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New officer quits after identifying police informant

A rookie police officer quit after blowing the cover of a police informant during a chance meeting at a restaurant, police supervisors said Thursday.

Such informants are typically used to buy drugs from dealers being investigated by the police.

"Compromising a confidential informant, in the world of law enforcement, is a grievous mistake," said St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Doniel. "In the wrong circles, it could get that person killed."

Officer Kevin Jackson resigned before a police review board decided to fire him Thursday.

Jackson, 28, had worked for the department since March 1998 and hadn't yet completed his probationary period.

The Police Department gave this account:

On March 23, Jackson drove to a Clearwater restaurant to meet an acquaintance. He ran into another man he knew, a confidential informant for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

In conversation, Jackson expressed his distaste for "snitches" and publicly identified the man as a police informant. At the time, the informant was with a person under investigation by the Sheriff's Office.