Pros/Cons of Under Cover Police Work

In: Social Issues

Submitted By cupoj427
Words 1683
Pages 7
Police officers can be assigned to numerous lines of work within an police department. A wide range of law enforcement duties generally require the officer to wear a uniform, representing his or her status as enforcer of laws, preventer of crime, and preserver of domestic peace. However, there is one controversial line of law enforcement that restricts the use of police a uniform. Undercover police work entails the practice of remaining in disguise during investigations of criminal activity. A police officer may assume a different identity acting as an undercover agent, as a method for gaining valuable information or evidence. Undercover work is by far the most dangerous and controversial areas of law enforcement. Nonetheless, undercover work is also one of the best investigative techniques implemented by police departments. The first plainclothes police unit was organized in France during the early 1800’s. Eugène François Vidocq has been recognized as the originator of the “Brigade de la Sûreté”, or “security brigade”. In his self-titled memoir, Vidocq explains the goals of his early undercover police network: “to procure information, to undertake searches, and to obtain particulars of every description; to make nightly rounds…to assist the commissaries of police in their searches, or in the execution of search-warrants; to explore the various rendezvous in every part; to go to the theatres, the boulevards, the barriers, and all other public places, the haunts of thieves and pickpockets.”[1]

Great Britain later developed their own national security forces called the “Special Irish Branch”, an undercover unit of London’s Metropolitan Police in 1883.[2] By 1905, Italian Americans in United States introduced their own program called the “Italian Squad”, an elite body of undercover police officers who pledged to reduce organized crime in New York…...

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