Police Corruption

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A person who is corrupted lacks integrity or honesty; it is someone who uses a position of trust for dishonesty. In this case a position of trust is a Police Officer. Police corruption is when an officer misuses his/her authority to fulfill there needs and wants. There are many different forms of corruption; gratuity, involving free meals and discounts; bribery, involving the exchange of money or other goods between an officer and a suspect; theft and burglary, involving officers stealing property, money, and/or drugs. As a society, we hold law enforcement to a higher standard. We don 't expect criminal behavior from people who swore to protect and serve. Corruption and brutality is not new among the police agencies across the U.S. Each city has there own history, but New York City has the most interesting history. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has been in business since 1845. The police department was created due to a rise in crime as a result of ethnic tensions between all the new immigrates that were now occupying the city. Property crime, violence, vice and street riots in the poor neighborhoods caused city officials to create a full-time professional police force similar to the London Metropolitan Police. Unlike today, where in order to become a police officer you must go through extensive background checks, physical agility tests and standardized test. In the 1840 's recruitment was solely based on the recommendation of alderman and ward-level politicians. As we know once politicians get involved corruption is not that far away. Precinct houses were controlled by local party leaders and police regularly overlooked illegal liquor sales and vice operations controlled by party supporters. This corruption drew a lot of criticism from reformers and by the 1850 's steps were taken to reduce political influence in the department. The reforms included physical and written examinations for applicants, a brief training program for new recruits


Cited: Johnson, Marilynn S. Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City. Beacon Press: Boston, Massachusetts 2003

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