School Buy Program Nets Multiple Arrests

June 20, 2003

Los Angeles: In June 2003, the Los Angeles Police Department in conjunction with the Los Angeles Unified School District, completed their undercover officer program for the Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 semesters. The unit responsible for overseeing the undercover officers is known as the School Investigation Buy Unit and consists of undercover officers and five supervisory detectives who oversee the unit’s daily operations.
This method of deploying young looking officers onto high school campuses to conduct drug enforcement began in 1974. The objective of this enforcement operation is to identify students who willfully and blatantly use the school campuses as an environment to make money by selling narcotics to other high school students. Once the students are identified and a drug transaction has taken place with the undercover officer they are arrested and in most instances expelled from the school to prevent future illegal conduct.
During the fall semester ten undercover officers were deployed resulting in 80 arrests: 78 students and 2 off campus individuals. The most prevalent drug seized was marijuana, however cocaine methamphetamine, ecstasy ketamine and hash oil were also purchased by undercover officers during this semester. The estimated street value of the narcotics seized was $10,097.
During the spring semester eight undercover officers were deployed resulting in the arrest of 58 high school students. The estimated street value of the narcotics seized was $4,700. Once again the prevalent narcotic was marijuana. Cocaine, methamphetamine and vicodin were also either furnished to or purchased by the undercover officers.
In summary, a total of 138 arrests of students and non-students, were made during this school year of young people who deal drugs on or near high school campuses.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Grace Brady, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.