Florida narcotics officers aren’t permitted to use, illegal drugs as part of their cover. One rational is that the use of mind-altering substances would reduce the officers’ ability to reason and react effectively in emergency situations. In addition, they wouldn’t be able to testify in court regarding events that had taken place during the time of their intoxication. This has been the subject of much debate however among criminal attorneys over the last decade following numerous “tell all” books.
The drug culture in the United States is so vast, and covers such an enormous territory, that it’s become necessary for police agencies to form multi-jurisdictional task forces. These task forces can be comprised of members from several police agencies, such as police departments; sheriff’s offices; state police; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the National Guard; the U.S. Coast Guard; the U.S. Border Patrol; and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Joint membership in a federally sponsored task force offers the participating agencies more manpower at no cost to local departments and allows free access to expensive government-owned equipment. Officers who are members of these elite teams can be sworn in by any of the participating agencies. This action provides the members with arrest powers in those jurisdictions, allowing them to travel and work anywhere in the country if necessary.
Even criminal attorneys can’t point out narcotics officers if they are not personally known to them as they often wear long hair, beards, and shabby clothing. They sometimes drive old beat-up cars and possess fake driver’s licenses and IDs that coincide with their false identities.