Essay about Police Corruption in America

Essay about Police Corruption in America

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Police Corruption in America


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. Police corruption occurs in many forms and observers of police behavior agree that it falls into nine specific areas. 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 cause the problem of distrust in the police to grow even greater.

Some police forces seem to have adopted a market-based approach to law enforcement. Several drug related pedophiles and even murderers were believed to have walked out of police headquarters "free-if- poorer" men (Klockars, p 76). In one small town in New Mexico more than 30 suspected pedophiles were arrested in the span of 18 months but only one case went to court. The other ...


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...ified factors associated with drug related corruption were police officers code of silence and cynicism about the criminal justice system, ineffective supervision practices, and weaknesses in internal investigative units. Corruption in the police force has long been recognized, and condemned, by politicians. Often it revolves around an entire sum demanded of junior officers by their superiors as a sort of protection money. In turn these low-ranking officers demand monies from the public in return for turning a blind eye to infractions, real or invented. The code of silence among the police is what holds this corruption together so well. What really seems to worry the authorities, though, is the country's growing reputation as a haven for active and retired criminals and as a place where the police force is less a solution to the crime problem than a part of it.

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