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    Confidential informants help local police

    6:16 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- They are typically recruited and managed in secret and can be a detective's best friend.

    Confidential informants play a key role in local police departments and Sergeant Brian Dedrick with the North Little Rock Police Department use them often.

    "We do use them in drug cases, homicides, anything we're looking to and need help in solving a crime then we can turn to a confidential informant," Dedrick said.

    The North Little Rock Police Department pays them hundreds of dollars to act as their eyes and ears on the streets. The department pays $50,000 a year to these anonymous tipsters.

    "A lot of confidential informants may have fines, they may have non-violent crimes. We assist them in helping them with their fines to pay off, some do it for money, we do pay informants."

    Dedrick says payouts range from sixty to five-hundred dollars.

    Dr. Jeffery Walker, Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at UALR says If you're able to catch a bigger fish with a smaller fish then why not throw out your bait.

    "Most people are not going to do something for nothing, so you're going to have to offer them reduced jail time, reduced sentence, money."

    The list of what informants do for the police is long and varied, but Dedrick says they save police countless hours of work and significant amounts of money

    "There's a lot of places where people are selling drugs that we don't have the utilities to get in there and do a controlled buy from. We use confidential informants in that way."

    There's some question as to whether this type of work makes sense, but Walker says absolutely.

    "A lot of times the controversy runs into sometimes is you go well, you're paying somebody who's committing crimes, but usually the response to that is, you rarely find a catholic priest who has information about burglaries in the community, so you've got to pay people who are somewhat criminal or who are criminal to be able to get that kind of information."

    Police departments have guidelines for each informant to follow. Sergeant Dedrick says they don't put all of their eggs in one basket.

    "One of the big factors is making sure that the confidential informant is reliable and we try to make sure that we take steps in verifying the information that they give us."

    The North Little Rock Police Department says they budget fifty thousand dollars a year for informants and no information is available as to how many tipsters work for the department.

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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- They are typically recruited and managed in secret and can be a detective's best friend. Confidential informants play a key role in local police departments and Sergeant Brian Dedrick with the North Little Rock Police Department use them often. "We do use them in drug cases, homicides, anything we're looking to and need help in solving a crime then we can turn to a confidential informant," Dedrick said. The North Little Rock Police Department pays them hundreds of dollars to act as their eyes and ears on the streets. The department pays $50,000 a year to these anonymous tipsters. "A lot of confidential informants may have fines, they may have non-violent crimes. We assist them in helping them with their fines to pay off, some do it for money, we do pay informants." Dedrick says payouts range from sixty to five-hundred dollars. Dr. Jeffery Walker, Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at UALR says If you're able to catch a bigger fish with a smaller fish then why not throw out your bait. "Most people are not going to do something for nothing, so you're going to have to offer them reduced jail time, reduced sentence, money." The list of what informants do for the police is long and varied, but Dedrick says they save police countless hours of work and significant amounts of money "There's a lot of places where people are selling drugs that we don't have the utilities to get in there and do a controlled buy from. We use confidential informants in that way." There's some question as to whether this type of work makes sense, but Walker says absolutely. "A lot of times the controversy runs into sometimes is you go well, you're paying somebody who's committing crimes, but usually the response to that is, you rarely find a catholic priest who has information about burglaries in the community, so you've got to pay people who are somewhat criminal or who are criminal to be able to get that kind of information." Police departments have guidelines for each informant to follow. Sergeant Dedrick says they don't put all of their eggs in one basket. "One of the big factors is making sure that the confidential informant is reliable and we try to make sure that we take steps in verifying the information that they give us." The North Little Rock Police Department says they budget fifty thousand dollars a year for informants and no information is available as to how many tipsters work for the department.

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