Article Title

Becoming an Undercover


For two years, beginning in 2004, Mitch Librett left his day job as a Shift Commander in his own police department at 4 o’clock, 3 afternoons per week, donning old clothing to assume the role of narcotics investigator with the Special Investigations Unit of another police jurisdiction. He conducted in-depth interviews with these undercover police officers, eventually gaining their trust and confidence. Dr. Librett is currently writing a book about his research. Qualitative research of this sort is often rooted in the personal experiences of the researcher. It also benefits from a careful and honest examination of this history by the researcher. This article reveals some of Dr. Librett’s self examination as an undercover police officer and researcher, and presents some excerpts from his field notes and insights. All of the locations, names, and settings from his research have been disguised, both here and in his manuscript.

Note on the Author

Mitch Librett is an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department.