Some departments in recent history have had a very tough time with corruption. There is West Valley Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, and Atlanta Police Department just to name a few. Yet none can beat the corruption of the Rampart division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Recently, there have been over 140 lawsuits for over $125 million dollars paid out for wrongful arrests, false testimonies, thefts, bad reports and murders. The LAPD should have seen this one coming.
The culture of the LAPD has always been a very aggressive department because of the history of the town. With a history of riots and gang violence it is expected that they, the LAPD, would take a strong stand in keeping the city safe. One of these riots happened in 1992 after the Rodney King incident in which several officers pursued King followed by a savage near death beating. This shows the aggression of the police department. Later after two trials, two officers were fired.
Some of this aggression and violence can be traced back to Rampart. Rampart was started in the 70’s to confront some of the gang violence that was ravaging the North West side of LA. Chief Gates instituted the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums or CRASH anti-gang program. These officers were under little supervision, were the roughest and most aggressive officers that LAPD had, and seemed to think that they were above the law. It is well known that a major cause of corruption in these specialty units is lack of supervision.
Coupled with the lack of supervision and the temptation of dealing with drugs and money the CRASH unit get into a lot of trouble when the thin blue line was broken by Officer Rafael Perez. Perez was brought in after being caug...
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...an also affect the integrity of a department. The book states that “if the police culture influences the level of police misconduct, it is important to change it” (Pollock 208) This culture can lead officers to believe that what others are doing is ok, and, that in turn, makes it okay for them to do it also. These views and actions can be changed by a change in supervision or by taking ethics classes.
In conclusion, the Rampart scandal was terrible for LAPD’s image and reputation, it was terrible for the people who were harassed by the police, and it was bad for the officers who were sucked into being corrupt and unethical. Throughout this paper there is a resounding aspect of supervision. With better supervision there may be some dislike, but it will keep the department in order and it will create the cohesiveness that a department needs to be successful.
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