Police Corruption in policing is viewed as the misuse of authority by a police officer acting officially to fulfill their personal needs or wants. There are two distinct elements of corruption; misuse of authority and personal attainment. The police officer stands at the top of the criminal justice system in a nation where crime rates are high and where the demands for illegal goods and services are widespread. These conditions create a situation in which the police officer is confronted with opportunity to accept a large number of favors or grants. The occupational subculture of policing is a major factor in both creating police corruption, by initiating officers into corrupt activities, and sustaining it, by covering up corrupt activities by other officers. Police corruption is a complex phenomenon, which does not readily submit to simple analysis. It is a problem that has and will continue to affect us all, whether we are civilians or law enforcement officers. Since its beginnings, many aspects of policing have changed; however, one aspect that has remained relatively unchanged is the existence of corruption. Police corruption has increased dramatically with the illegal cocaine trade, and the officer acting alone or in-groups to steal money from dealer and/or distribute cocaine themselves. The career of corruption begins with passively accepting minor gratuities that gradually begin to involve more serious violation of the laws, involving larger amounts of money and officers initiating corrupt acts. It can be said that power inevitably tends to corrupt, and it is yet to be recognized that, while there is no reason to presume that police officers as individuals are any less fallible than other members of society, people are often shocked and outraged when officers are exposed violating the law. There deviance elicits a special feeling of betrayal. The danger of police corruption could invert the formal goals of the organization and may lead to the use of organizational power to encourage and create crime rather than to deter it. Large groups of corrupt police officers have been caught in New York, New Orleans, Washington, Dc, and Los Angeles. Corruption within police departments falls into two basic categories; internal corruption, involving relationships among the police within the works of the police department (ex: promotions or favored assignments, usually purchased with bribes) and external corruption, which involves police contact with the public. There are many different forms of corruption; gratuity, involving free meals, free dry cleaning and discounts; bribery, involving the exchange of money or something of value between the police and wrong doer (this is very common among narcotics officers); theft and Burglary, involving officers stealing property, money and/or drugs from the department; and stealing from people under the influence, who essentially become victims of the police. A new form of police corruption developed in the early 1980’s and into the 1990’s, which include brutality, discrimination, sexual harassment, intimidation, and illicit the use of weapons. Drug related police corruption differs from other types of police corruption. In addition to protecting criminals or ignoring their activities, officers involved in drug related corruption were more likely to be involved in stealing drugs and/or money from drug dealers, selling drugs, lying under oath about illegal searches, and other crimes. Although not enough data was available upon which to base an estimate of the extent of corruption, the amount of cases of police corruption proved that it was striking enough to concern the public. The most commonly identified patterns of corruption involved small groups of officers who protected and assisted each other in criminal activities. The demands of the public and politicians, however, have caused an outrage and a fear that open investigations and accusations of corruption will...
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Deviance & Police. Ohio: Anderson Publishing Co. Castaneda, Ruben (1993, Jan. 18).
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The police in America, p.243-263, chp. 10, Walker, Samuel (1999).
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