Working Narcotics Undercover- David Cropp

One of the most dramatic presentations at the PSWA conference was David Cropp giving an in-depth insider's view of what it's like to work undercover in the war on drugs. Cropp is a 32 year veteran of the Sacramento Police Department, holding many positions. He retired in 2008 as a detective sergeant.

He correlates the high crime rate to heroin addiction.

To be undercover, the person needs to build his character as a bad guy. He has to be flexible in order to be safe.

He needs to understand the client and have a Plan BE, knowing when to call it off.

He needs to appreciate different perspectives without accepting them.

Everyone needs food and shelter. Maladaptive environments create maladaptive behaviors.

If you're undercover, must have a cognitive filter.

When undercover, you must always be looking for rip-offs and weapons without looking like you are.

Listen to how the other person communicates.

You must understand the person you are dealing with.

Must have the smarts to go along with the flexibility. Must also have patience.

The more research done the better the  job. Take pictures of people and learn their behavior.

Learn who is on probation and whose on parole.

On the streets, no one is on time. No bed, no three meals a day. No getting wrapped up on schedules.

Everyone wants to make money or score.

Heroin users are predictable. Meth users are unpredictable.

You have to be a risk taker and thrive on excitement.

Need to be a team player, know what your back-up is thinking. What do they need you to do?

Some undercover cops may turn to alcohol. Some have ruined the lives by becoming alcoholics, turning to drugs. Some commit suicide.

Drug dealers are turned in  by friends and relatives, neighbors who are fed up.

There was lots, lots more, but that's enough for this blog.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


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