What Are Undercover Agents?


Undercover agents use specialized skills, including self-defense, technological expertise and lock-breaking, to successfully solve large-scale crimes. They must also be able to maintain confidentiality and hide their identities from others.


During covert operations, undercover officers communicate with each other via radio nets and pagers using predetermined visual and audio signals. They are also armed with weapons to protect themselves.


Undercover agents are law enforcement professionals who use an alternate identity to gather information in relation to a crime. They may work for local police departments, the DEA or FBI. They undergo a lengthy training process before they are sent out on their first undercover assignment. The training includes identifying safety considerations, infiltration techniques, professional documentation and courtroom preparation.

A criminal investigation is more successful when an undercover agent has the full cooperation of the suspects and witnesses. Undercover agents are often used to infiltrate criminal organizations and gain valuable intelligence that can lead to arrests. They also assist in investigating cases of embezzlement, insurance fraud and government fraud.

The most common undercover assignments involve narcotics or organized crime. These cases typically require long term infiltration of the organization. For example, one officer was assigned to an outlaw motorcycle gang that lasted for four years. During this time he accumulated many weapons, including fully automatic guns and explosives.

Infiltrating criminal groups can be very dangerous. However, a trained undercover agent will be carefully vetted and will receive all the support he or she needs to succeed. The operative is also given official blessing to completely reinvent himself or herself. This is a career choice that can be very rewarding. Especially for those who have always dreamed of leaving their current life behind and becoming someone else.


Undercover agents are trained to use a fake and made-up identity while gathering information related to a crime. They may be tasked with infiltrating a criminal organization to 서울흥신소 learn how it moves goods and distributes drugs, or they might be called on to get close to a suspected serial killer. Their jobs require them to be discreet and have excellent investigative skills, including crime scene management and fingerprint technology. They also need specialized skills, such as computer hacking and lock-breaking.

They must have a good understanding of the criminal justice system and be able to work as part of a team. They also need to have extensive linguistic skills, as they often work with foreign nationals in undercover missions. They are a valuable tool for law enforcement, as they can provide information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.

It is important that an officer working undercover not consume controlled substances while on the job. If a member is forced to consume controlled substances, they should extract themselves from the situation and terminate contact with the suspect. They should not take any actions that could be interpreted as unlawful investigatory techniques, such as illegal wiretapping or mail openings.

All undercover operations must be approved by FBIHQ before they can begin. If a SAC believes that an undercover operation is urgent and cannot wait for the review process, they can request emergency interim authority from the designated Assistant Director.

Job duties

Police officers who work undercover may be involved in a variety of investigative activities. They may infiltrate criminal organizations to obtain information about their operations, such as a drug trafficking ring or a money laundering operation. They can also investigate other types of fraud, including insurance fraud or government fraud.

Undercover agents usually work as part of a team to ensure their safety and success. They may have a backup team that keeps track of their physical location and can alert them if they are in danger or if their cover is blown. They should also have a prearranged code word to use in case of an emergency.

A person who works undercover must maintain a fake identity for varying lengths of time, depending on the severity of the investigation. They must learn a new language and may have to change their appearance or live in an unfamiliar neighborhood. They must also be willing to spend a considerable amount of time away from their families.

While undercover operations can be very effective, they are often expensive and risky. They can lead to emotional stress and a significant loss of family life for the undercover officer. In addition, they may be exposed to dangerous situations and can become targets for violence or drug dealers. It is important for law enforcement agencies to balance the benefits of these operations against their costs in terms of time, manpower and risks.

Working conditions

Working undercover can be a challenging and dangerous job. Undercover agents have to pretend to be someone they are not and live in a different social circle for long periods of time. They also have to keep up with a lot of paperwork about the illegal activities they observe while on an assignment. As a result, they are often subject to a great deal of pressure and unsafe conditions.

If a significant amount of information during an undercover investigation reveals violations of laws administered by other Federal law enforcement agencies, the SAC should notify those agencies. The disclosure must take place in a way that does not jeopardize the undercover operation or the agent’s cover. The SAC should also obtain a letter from the appropriate Federal prosecutor that specifies that the prosecutor has reviewed the proposed operation and any sensitive circumstances reasonably expected to occur, agrees with the undercover technique and the legality of the proposal, and will prosecute any meritorious cases that develop during the undercover investigation.

All requests for undercover operations, including significant deviations from the standard operating procedures, should be approved by the SAC and a senior analyst of Special Investigative Techniques. These requests should be made on Form 8354 and include a narrative of the reasons why the deviation is required. For Group I operations, all extensions will be approved in monthly increments and, unless otherwise specified, the total approval period for an undercover operation upon completion will be six months.