Students react to ’60 Minutes’ confidential informants segment

Carson Horn
The Oxford Eagle

Last Sunday, “60 Minutes” aired a segment about police departments across the nation that use college students as “confidential informants.”

The Lafayette County Metro Narcotics unit was mentioned in the segment as one of the departments in the U.S. that uses college students as CIs. Students sometimes make compromises with the police department to reduce the severity of their charges.

We asked UM students their thoughts about student CIs.


“It is pretty crazy to think about,” said freshman Easton Treadway.

“To think that there are kids my age getting arrested for drugs in the dorms is one thing, but for them to be converted into informants, that just blows my mind.

“It seems like a weird way for them to go about this, but I guess the police department has a certain objective that they are trying to accomplish.”

Sophomore Spencer Barco said he feels like parents should be notified if students are asked to be CIs.

“I feel like if I were ever put in a situation where I had to work as an informant to get rid of drug charges, I would tell my parents that I was doing so,” he said. “I think it would be foolish to lie to my parents, especially about legal matters.”

Ole Miss sophomore Chandler Crawford said friends from other schools have told him about the use of student informants on their campuses.

“It’s a very controversial topic, and it is something that is happening at colleges around the nation,” he said. “When I was living in the dorms last year, rumors were going around that there were kids who had gotten arrested and had become informants for the police department. Because I was not friends with any of the kids getting in trouble, I didn’t know what to make of it. Now, I guess I know that it is true.