It certainly caught a lot of people by surprise this week when we learned that the New London Police Department had placed an undercover officer among the student body at the city's high school to investigate reports of drug use and sales along with bullying. Those of us in our 40's were reminded of the awful FOX TV show 21 Jump Street that featured Johnny Depp and other talentless young actors playing cops who also went undercover into schools to fight crime.
But just imagine what it must have been like to be that undercover officer. First off, to be 21-years old and still able to pass as a high schooler is kind of embarrassing in itself. But to have to go back into that situation should have warranted battle pay.
First off, you have to the "new kid in school". That means sitting alone at lunch, having to impress other kids with either the car you drive or the headphones you have for you Ipod or by proving that Katy Perry follows you on Twitter.
Then you have to sit through Common Core Standard math and English classes all without blurting out "This won't help you at all when you get to college" and blowing your cover. And do you actually put in the work necessary to complete assignments or pass tests? I'm sure the entire staff was not informed of the undercover officer's presence in the school--since the more people who know, the more likely the operation is going to be exposed.
And then think about having to shop for clothing. Tight pants and revealing tops if you are pretending to be a female student. Or spending hours on making sure that your hair is gelled perfectly if you are a guy. Was the officer provided with an expense account to make a $1000 "prom-posal" that included reservation of a helicopter that landed on the school lawn so he or she could step off with a single rose like some episode of The Batchelor--since "Hey, want to go to the prom with me?" is no longer consider a proper way to ask someone out? And what do you do when a 15-year old girl who is desperate for your attention wants to send you "nudes" on Snapchat?
What really disturbs me is some of the comments you see from the "adults" under on-line stories about this operation. They are "offended" that police would "spy on their children" like this. Given that the officer was able to buy pot from two kids at the school, maybe it's the parents themselves that should be doing a little bit more "spying"--instead of a modern day Johnny Depp.