Police Corruption

Topics: Police, Police brutality, Police officer Pages: 7 (2299 words) Published: December 2, 2008
informed discretion in all activities. Combination of power, authority, and discretion in police work produces great potential for abuse.

Police corruption has been a problem in American society since the early days of policing. An ancient natural tendency of human beings is to attempt to placate or win over those in positions of authority over them. This tendency is complicated in today’s materialistic society by greed and by the personal and financial benefit to be derived from evading law. The temptations toward illegality offered to police range from free cup of coffee from a small restaurant owner in exchange for officers future goodwill, perhaps for something as simple as a traffic ticket, to huge monetary bribes arranged by drug dealers to guarantee that the police will look the other way as an important shipment of contraband arrives. As noted criminologist Carl b. klockars says, policing, by its very nature, “is an occupation that is rife with opportunities for misconduct. Policing is a highly discretionary, coercive activity that routinely takes place in private settings, out of the sight of supervisors, and the presence of witnesses who are often regarded as unreliable.”

Ethicists say that police corruption ranges for minor offenses to serious violations of the law. Exactly what constitutes corruption, however, is not always clear. In Recognition of what some have called corruptions slippery slope most police departments now explicitly prohibit even the acceptance of minor gratuities. Slippery slope perspective holds that even small thank you’s accepted from members of the public can lead to more ready acceptance of larger bribes. An officer who begins to accept, and then expects, gratuities may soon find that his or her policing becomes influenced by such gifts and a larger one soon follow. At that point, the officer may easily slide to the bottom of the moral slope, which was made slippery by previous small concessions.

Occupational defiance, they say, is motivated by the desire for personal benefit. Abuse of authority, however, occurs most often to further the organizational goals along for, including arrest, to you giving, and a successful conviction of suspects.

Police defiance, according to Perry, is a precursor of individual and organizational corruption. It may eventually lead to a recursion unless police supervisors internal furnishings are open to the warning signs and actively intervene to prevent corruption from developing. Police defiance consist of unprofessional on and off duty and misconduct, isolated incidents of misuse the position and proper relationships with informants criminals, sexual harassment, disparaging racial or sexual comments, embellished/falsified reporting, time and attendance abuse, insubordination, nepotism, cronyism, and no criminal unauthorized disclosure of information.

In the early 1970s, Frank Serpico made headlines as he testified before the Knapp commission on police corruption in New York City. Serpico, and under cover operative within the police department, revealed a complex web of corruption in which money and services routinely changed hands and protection rackets created by ethical officers. The authors of the noncommissioned report distinguished between two types of corrupt officers, which they termed grass eaters 10 m. Grass eaters, the most common form of police corruption, was described as illegitimate activity that occurs from time to time and and or course of police work. It involves mostly small bribes were relatively minor services offered by citizens seeking to avoid arrest or prosecution. Meat eaters say much more serious form of corruption, involving the active seeking a US of moneymaking opportunities by officers. The year solicit bribes through threat or intimidation, grass grass eaters make a simple mistake of not refusing cramps that are offered

The police personality provides fertile ground for the growth of...
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