Paul Angelo Brienza
November 29, 2012
The Costs of Corruption In today’s society, the amount of crime that occurs can be quite difficult to deal with and responsibility ends up falling on police to curtail it. Unfortunately, the infectious nature of crime often drags these assigned “stoppers” into the same mud that they are trying to prevent others from falling into. When officers abuse their legally sanctioned position of authority, it is known as police corruption. It is a persistent problem that is more significant in a criminal sense than the average person committing a crime because it is happening by a representative/protector of the law. Since police are not judiciaries, they do not determine who is guilty and thus undermine the law system when they do these crimes. Also, it is important to note that police corruption is not the same as an ordinary instance of crime. To elaborate,
“Police corruption is an illegal use of organizational power for personal gain. The personal nature of the gain distinguishes corruption from brutality, perjury, illegal search, or any other law violations committed in the pursuit of such legitimate organizational goals as fighting crime. The organizational nature of the power used illegally excludes many crimes committed by policemen, such as burglary committed by a city police officer in his suburban town of residence in which he has no contact with the local police. That particular burglary would be merely a crime. A burglary committed by a police officer in his own police jurisdiction, under the protection of his colleagues or aided by his organizational knowledge of his colleagues’ practices, would be both a crime and an act of police corruption.” (Sherman, 31).
As one can see, police corruption is a serious problem as it is almost always involves an associated act of crime. There is no room for this behaviour in fair environments and it cannot occur if society wishes to advance.
Cited: Sherman, Lawrence W. Scandal and Reform: Controlling Police Corruption. N.p.: University of California, 1978. Print. Police Powers and Accountability in a Democratic Society. N.p.: 2000. Google Books. Web. <http://books.google.ca/books?id=cVAOfvU1o-wC>. Walker, Samuel. "Police Accountability: Current Issues and Research Needs." National Institute of Justice Police Planning (2006): 1-35. National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http:/https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/218583.pdf>. White, Stuart A. "Controlling Police Corruption." Stanford University. N.p., 4 June 1994. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <http://www.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/paradox/hwhite.html>. Martin, Rich M.S. "Police Corruption: An Analytical Look Into Police Ethics." FBI. N.p., May 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/may_2011/law_enforcement_professionalism>. Community Policing Lecture Slides