Undercover: Police Surveillance In America

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There are very few people in this world that can become an effective, long-term undercover officer. I learned from “Under and Alone” that in order to carry out undercover work successfully the officer must possess certain essential skill sets. There are numerous factors that should be considered when selecting an officer for undercover work. The factors I will discuss in this report include the officers thought processes and how well he or she is able to identify with the person or group the department is trying to infiltrate, the officers ability to deal with ethical dilemmas, since so many come up during undercover work, the overall characteristics an officer must possess to effectively work undercover, the officers ability to maintain his…show more content…
The term “ethical dilemma” is extremely vague because there are countless ethical dilemmas undercover officers could be faced with. Also, ethical dilemmas are controversial; some people may agree that what the undercover officer did was for the system, but some people may view it as the officer himself committing a crime. The book, “Undercover: Police Surveillance in America,” written by Gary Marx explains various arguments for using undercover tactics and which tactics are ethical. Some of these arguments include “undercover work is ethical when used for a good and important end,” “undercover work is ethical when there are reasonable grounds for suspicion,” “undercover work is ethical when done by persons of upright character in accountable organizations” and “undercover work is ethical when it is undertaken with the intention of eventually being made public and judged in court” (Marx, 1988, p. 90-91). William Queen dodged a bullet, literally, countless times during his years undercover when faced with drug use, staged rape and murder, illegal arms distribution and much more. Queen was seen as a hero for helping convict many members of the Mongols, but I’m sure there are some people who believe he added to firearm sales, theft, and drug selling by simply participating and not shutting those people down right then and there. Overall, I believe that William Queen’s work was used for the greater good and Queen obviously did too because it didn’t seem that he had any problem telling the court everything that happened during his time

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