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0660.33 Informants

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy number
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660.33, Informants


  • Directive 310.00, Conduct, Professional
  • Directive 313.10, Gratuities, Gifts, and Rewards
  • Directive 660.30, Evidence Funds Use
  • Directive 660.32, Agent/Informant Processing
  • Directive 1500.00, Training
  • Informant Forms


  • Agent: A law enforcement officer operating in an undercover status.
  • Confidential Reliable Informant (CRI): An individual who has established reliability by working with members in developing criminal information or evidence, usually as an informant.
  • Informant: An individual working for a member in an undercover status.


  1. The Police Bureau recognizes the use of informants is essential in many types of investigations. The Bureau recognizes the need for flexibility in using informants, as well as the potential for harm and abuse. To minimize the potential for abuse, the Bureau recognizes that close adherence to procedures by investigators and supervisors are necessary. In the interest of maintaining consistency and the highest levels of accountability within the informant program, the Drugs and Vice Division Manager will exercise approval authority for all Bureau informants.

2. Members using informants will maintain a professional relationship with the informant in accordance with Directive 310.00, Conduct, Professional, and will do so with knowledge and approval of the command of the unit to which they are assigned. Procedures will ensure maximum benefit in the use and handling of this type of information source while minimizing risk of abuse.

3. Members obtaining information from informants, or other such sources, will use that information for law enforcement purposes in accordance with existing statutes, case law and Bureau procedures.

4. Members paying and using informants for case development purposes and members who supervise and manage the Informant Program, must receive Bureau approved training before taking such action. The Drugs and Vice Division will be responsible for such training and the Training Division will maintain a list of Bureau members who have completed the training.

5. Members will control the activities of informants and use informants with a clear investigative goal. Informants are to be used as a means to an end. They are not partners in the investigative process.


  1. Member Responsibilities:

1.1. The following rules apply to the member-informant relationship:

1.1.1. Confidential Reliable Informants (CRIs) will be considered Bureau informants. Members will not engage in actions which would prevent Confidential Reliable Informants from working with other members. Supervisors of different units using the same Confidential Reliable Informants will confer at least monthly and more frequently as needed to assess investigator control and Confidential Reliable Informant performance.

1.1.2. Members will not engage in personal or social relationships with Confidential Reliable Informants, and will not engage in sexual relationships with Confidential Reliable Informants.

1.1.3. Members will not engage in business relationships with Confidential Reliable Informants.

1.1.4. Members should not accept gifts or gratuities from a Confidential Reliable Informant. In the event this is unavoidable, the member will document the circumstances and place the gift or gratuity in the Property Room.

1.1.5. Members should keep officer safety strategies in mind in dealing with Confidential Reliable Informants. Members should not meet Confidential Reliable Informants alone. Exceptions may be authorized by a supervisor, based on tactical considerations.

1.1.6. Payments made to Confidential Reliable Informants will be in accordance with Directive 660.30, Evidence Funds Use, and Directive 660.32, Agent/Informant Processing. Members will complete the Evidence Fund Accounting Receipt (EFAR) and have the Confidential Reliable Informants sign the receipt when payment is made.

1.1.7. Any action taken on behalf of a Confidential Reliable Informants, other than payments (e.g., testifying on behalf of the Confidential Reliable Informants, obtaining case consideration from other members, interceding with a parole/probation officer on behalf of the Confidential Reliable Informant, etc.) shall be documented in an inter-office memorandum through proper channels and placed in the Confidential Reliable Informants true name file.

1.1.8. Members should maintain strict confidentiality on Confidential Reliable Informants identities. The Drugs and Vice Division will coordinate the release of a Confidential Reliable Informant’s identity after obtaining the approval of the Drugs and Vice Division Manager.

2. Reliability of Confidential Reliable Informants:

2.1. Maintaining the credibility and manageability of Confidential Reliable Informants is fundamental to the effectiveness of the informant system. Members are swearing to the credibility of the Confidential Reliable Informants when using them for probable cause.

2.2. Members who utilize a Confidential Reliable Informant during a calendar month and account for the use with an Evidence Fund Accounting Receipt (EFAR) or in conjunction with a formal cooperating agreement will conduct a RegJIN records check of the Confidential Reliable Informant’s true name to determine if the Confidential Reliable Informant has had any recent contacts with law enforcement that have not been reported to the member. These RegJIN records checks will be conducted when the member completes their monthly Evidence Fund Expense Report (EFER) in accordance with Directive 660.30, Evidence Funds Use. Confidential Reliable Informant’s found to have unreported contacts with law enforcement will be investigated regarding their credibility and manageability. Members will immediately report such instances involving their Confidential Reliable Informant to a supervisor.

2.3. Supervisors are responsible for the ongoing review of Confidential Reliable Informant reliability and productivity. Confidential Reliable Informants who do not produce, and/or are not found to be reliable, will not be used. Supervisors of different units using the same Confidential Reliable Informants will confer at least monthly and more frequently as needed to assess investigator control and Confidential Reliable Informant performance.

2.4. Confidential Reliable Informants who are non-credible and/or unmanageable have the potential for undermining the effectiveness of the entire system. Confidential Reliable Informants who are not manageable or credible will immediately be classified as unreliable and not used. When members become aware of incidents of unmanageability or non-credibility, the member will immediately notify a supervisor to institute a supervisor review, and the member will document in a memorandum to the supervisor a description of the incidents which questions the manageability or non-credibility of the Confidential Reliable Informant. Until a determination has been made by a supervisor, the Confidential Reliable Informant will not be used by any member. The following actions/activities on the part of a Confidential Reliable Informant will be the basis for instituting supervisory review:

2.4.1. Untruthfulness on significant issues, especially related to an investigation.

2.4.2. Taking the same case to different units or agencies with the purpose of obtaining a better pay off (case shopping).

2.4.3. Engaging in criminal behavior.

2.4.4. Failing to maintain contact with the case member or being repeatedly uncontrollable.

2.4.5. Chronic intoxication or appearing to be under the influence of any drug.

2.4.6. Theft of evidence money or withholding drugs from an evidence buy.

2.4.7. Using his/her position for personal gain or identifying themselves as a police officer.

2.4.8. Violating a provision of the liability waiver or any Confidential Reliable Informant contract.

2.4.9. Any other act which seriously impairs the Confidential Reliable Informant’s credibility or manageability.

2.4.10. Chronically non-performing (e.g., buys bunk (counterfeit drugs) or is unable to buy drugs).

3. Problem Informants:

3.1. The decision to classify a Confidential Reliable Informant as unreliable will rest with the Responsibility Unit Manager after reviewing the supervisor review documentation on the Confidential Reliable Informant in question.

3.2. Once the decision has been made to declare a Confidential Reliable Informant as unreliable, the Responsibility Unit Manager will ensure that:

3.2.1. A Problem Informant Report is completed.

3.2.2. The original Problem Informant Report along with the informant’s original true name and moniker file will be transferred to Drugs and Vice Division for inclusion in the master Drugs and Vice Division problem informant file. The Drugs and Vice Division will be responsible for distributing the problem informant list of all Bureau problem informants to all Responsibility Units using informants. The Drugs and Vice Division will justify and distribute the master problem informant list each July and January. The Drugs and Vice Division will distribute information regarding individual problem informants as they occur between July and January, so that Responsibility Units using informants have an accurate problem informant listing at all times. Copies of any files may be destroyed after the problem Confidential Reliable Informant’s name appears on the Drugs and Vice Divisions Problem Informant List since the Drugs and Vice Division maintains this documentation.

4. Problem Informant Files:

4.1. All divisions and precincts using informants will maintain a confidential problem informant file containing the most current Drugs and Vice Division issued Problem Informant List. Copies of all Problem Informant Reports not yet reflected on the Drugs and Vice Division Problem Informant List will be filed alphabetically by true name in this file. Prior to approving a new Confidential Reliable Informant, the Drugs and Vice Division Problem Informant File and list will be checked by the control officer/investigator to determine if the individual has been a problem informant. If so, approval for informant use rests with the Drugs and Vice Division Manager.

5. Juvenile Informants:

5.1. The use of a juvenile informant should be made on a case by case basis as a last resort, with an investigative tactical plan describing how the juvenile will be used and documentation of why the investigation is so critical that a juvenile should be used.

5.2. The use of a juvenile informant for a criminal investigation needs the review and approval of the Responsibility Unit Manager and the prosecuting District Attorney’s Office.

5.3. Parent/guardian’s permission for the juvenile to act as an informant is required, unless the criminal investigation is so important that the Responsibility Unit Manager and the prosecuting District Attorney’s Officer are in agreement that it is not needed in a specific case, because requesting permission would jeopardize the critical investigation.

6. Informant Contracts:

6.1. Oftentimes, Confidential Reliable Informants work for case consideration instead of pay. In the event a Confidential Reliable Informant has been officially charged with a crime, an informant contract will be drafted and an agreement will be entered into by the member, a deputy district attorney, or assistant U.S. attorney and the Confidential Reliable Informant. The following procedures will apply to informant contracts:

6.1.1. An informant contract must be specific in the following areas: Work to be completed by the Confidential Reliable Informant. The details will vary, but the intent is to be specific (e.g., number of cases to be done, and the type and size of each). The duration of the contract and/or the possibility of time extensions. What the actual case considerations will entail.

6.1.2. The contract must include the name of the deputy district attorney or assistant U.S. attorney approving the contract.

6.1.3. The contract is to specify the member who will determine whether the terms of the contract are fulfilled or not.

6.1.4. The member identified in the contract as being responsible for the determination of completion of the terms will submit a memorandum documenting that determination and closing the contract. This memorandum is to be filed with the original contract.

6.1.5. In the event the contract timeline is extended, or some specifics are renegotiated or further clarified, these changes and the fact that all of the parties to the original contract agree, is to be documented in a memorandum and filed with the original contract.

6.1.6. Informant contracts must be preapproved by a supervisor and a deputy district attorney or assisting U.S. attorney and signed by the Confidential Reliable Informant only after the contract, the Confidential Reliable Informant packet and Confidential Reliable Informant are approved by the Drugs and Vice Division Manager.


  • Originating Directive Effective: 09/06/01
  • First Revision Effective: 01/01/07
  • Second Revision Effective: 01/07/09
  • Third Revision Effective: 10/12/15
  • Next Review Date: 10/12/17
  • Review By: Drugs and Vice Division

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