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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Can You Start Your Own Sting Operation, or Do You Need Department Approval?

    The thread about the wallets got me to wondering...

    As a cop, can you start your own mini-sting operation?

    I mean, let's say that your beat includes a shopping mall where you've had a lot of thefts. Are you allowed to set up and stake out your own bait car, for example, with fake valuables in plan view and the windows rolled down?

    Maybe even get volunteers to help stake it out for you? (lol, I probably know the answer to that last question - I've been given liabiality lectures by the Chief already)

    This assumes of course that you do it on public property, or have the property owner's approval.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-02-07 at 04:27 AM.

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  2. #2
    Standard Dave's Avatar
    Standard Dave is offline Constable
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    Although you are probably refering to the US I will answer for a UK point of view.

    No, that sort of thing will require some sort of authorisation usually surveillance authority from at least an inspector and more often a superintendent.

    and on volunteers, no all the people involved would have to be surveillance trained and conversant with the authority used.

    If an officer can get the authority and the staff together they can have an operation run on a particular area or type of crime but they would also have to check they are not interfearing with other operations that are on going or planned.

  3. #3
    BEK's Avatar
    BEK
    BEK is offline Lieutenant
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    Although your more refering to bigger cities. In smaller towns, yes. I can start a sting or investigation on my own. I do and will run it past the chief.


  4. #4
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    I could probably get away with something small scale (like leaving a bike out and watching it) with just a patrol sergeant's approval on it. But much beyond that, and it'd have to run up the chain a little bit. It's mostly just to make sure that I'm not stepping on anybody's toes and that I don't create a situation that the prosecutor won't support than because "I can't."

  5. #5
    Coloradocop's Avatar
    Coloradocop is offline It's the PoPo
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    I don't recall the exact verbage of my department's regulation on the subject (and I'm too tired to dig it up at the moment)... But, basically the answer here is no. Stings/under cover type work require approval of the higher-ups prior to the operation.

  6. #6
    ida40dj's Avatar
    ida40dj is offline Officer First Class
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    here we can do it, but need to have lt. and chief approval. if they dont know whats going on they will be none to pleased.also a safety consideration we generally have one officer per shift so lt. and chief end up having to be back up on day shift.
    Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things!

  7. #7
    Growler's Avatar
    Growler is offline I is not happy
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    Need Sgt, lt, capt and chief approval before it goes anywhere!!! we have a dept. close to 700 sworn, can't have folks going off on their own.

  8. #8
    cntryboy0531 is offline THE five-oh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Growler View Post
    Need Sgt, lt, capt and chief approval before it goes anywhere!!! we have a dept. close to 700 sworn, can't have folks going off on their own.
    Same here. If I wanted to do something small scale, as in setting a bike out at a place where thefts are prone, and watching it, I could get away with my Shift Sgt's approval. Matter of fact, we've done small stuff like this before on the Sgt's level.

    However, anything bigger than that, wouldn't even be done in patrol, we simply don't have the time. Hell, even the bike scenerio, we don't have much time for.

  9. #9
    Beans's Avatar
    Beans is offline Street Cop
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    If we kept our supervisors in the dark on something like that, they would be pissed. Plus I am busy enough, that sounds like a job for the detectives.
    Last edited by Beans; 01-03-07 at 11:17 AM.
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  10. #10
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I wasn't really suggesting that anyone do it without supervisor approval, but whether that was just something that would be part of your routine or whether it'd have to go through some type of planning & signoff.

    Certainly, some cops I've ridden with will routinely stake out roadways, red lights, and stop signs looking for speeders and red light runners without having to get any sort of signoff for each stakeout, so I'm not sure why they wouldn't get a blanket approval do the same thing with thieves and car burglars.
    Last edited by TXCharlie; 01-03-07 at 11:14 AM.

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  11. #11
    Beans's Avatar
    Beans is offline Street Cop
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    I wasn't really suggesting that anyone do it without supervisor approval, but whether that was just something that would be part of your routine or whether it'd have to go through some type of planning & signoff.

    Certainly, some cops I've ridden with will routinely stake out roadways, red lights, and stop signs looking for speeders and red light runners without having to get any sort of signoff for each stakeout, so I'm not sure why they wouldn't get a blanket approval do the same thing with thieves and car burglars.
    For traffic enforcement stakeouts there would be no approval needed. As a street cop, that is what is expected of me. As for stakeouts for burglars and such, that would require me to sit for a long period of time. Thus, I would be neglecting the rest of my beat. I just don't have time to do that.
    Also, we have a large detective unit that does that kind of thing. I would not want to interfer with a possible investigation they may be involved in.
    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.

  12. #12
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Oh, I see what y'all mean about interferring with another investigation involving the same thieves - Yeah they may not want them picked up if the same thieves are involved in a burglary ring or a dope case or whatever - I hadn't thought of that.

    Good point about wasting time... That's why I mentioned volunteers, but of course I guess that's really the role of private security, anyway - They observe, you haul away

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  13. #13
    E-man's Avatar
    E-man is offline No bird but dog and 3 cats
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    In all honesty, if the Chief doesn't think about it, no way can we do something proactive. NOT to say we are just a bunch of radio call chasers.
    We had a rash of vehicle break ins and narrowed it down to time, and general area. We wanted to get the plainclothes car out and sit in it for a few nights but the Sgt. said we better get you know who's approval. It took a few days for the YES to come down.
    We are a small department and he didnt want to waste 25% of the patrol shift to sit in a car in a parking lot... He shoulda made it an overtime detail
    A monday morning lunatic, disturbed from time to time. Temporary catatonic madman on occasion..

    Lightning crashes a new mother cries, her placenta falls to the floor. The angel opens her eyes,the confusion sets in before the doctor can even close the door..
    The views and comments of E-man are mine and mine alone and therefore might not reflect the views of others or people in my current department. As such since this is still America I can post what I want without fear of retribution. I think.

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  14. #14
    danninator's Avatar
    danninator is offline po-leece
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    I can't even pee without letting someone know
    No life 'til leather gunna kick some ass tonight.

  15. #15
    Big Al's Avatar
    Big Al is offline There is no place like home....
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    Quote Originally Posted by danninator View Post
    I can't even pee without letting someone know
    Are you a trouble child, or do you work for micro-managers??

  16. #16
    Ducky's Avatar
    Ducky is offline Enforcer General
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al491 View Post
    Are you a trouble child, or do you work for micro-managers??
    I'd guess.. yes. To both.
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  17. #17
    danninator's Avatar
    danninator is offline po-leece
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    Are you a trouble child, or do you work for micro-managers??
    More like anal disptachers. In all honesty for a town that can get from one end to the next within 3 minutes we have a lot of freedom. Dispatchers just have a habit of sending us out when we are busy peeing, eating, or trying to dodge. So now I put myself out for every little thing.

    Small city (1.8 sq miles) but in the summer you can have up to 30 cops working at one time. everyone is up each others ass.
    No life 'til leather gunna kick some ass tonight.

 

 

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