By Trey Rusk
I worked U/C early on in my career. It was usually a one night assignment in a bar looking for drugs, prostitution, and liquor violations. It consisted of driving out of your district making the case and leaving. This was not deep undercover.
Deep undercover is a different animal. Most people cannot work it because of unique stressors.
3. In a relationship
4. Away from home
6. Criminal associates
8. Abusing drugs and alcohol
10. Lack of close supervision
11. Getting beat down by cops
12. The Brass doesn't like you or trust you
In the true sense of the assignment, most of the time, state U/C people would arrive in a district do the job and leave. No one, including the District Supervisor knew they were around. This was true even if the District Supervisor sent in the request for a U/C agent. Later a report would arrive detailing the work performed and the identities of persons to be arrested by local agents.
I knew U/C agents that worked from home and traveled across the state from one assignment to another. They would rarely be summoned to HQ in an effort to maintain their cover. It was easy to do in a state agency but next to impossible for a local agency to maintain a deep undercover agent.
I refer you to the movie “Rush.” It is a true story that happened in Longview, Texas. In the end, one deep U/C was killed and the other was nearly prosecuted and practically run out of town. Both had become addicted to drugs. In my opinion it was the best movie made depicting local cops used to work deep undercover.
I have seen U/C agents given next to impossible goals. Goals that would be unattainable without violating departmental policies and state law. I also saw supervisors turn a blind eye to the problems.
The behavior of the deep U/C would change noticeably. They would get drunk and wreck a vehicle. Then be found hanging with criminals when not on an assignment. They would eventually lose their family, home, job and self-respect.
As an example, I knew a deep U/C that had gone around the bend. He became addicted to drugs and was later fired for his conduct. He had lost everything. Several years ago he was arrested for public intoxication. He was booked into the agency where he had worked and wasn’t even recognized until a veteran officer saw him in the jail. I recently heard that he had sought help and even returned to his family. Rumor has it that he is suing that agency for what they did to him. I hope he wins.
Local cops shouldn’t be used for deep U/C. State or Federal cops need to be used for long term assignments. They have the resources and can tell a local supervisor to go fuck himself when given an impossible task.
That’s the way I see it.