ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police Chief William Finney has ordered an investigation into the actions of two police officers who posed as census takers during an undercover drug operations, a move that angered officials at the U.S. Census Bureau.
A civilian review board will also look into the matter, department spokesman Michael Jordan said Friday.
Police working undercover often pose as people other than law enforcement officers to protect themselves, Jordan said, adding: "If you're a drug dealer, and you know I am a police officer, would you sell me any?"
He said the officers, whose names have not been released, only introduced themselves as census workers to protect a complainant in an undercover investigation.
But U.S. Census Bureau officials said the officers' actions jeopardized the credibility of census takers and possibly their safety as well. Bureau officials said they are reviewing laws that might address the deceptive portrayal of a census worker.
Last month, the International Federation of Journalists aired similar concerns, criticizing police in Luxembourg for posing as a television crew to lure a gunman into an ambush to end a hostage crisis.