Blue Line

Covert Specialists Alumni (CSA) brings professional development and networking opportunities

September 14, 2023  By S/Sgt. Ron Lewis (ret.), Covert Specialists Alumni

Sep. 14, 2023, Ottawa, Ont. – As early as the late 1800s, Canadian law enforcement officers had removed their uniforms to infiltrate the criminal element.

During the 1960s there was a drastic influx of illegal drugs being used, sold and imported into Canada. New drugs appeared when methods to manufacture those chemicals concoctions became possible.

Traditional methods of enforcement could not stem the tide. Canadian law enforcement agencies progressively adopted the use of covert undercover operatives.

During the 1970s, the RCMP realized a more organized approach was needed to train and develop undercover operatives. The safety of their officers and the integrity of the evidence gathered for prosecution were paramount.


Lessons were learned of the psychological toll that can impact the undercover operatives. The selection process was enhanced through psychological testing and support. International law enforcement agencies have seen this value which they have understudied and adopted.

As time passed, the sophistication of these operations evolved to address other major crimes. In addition, new types of crime were appearing due to the advent of computerized data of both commercial and personal data.

Along the way, many other Canadian law enforcement agencies embraced the covert investigative method.

During the last 50 plus years, a tremendous amount of corporate and personal knowledge and experience has accumulated in the law enforcement covert operations world. Many of these individuals have either continued into the corporate security fields or are enjoying a well-earned retirement. There are probably several thousand trained covert operatives in retirement.

In 2020, the Covert Specialist Alumni (CSA) was founded by a core group of former undercover operatives. The principal purpose of the CSA is the promotion of personal and professional development, networking, an exchange of good practices and global thinking of its members both domestically and internationally. More so, the CSA will serve to reestablish, maintain and create new social connections.

Business is conducted by Quarterly Zoom meetings and an in-person/Zoom Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will rotate to various locations across Canada. There is also a Zoom CSA Speakers Corner which will introduce talented guest speakers.

CSA membership is comprised of people who are:

  • Covert specialists who are former or current members of an accredited law enforcement agency or intelligence services.
  • Invited individuals who have supported covert operations for those agencies.

New membership applications or questions can be sent via email to:

For addition information, please visit

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