Introduction to Human Assets: Informants, Witnesses, Agents

The purpose of the course is to educate police increment students on basic source handling skills. This course is not meant to replace any current course offered for police officers in the specific skills of source handling. This course is a more general overview to provide some general information, and hopefully encourage students to develop this very important skill. This course speaks to the specific philosophy, practices and principles associated with source handling. Moreover, it provides a general introduction to how source handling is being used in the Canadian Criminal Justice System, including relevant examples from Canadian Courts.

This course begins by defining sources, informants, compellable witnesses and agents. The course then expands to consider the factors that make good handlers and sources. Consideration is given to the legal principle of Privilege and how it extends to informants and specifically not to agents. Students will demonstrate the ability to distinguish between appropriate documentation and unacceptable documentation. Specifically the students will produce, defend and demonstrate a source debrief and also a source pedigree document.

At the successful completion of this course the student will be able to apply relevant source handling practices, assess source handling, demonstrate knowledge of key terms, and report on leading cases that influence and direct police handling of human assets.

The course is designed to be completed online, and students can complete the course in 40 hours and are given 120 days to do so.

The learning objectives of this course are to have the learner understand and demonstrate comprehension of:

  • Define Source, Witness, Informant, Agent
  • Analyze professional and appropriate source handling methods
  • Produce a source debrief and source pedigree
  • Analyze a source notebook
  • Justify the use of a source for inclusion in a search warrant application
  • Explain the leading case law influencing the handling of human assets
  • Demonstrate and analyze ethics and professionalism of source handlers
  • Restate and compare policy considerations
  • Identify and summarize the role of agents
  • Identify organizational liability in handling of Human Assets
  • Recognize the Organizational Support structures
  • Research Source handling policies and support from other agencies
  • Identify predictors of potential sources and treacherous sources

Instructor: Ike Isaksson

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