Undercover Stress

In: Social Issues

Submitted By tabathakdavis
Words 1342
Pages 6
Tabatha K. Davis
Undercover Stress
AIU-CRJS
Date: April 10th, 2012
Instructor: David Makin

Undercover Stress
When working in law enforcement and undercover policing there may be a wide variety of issues that come up and have to be dealt with. To gather information about ongoing and future criminal activity as well as disrupt these activities and arrest those involved, law enforcement agencies often use undercover employees. Over the years UCEs have worked to combat organized prostitution rings, the manufacture and distribution of drugs, street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) and extremist groups on both the political left and right including the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, skinheads, and militant separatist groups. Undercover assignments include short-term drug "buy and bust" stings that last for no more than a few hours to deep cover, long-term investigations that keep UCEs in the field for months or years. (Fitzgerald, P. n.d.)
There are massive amounts of stress to overcome during undercover work. As the UCE forms relationships with those he or she is investigating, feelings of ambivalence and guilt may ensue. UCEs may find themselves witnessing offenses committed by members of criminal organizations, a scenario that can trigger a serious moral dilemma. Should they attempt to intervene and stop the crime, or remain passive and protect their undercover identity? Another sensitive moral issue is that of UCEs having sexual relations (to gain information) with individuals they are investigating. Should there be limits as to what UCEs can and cannot do, to and with both criminals and noncriminal in the course of their work? Psychologist Gary Farkus discovered a relationship between psychological symptoms and undercover work, including anxiety, loneliness, isolation, relationship problems and extreme suspiciousness. (Fitzgerald, P. n.d.)
I have…...

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