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Police Corruption

By | September 2008
Page 1 of 8
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy corruption is defined as the abuse of power by a public official for private gain. Police corruption is the abuse of power by a police officer for their own personal gain. Police officers become corrupt mainly for monetary gain because most feel that police officers do not make enough money and they want to make more. Police corruption can be costly to society and it can even violate the rights of society. Police corruption can show favoritism to some and unfairness to others. If the people of our society would ban together and stop thinking about themselves, then there could be a chance to eliminate the corruption caused by police. There are several kinds of police corruption; there are reasons why other officers tolerate corruption, there are ways to reduce or even eliminate corruption, and there are different effects that police corruption can have on society. In the instance of noble-cause corruption, the utilitarian philosophy of "the ends justify the means" is employed. The drive is a “profound moral commitment to make the world a safer place to live" (Axia ADJ 235 Ethics in Crime and Justice Chap.8.p.197). The logic behind this concept is "... that officers sometimes (maybe even frequently) employ unethical means to catch criminals because they believe it is right to do so." A police officer has the power through use of his or her discretion to determine culpability and in doing so possibly altering the life of a criminal suspect. Discretion is a necessary element in law enforcement, but the need for discretion also leads to a greater dependence on individual ethical codes in place of rules and laws. Arguably, police utilize their discretionary power to enforce societal desires for order and crime control. The pressure for order and crime control may lead to the use of illegal means to achieve these goals. Here, corruption may be tolerated and left undisclosed to make an arrest and get a...
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