Interrogating a CNT Agent
An agent’s identity is crucial to protecting the integrity of their work. We were lucky to get the chance to ask one of savannah’s up-and-coming agents about life in the underground-anonymously, of course. Far from the portrayal in movies of the handsome agent in ray-bans, hood-sliding across a slick Ferrari, it involves a full-time commitment and a total devotion to service. Walking down the street, she looks like your average pretty petite young woman. However, the job she performs is far from average. Having served as a patrol officer for several years, she went to work undercover for the Chatham narcotics team (CNT) about a year ago and is one of three females serving in this predominately male role. But don't let that fool you. She is as tough as anyone on her team and the role she plays is critical to the success of each case. Her responsibilities include issuing warrants, testifying in court, surveillance, and posing as a buyer in undercover operations. The job is demanding, but she embraces it with grit, determination and heart.
How does being a female in this field assist you in your success? Does it present challenges?
I can provide an alternative perspective. I am able to see a situation completely differently than my male counterparts. A lot of the females we encounter seem to find it easier to talk to another female. And dealers tend to let their guard down around me.
What was your most adrenaline-laced moment?
There have been a few times where more than the expected number of people have shown up to a deal. That's always scary because there are more people to keep an eye on. You may not know who the new people are. There are also times I've gone into a house to buy drugs and seen people inside holding guns or guns laying in the open. You go into each situation knowing guns will likely be present, but that always gets your nerves going when you see them. Anytime I put on my vest, gun and badge before going on an operation, it's a stern reminder that I may not go home at the end of shift.
How does the job affect your personal life? How have your family and friends reacted?
In this profession, you make many sacrifices. It teaches you to cherish moments that some take for granted. You often see people and families at their worst. It's very humbling to come home to your family after one of those days. It makes you appreciate what you have and serves as a reminder that things could always be worse. My family and friends are very supportive, and I am grateful.
To read the full interview with undercover CNT agent, pick up a copy of the June/July issue of South Magazine.