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How Do I Obtain a Confidential Informant List?

I am often asked by people about how a person can get a list of confidential informants in their area. This is hard to do for several reasons.list of names of informants Governments don’t typically maintain such lists. Even large metro police departments typically try to decentralize information about informants so that damage would be limited should there be a breach of security that allowed the leaking of information. Smaller jurisdictions typically rely on institutional memory rather than specific lists. People are free to try to make a public records request for lists of informant under the Freedom of Information Act or under a state public records law. Information revealing the identity of confidential informants is exempt from public disclosure under RCW 42.56.240(1) and (2), and rule CrR 4.7(f)(2). Confidential informants are called “confidential” for a reason. The best that a person could obtain under such a public records request would be a list of past informants, i.e. informants that testified in court and are no longer active.

Learn more about informants.