Worried about liars in their ranks, St. Louis police officials are demanding that up to 20 officers tell bosses details about their confidential informers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The St. Louis Police Officers Association won a temporary restraining order to block the inquiry. The organization says the probe would jeopardize informers’ lives, officers’ careers, and public safety.
At issue is whether officers have attributed fabricated information to confidential informers to obtain search and arrest warrants. The Post-Dispatch reported in April that the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office had been quietly dropping cases associated with two officers who had been accused by defense lawyers of lying on search warrant applications. Police policy requires officers to document “confidential informants,” defined as those who will receive cash for their information. Officers also can use information provided by “confidential sources” who do not have to be documented as long as they have proved to be reliable. The suit to block the investigation lumps both types of informers together, along with anonymous sources, tipsters and other terms.