WASHINGTON, DC—A group of police officers in Florida are calling on the federal government to declassify information about undercover informants that is classified and shared by the Department of Justice.
The police union said in a statement Thursday that the information should be made public so that the public can determine if it is accurate.
The union said that information obtained by the FBI was provided to the city of Lakeland in March of last year, months before the city council was scheduled to vote on a controversial proposal to allow the public to use its sidewalks for the first time since the 1960s.
The FBI has not been able to provide the names of undercover informants since 2010.
The FBI said in 2015 that it would not release the names because of a national security issue.
Lakeland City Manager Mike Dickey said he had previously heard about the undercover informant program from an individual who had a confidential source.
But he said he hadn’t seen the name in the years that the informant was employed, and the information had not been shared with the public.
The information that was shared with Lakeland was classified as “top secret,” meaning the FBI considers it to be highly sensitive.
The city’s police union and the Department, which owns the city, had requested that the FBI declassify the information.
The city council on Thursday voted to remove the city’s ordinance allowing the public use of sidewalks after receiving more than 100 letters of opposition from the public and businesses.