Police Corruption: Examples And Solution

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  • Topic: Police, Constable, Los Angeles Police Department
  • Pages : 7 (2528 words )
  • Download(s) : 645
  • Published : December 10, 2006
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When the word corruption comes to mind, many individuals think of practical societies or countries without a stable government that handle issues in an unfair way. Even though this may be true to a certain extent, corruption has a broader meaning to it, and, is found in almost everything and everywhere. Johnson (2006) explained that corruption is a widespread social occurrence that exists in any civilization, and thrives in any type of people. He also states that corruption exists in systems that somehow relate to the control of the public. Johnson (2006) uses the example of police departments because they maintain order and, peace by controlling society. He states that a police organization is very similar to other government sections such as, courts of law or tax collection service It is a belief that all these types of organizations tend to have corruption within them for one simple reason; they receive and use the tax payer's money. This then leads to not one person caring about the control of the money that comes in and goes out. In turn, this leads to an unclear understanding of who is in command and what are the responsibilities one needs to keep accomplish (Para. 1). With this may being one of the main causes of corruption in a police organization, it would further lead to "the misuse of authority by a police officer acting officially to fulfill personal needs or wants" (Holloway, para. 3). Dantzker (1995) states that there needs to be three various elements that must be present: "1) misuse of authority, 2) misuse of official capacity, and 3) misuse of person attainment." (Dantzker, 1995). For a corrupt act to occur all three of the elements listed need to be present and occurring simultaneously. With this being said, there are three main theories of corruption that must be taken into account. Reese (2003) explains two of them, the rotten apple theory and the environmental perspective theory. He states that the rotten apple theory involves a few bad apples within a police department who were not screened properly and came into the department at risk of corruption. The environmental perspective theory on the other hand, suggests that police corruption is a reflection and mimics the political corruption within the city. Politically corrupt cities influence the police organization which causes corruption. Another theory Holloway (2002) explains is that corruption can occur in various ways such as rough treatment, discrimination, sexual harassment, threatening, and the abusive use of weapons. He goes on to explain that corruption is broken down into two components, internal and external corruption. Internal Corruption is the illegal acts and/or agreements within a police department and, involves more then one of the members within the organization. The external corruption has to do with the illegal acts that involve one or more members of the police organization and, one or more members of the general public (Para. 3). Holloway (2004) goes on to give examples of external corruption. He states that corruption generally consists of activities, such as individuals of the public pay money to police to avoid arrest or continually violate the law. Others include activities involved in narcotics, bribes, and false testimony in court in order to attain dismissal of the charges against a defendant (Para. 4). According to Holloway (2004) another type of corruption is called a scandal. He states "a scandal is perceived both as a socially constructed phenomenon and as an agent of change that can lead to realignments in the structure of power within organizations" (Holloway, 2002, Para. 4). Many police organizations experience scandals, some more vulnerable than others.

For example take New York for instance. New York has had "more then half a dozen major scandals regarding its police department within a century" (Holloway, 2002, Para. 5). One of the most famous scandals that occurred in New York is Rampart Scandal that occurred...
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