COVER STORYCover stories are used to prepare the UC officer and informant in answering questions the suspects may ask so the answers are consistently the same. What previous experience do you have in criminal activity?Some background questions that must be agreed upon and memorized are: How did the two meet? UC officers are advised not to say they met their informant in jail since contacts within penal institutions can easily confirm this is not true.

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Genuine UC federal documents such as passports, pilot's license and Social Security Cards can be obtained through a federal law enforcement agency on a case-by-case basis.

It's much better to have these documents and not use them, then not have them and suddenly need them to perform an important UC assignment.

On the other hand, a clean-cut officer must alter his appearance if he hopes to convince a drug dealer he is a homeless drug addict.

Appearance is equally important as knowledge and skill.

THOROUGHALLY DEBRIEF THE INFORMANTOnce selected to perform an undercover assignment, the officer should review the investigative case file as well as the file of the informant involved.

The review should focus on the informant's past performance and manageability.

He or she must have the appropriate appearance for the role.