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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    To catch an employee who sells tobacco products to a minor, the govt. USES minors in a "sting"!

    This is a BAD practice. No minor has any business being involved in a police operation. Why do the parents permit it and why do the courts permit it??

    Thoughts anyone!!!

    p.s. I meant to post it in debate the issues.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southeastern Michigan
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    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    My son has been in the local police departments Explorer program for 4 years and was recently promoted to Captain. They used this exact sting operation in my city last year and my son participated (age 17); my ex approved of it (I didn't even know about it). He was actually sold tobacco AND alcohol by a business owner.

    My son was accompanied by a plain clothes officer who walked in a minute before, or immediately after, my son entered and was no more than 10 feet my son at any time. My son also had a concealed microphone on him to record the transaction and/or to alert officers should he have been in any danger. He was also instructed to NOT initiate a transaction until the officer was in plain sight and within ear-shot of the conversation (10 feet per their instructions).

    Personally, I feel fine with this as long as the proper safeguards are in place. My son had 4 years of Explorer experience under his belt. Though he is was not a bonefide law enforcement officer at that point, he had a good understanding of law enforcement policies/procedures and a basic knowldege of the law. He was asked to take part of the program, underwent an additional 4 weeks of focused training (avoiding confrontation, entrapment issues, etc.), was supervised by a senior officer (30+ years in the police deparement) and was under constant supervision during the entire operation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    3,835

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    IF the purpose of the selling of age restricted products is to protect minors, how can LE justify using them to enforce it??

    I see it as there is no such thing as proper safeguards.

    Scenario: He walks into a store and orders a pack of smokes. He is asked for ID, and says he has none, the clerk gets ticked that underage buyers keep trying, he "goes off" on the minor and maybe even grabs them to hold for the police himself to charge him. The minor gets scared and tries to run, the clerk takes him down to the ground, this will only take a few seconds, so the police being "very close" means nothing.

    Or a customer in back of him in line grabs him and makes a "citizens arrest".

    The psychological damage the minor may encounter, is that retractable due to his training/learning skills??

    If a clerk "goes off" on him and slugs him because he is tired of this minor crap, is LE open to liability? If not, a waiver must have been signed first? How can a parent sign such when they know it is "possible" thier child can get hurt? A broken jaw is hardly compensation for such.

    The minor, of course, is excited to be "part of the action" as an Exploxer, etc., IMO, they do not fully understand what thy are doing. I am also sure the police have NEVER said something can go wrong, a lie, as they will be "close by" to "step in". It is a very very UNnecessary action by LE.

    I always hear, is is highly unlikely something will go wrong as justification by a parent to permit it ?? Say what?? It is a POLICE operation, period.

    When police have to use a minor to enforce crime, there is something wrong here??

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Quote Quoting M'sta Mikey
    View Post
    He was asked to take part of the program, underwent an additional 4 weeks of focused training (avoiding confrontation, entrapment issues, etc.), was supervised by a senior officer (30+ years in the police deparement) and was under constant supervision during the entire operation.
    Oh let me comment on this specifically. IF such intense training is required, that means LE must know that it is "possible" something could go wrong, otherwise they just need to say, "go in and order a pack of smokes, see if he sells them to you".

    The Explorer avoiding confrontation per his training, as I pointed out in my other post, does NOT mean the clerk will too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Texas/Tejas
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    1,879

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Quote Quoting BOR
    View Post
    To catch an employee who sells tobacco products to a minor, the govt. USES minors in a "sting"!

    This is a BAD practice. No minor has any business being involved in a police operation. Why do the parents permit it and why do the courts permit it??

    Thoughts anyone!!!

    p.s. I meant to post it in debate the issues.
    BOR, I know we've had our difference in the past, but I'm ready to make amends. Let's stat anew.

    That said, I agree with you 100%. Minors have no business working with a police operation.

    Truthfully, I oppose the police using ANY citizen (young or old)to do THEIR dirty work for them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    not sure
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    526

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Quote Quoting blueeagle
    View Post
    BOR, I know we've had our difference in the past, but I'm ready to make amends. Let's stat anew.

    That said, I agree with you 100%. Minors have no business working with a police operation.

    Truthfully, I oppose the police using ANY citizen (young or old)to do THEIR dirty work for them.
    Uh oh! Do I see a group hug taking place?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Texas/Tejas
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    1,879

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Quote Quoting cissycicle
    View Post
    Uh oh! Do I see a group hug taking place?
    Ain't gonna be havin' any of that. I'm just tired of fightin' with BOR. He's a good man.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,393

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Minors are used in cigarette decoys all the time. I have run these operations safely for more than 9 years without an incident.

    We can "what if" a situation all day long. What if a robber comes in ... what if a jealous boyfriend comes after the decoy ... what if ...

    The bottom line is that when these are done properly, the decoy is adequately monitored and briefed beforehand that there is very little REASONABLE chance of anything untoward happening.

    Police use minors for cigarette stings, informants, volunteers, and all sorts of non-sworn personnel for various support assignments. There is nothing wrong, illegal or immoral about the act.

    Oh, and not all these operations are run by the police ... my county's health department also runs them.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Texas/Tejas
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    1,879

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post

    Police use minors for cigarette stings, informants, volunteers, and all sorts of non-sworn personnel for various support assignments. There is nothing wrong, illegal or immoral about the act.
    Beg your pardon? When I'm PAYING for the acts, I decide the morality of it!!! Would you send your own child out to do a sting???

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,393

    Default Re: Tobacco Stings and Use of Minors

    Quote Quoting blueeagle
    View Post
    Beg your pardon? When I'm PAYING for the acts, I decide the morality of it!!! Would you send your own child out to do a sting???
    Your taxes may pay for the operations, but you do not get to say how they are conducted so long as they are conducted within the law.

    And, I don't send my child out for two reasons: (1) my oldest is too young, and (2) when he is old enough, if he doesn't want to, he doesn't have to. We do them so rarely, and we have sufficient volunteers that I don't anticipate he'll ever even be asked about it.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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