Police Officer. (2015, September 15). Retrieved from http://www.newsactivist.com/en/articles/media-ethics-section-03003-fall-2015/ethical-dilemmas-undercover-police-officer
Harfield, C. (2012). Police Informers and Professional Ethics. Criminal Justice Ethics, 31(2), pp.73-95.
McCartney, S., & Parent, R. (2015). Ethics in law enforcement. Retrieved May 31, 2018, from https://opentextbc.ca/ethicsinlawenforcement/chapter/4.5 Ethical Issues during an Investigation/.