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Santa Ana Police Discontinue Policy of Making Crack


October 1995

The Santa Ana Police Department has discontinued making crack for use in "reverse sting" operations, a policy for which the department has drawn criticism ("Across the USA: News from Every State (California)," USA Today, August 24, 1995, p. 5A).

Police were using the crack in operations where police pose as drug dealers and arrest those who purchase drugs from them. The display of drugs by undercover police officers is a common tactic in reverse sting operations. However, departments rarely manufacture the drugs and introduce them into communities. Reverse stings typically use drugs seized in raids.

Santa Ana police were criticized for allegedly dealing drugs near an elementary school and for allowing suspects to escape with police-manufactured drugs (see "Santa Ana Police Make Crack to Use in Busts," NewsBriefs, November 1994; "Another California Police Force Under Fire for Reverse Sting Operations," NewsBriefs, February 1995).