Police Corruption In The New York City Police Department

Topics: Police, Crime, Constable, Police brutality, Police officer, Criminal justice / Pages: 6 (1275 words) / Published: Apr 17th, 2016
The term corruption simply refers to the use of authority by a police officer to fulfill personal needs or wants. There are three simple criteria for a “corrupt act” which must all happen simultaneously: (1) misuse of authority, (2) misuse of official capacity, and (3) misuse of personal attainment. (Dantzker, 1995). Police corruption falls into two major categories-- external corruption, which concerns police interaction with the public, and internal corruption, which involves the relationships among co-workers within the department. The external corruption generally consists of one or more of the following activities; (1) Payoffs to police by essentially non-criminal elements who fail to comply with stringent statutes or city ordinances, …show more content…
In most cases of corruption there is no one to complain since both the officer and the person paying the officer are guilty of a crime. Surveys have found that only five percent of those approached by a police officer for a bribe report the activity to the police (Walker & Katz, 2010). A study done by James J. Fyfe and Robert Kane on the New York City Police Department from 1975 through 1996 found that very few officers were found to have been involved in corruption or other forms of police misconduct. The data indicated that 1,543 officers out of about 78,000 had engaged in career-ending misconduct, which represented about two percent of all officers employed over the period (Walker & Katz, 2010). One must also take into account that when something happens and is determined to be a result of police corruption or misconduct that it does not mean that it is the whole department or the entirety of the police force. In every organization there is always one or just a few bad apples and unfortunately the actions of those individuals are the ones that are focused on by the …show more content…
These units some times are run within the department or can be a total outside agency to insure that there is not corruption from within the Internal Affairs unit, as was alleged in the 1992 NYPD corruption scandal. Such a unit may be all that is needed to prevent many officers from being tempted into falling for corrupt behavior. However a system of fear is the least effective because there are always those who are willing to risk the consequences. Although the police agency could be the main source of controlling its own corruption problem, support and assistance from the local community is also required. It is important that the public be educated to the negative effects of corruption on their police agency. They should be taught that even 'gratitude’s' (the most basic and common form of police corruption) is only a catalyst for further future corruption. By revamping our system to a code of military like honor, the problem of corruption would fade away. Unfortunately, this is either not going to happen or won’t happen until our country’s citizens rise up against the corrupt overseers. Since this may take a while the community should establish review boards and investigative bodies to help keep a careful eye on the agency. If we do not act to try to control it, the costs can be enormous, because it affects not only

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