In the past five years, the UNC-Chapel Hill Police Department has used two confidential informants to assist with investigations.
According to the UNC Police policy, a confidential informant is a person who, "through close or criminal association with others involved in criminal conduct, provides information or assistance of investigative significance, usually but not necessarily in an ongoing capacity and is usually motivated by personal gain of some nature."
These gains can include leniency on existing charges. According to the UNC Police’s confidential informant agreement form, "no promises can be made about the ultimate disposition of any pending charges an informant may have, other than that the results of any assistance the informant provides will be reported to the District Attorney’s Office or the Dean of Students Office."
Under the policy, informants must let their control officer know where they are and how to contact them at all times and may be required to wear recording devices when interacting with suspects.
They are also not to disclose their association with the Department Criminal Investigations Division unless directed by their control officer or in response to a subpoena by a court of law.
In 2012, a confidential informant was used by UNC Police in a drug-related investigation. In 2015, one was used in a case of bike larceny. Both lead to an arrest, and neither confidential informants had any previous criminal history. The informant used in 2015 was paid.
No confidential informants have been used by UNC Police since 2015.
Randy Young, UNC Public Safety Media Relations Manager, said in an email that in very rare circumstances a confidential informant may be used in the interest of furthering or resolving an investigation.
“We do not use UNC students as confidential informants,” he said.