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Product ID: 392129EAU
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Legal and Practical Issues of Handling Informants

OnDemand Webinar (85 minutes)

Understand how to legally and ethically use informants that will lead your team to probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

The innate curiosity of mankind demands information. The best source of information usually comes from those closest to the activity. In the law enforcement realm those sources close to, and at times involved in the activity, can often be motivated to share that information. Whether they are called cooperating witnesses, informants, confidential informants, sources, or snitches. They are the eyes inside that give the probable cause or reasonable suspicions to hold bad actors accountable. This ondemand webinar will focus on moral, legal, ethical ways to gather information through the use of informants. We will emphasize best practices for developing, deploying and documenting informants. We will discuss the types of informants and their motivations. We will also look at how the methods used by organizations such as news, intelligence, counter intelligence, terrorist and criminal organizations, to develop and use informants, can be coopted and used by law enforcement.


Quintin D. McShan



• The Use of Paid Informants

• The Use of Informants Working off Charges

• The Use of Unwitting Informants

• The Use of Informants With a Personal Agenda


• Encouragement, by Giving the Informant an End Point and Sense That the Assignment Can Be and Will Be Completed

• Respect, by Valuing the Risk, Work, Time and Effort the Informant Invests

• Guide, Lead, Communicate and Give the Instruction the Informant Needs


• Establishing the Informants Credibility Through Prior Cases

• Establishing the Officer's Credibility Through Prior Cases That Used Informants

• Establishing the Informant's Credibility by Explaining His Motivation to Inform and the Risks Taken


• Professionalism

• Limiting Personal Non Work Related Contact or Discussion

• Strictly Enforcing a No Physical Contact Rule

Pit Falls

• Selection

• The Handling of Evidence

• The Handling of Money

• Safeguarding Identities