Cohen (1986) argues that corruption has been described as “acting on opportunities, created by virtue of one’s authority, for personal gain at the expense of the public one is authorized to serve.” Cohen felt that it can be dangerous that the officers accept these gratuities because what might start without intent on the part of the officer may be become a patterned expectation and can lead to targeting and misuse of power if the gratuity stops. On a different view, Kania (1988) writes that police "should be encouraged to accept freely offered minor gratuities and ... such gratuities should be perceived as the building blocks of positive social relationships between our police and the public." This paper therefore is constructed to analyze the positive and negative effects of taking gratuities and the power of discretion in police work. It will show the ethical issues police officers face on a daily shift and the ways it affects society.
"To Take or Not To Take...That Is The Question"
Officers commonly get gratuities from local convenience store that belongs to the sector or area in which they patrol on a daily basis. Most officers that enter these stores begin to build a relationship with not only the employees and owner of the store but also with the "regulars" that enter the store more frequently. This can be observed in one of two ways, first it gives the employees and patrons a sense of security from knowing that a police officer is always around and the chances from being a victim if a crime is less likely. On the other hand some people that drive by and see the a police car or police officer at the same store every day have the mindset that, "no wonder my house got broken into, the officer only drinks coffee and eats doughnuts at the corner store." One of the positives from taking gratuities from a specific store can prevent from that store being targeted from being burglarized or being robbed. They can