This paper will discuss undercover policing and the actions the undercover officers under discussion should or should not perform when exercising such techniques as surveillance and preventive and facilitative procedures. The paper explains authorized criminality in details. It highlights some of the misdemeanor crimes Underwood and Freeman may resort to, such as drug usage, in order to conceal their identities. In addition, it explains the reasons why undercover officers should avoid the disclosure of information about their operations, abstain from cooperation with criminals, and why they should not induce innocent people to commit crimes. They should know that their participation in these authorized criminal activities is subject to further investigations. They need to go deep undercover to unmask fenced businesses that pay cash for stolen goods and falsely testify in fictitious cases in actual courts of law. The paper highlights the ethics of performing such actions from the democratic societys point of view. The officers should be ready to face criticism regarding their morals by being transparent in their operations to ensure accountability. This discussion focuses on information about tradeoffs and limits within which undercover detectives should operate. In addition, the paper discusses conventional policing to differentiate it from undercover policing.
The Ruckus Society is an organization that provides civil disobedience management and classic non-violent tactics training and operates in community-driven campaigns. Authoritative criminality is the act of allowing undercover police officers to engage in activities that would be deemed criminal out of investigation context. Undercover policing usually involves deception that leads to criminal activity participation. When exercising such activities, the police have helped drug cartels launder money, introduced drugs in prisons, committed perjury, and created fake bills. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit all employees from operating undercover without authorization. Therefore, such activities are illegal except when authorized. No employee should recommend or approve participation in undercover operations unless it is justified to acquire information and evidence for an ongoing investigation. Participants are accountable for their actions, although such activities are secret and are in conflict with the principles of democratic regulations. Such practices may undermine police social support since they facilitate mixed messages regarding their moral reputation.
Conventional and Undercover Policing
Undercover detectives Underwood and Freeman should know the difference between conventional and undercover policing. An officer may lie to offenders to lure them to confess a crime in conventional policing. However, suspects are usually unaware of an operation taking place in undercover policing since the purpose and identity of the police is unknown to them. For instance, in conventional policing, officers in an interrogation room may lie about a certain case to encourage a confession by suspects, a tactics known as deception on purpose. On the other hand, police officers are part of crime circumstance in undercover operations (Christopher, 2014). Therefore, the purpose of undercover policing is to arrest offenders in their natural environment. A properly timed intervention can prevent the occurrence of aggravated crimes in the future.
Authorized Criminality and Criteria That Need to be Established
Authorized criminality is permitting undercover police to break the law to advance their investigations. It is one of the most effective tools for undercover officers to maintain their deception. For example, Underwood and Freeman may be pressured to use drugs to hide their identity. When such incidences occur, they should come up with effective strategies to respond adequately to such situations. Hesitancy to participate in these activities may lead to the suspicion of criminals or potential suspects, thus revealing their identity. If Underwood and Freeman fail to play their fictitious roles, they could be excluded from criminal activities. Police participation in crimes while undercover is widely recognized. For example, the Ohio Appellate Court detailed that an undercover police officer trying to eliminate drug trafficking is allowed to smoke cannabis to remain undercover. Partaking in a criminal activity, however, may not dampen suspicions since a drug dealer may recognize the staged signs and behavior of a police officer, such as no signs of addiction (Bruce, Andrew, Eloise, & Stephen, 2008).
In addition, Underwood and Freeman may decide to participate in certain criminal activities to increase their access to their target. For example, there could emerge the need for undercover agents to engage in unlawful activities to access certain information from the leadership of the infiltrated organization.
However, the detectives should be aware of certain fundamental questions that arise in the operation of undercover police in the democratic society. Rule-making and transparency equalize the prevalent and essential use of officers discretion. In the same context, unrestrained and secret discretion characterize covert police participation in criminal activities. Therefore, the police can achieve accountability by reporting the nature and frequency of authorized criminality. Before sending detectives Underwood and Freeman to their first Ruckus Society training camp, certain criteria need to be established. The detectives should be aware of all the issues pertaining to the ramifications of their actions as well as accountability. As such, they should understand when the crime is worth the benefits, and what punishment they are likely to incur if they violate the principles of ethics.
The Techniques the Detectives Should Use While Undercover
Undercover officers Underwood and Freeman should use such techniques as surveillance and preventive and facilitative measures. Surveillance operations help gather information on prospective, ongoing, or committed crimes. The aim of this technique is gathering information rather than influencing events. Underwood and Freeman should conduct constant inconspicuous surveillance while on their mission.
Preventive operation techniques require more action than surveillance. Prevention helps stop an offense from taking place or make it difficult to happen. It is a tedious undertaking because the time of a potential crime may be unknown. An example of a preventive operation is when an undercover officer diverts a violent demonstration into a non-violent one through personal participation. Thus, Underwood and Freeman may employ this method if need arises.
The facilitative technique depends on whether the undercover police are acting as victims or accomplices. Facilitative investigations, for example, may help test the integrity of public officials. However, such investigations are controversial since there is a possibility of the police getting entrapped when encouraging a crime. The facilitative procedure may amplify a crime because those assigned the duty could contribute to more crimes.
In terms of wrongdoing, since Underwood and Freeman are deep undercover, they are allowed to partake in offences that are categorized as misdemeanor and other activities agreed upon by their leadership.
Things Undercover Officers Should Not Do
On the other hand, undercover detectives Underwood and Freeman should avoid the disclosure of information and illegal cooperation with the suspects that brings no benefits. The United States Supreme Court denied protection to those who disclose information to a third party, whether they are undercover investigators, police informants, or criminal associates. For the police to maintain their investigative techniques, they should act as part of the gang. The detectives could face prosecution for the activities undertaken during their operations. Thus, detectives Underwood and Freeman may suffer from psychological stress, leading to the commission of crimes such as the cooperation with the suspects as ordinary criminals. Such behavior is not allowed since authorized crime has a law enforcement purpose. These cases may happen where a detective pretends to use drugs to maintain cover while the real reason is to socialize with suspects. Such an officer can face prosecution, but a mental state report is required to shield him/her from criminal liability. Thus, the actions of detectives Underwood and Freeman do not meet the standards of authorized crime, they are supposed to be prosecuted. Failure by the police to justify their actions could lead to criminal liability (Nicholas & Max, 2015).
Furthermore, undercover officers should avoid inducing innocent people to commit crimes since they can face a jail term through entrapment defense. This type of defense is important as it assists in the identification of investigations that have gone overboard. In addition, Underwood and Freeman should not intervene personally to thwart crimes about which they have prior knowledge. Instead, they should alert fellow officers at the station about the situation (Stefan, Casper & Gabriel, 2012). Finally, detectives Underwood and Freeman should not participate in felonies such as armed robbery because even in authoritative criminality, participation only applies to misdemeanors.
Despite the fact that both undercover and conventional policing are deceptive, they are different in the manner of operation. Conventional policing involves officers using their real identities, while undercover policing involves hidden identities and secrecy. Authoritative criminality is the act of allowing undercover officers to commit crimes to advance their investigations. For operations to take place within the authorized criminality limits, detectives should use surveillance and preventive and facilitative techniques. In their operations, undercover officers should avoid disclosing information about their operation as it would expose their identity. They should never cooperate like ordinary criminals or illegally induce civilians to commit crimes. Some tactics used by the police may be unacceptable in the democratic society regardless of their value. Although some tactics are undesirable, it could be difficult not to employ authorized criminality. Therefore, all involved should be cautious of its potential harm.