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Law Enforcement: Issues Essay

1133 words - 5 pages

Police gratuities - the long-time and controversial practice of providing unsolicited largess to sworn law enforcement officers - is a situation that was debated on legal and moral grounds. The acceptance of gratuities has been scrutinized since the beginning of policing. The gratuity provenance stems from the early days of policing when service was provided by a fee-for-service system. When a citizen's property was stolen, one would pay a certain fee to have the police recover the goods and arrest the perpetrator.1 This fee-for-service system was not continued because police service was seen as a public entitlement. Restricting police service to only those who could afford to pay would create a social injustice. The thought in a democracy is that public services should be equally available to all. ( police officers unethical to accept gifts like free coffee and dinners? What I saw as a wrong act was taken by others, as a right. Gratuity is something given willingly or beyond compulsion generally for some service. The concern becomes cloudy as to whether the receiving of free coffee and free or cut-rate meals is in fact, by definition, a gratuity. Even if the receiving of free or cut-rate items is not taken formally as a gratuity, does this mean that its acceptance is justly sound?Some police officers have departmental policies that affirm that officers can accept gratuities as long as they do not ask for them. Other officers describe difference between what is an permitted gratuity. Could ethical opinion of receiving gratuities be a matter of belief, or are the taking of gratuities a community social act that should persist as an association between the community and the police? Different opinions are present among officers, as well as in different books and studies.Distinction between gratuities and corruption is not a clear perception. "Within the a large number of any police authority, the practice of taking gifts, switching services, and widen professional 'courtesies' is acknowledged by all citizens. It is a common part of business affairs for a salesman to offer a deal to a sound customer or for a firm to obtain constructive advertising space on a publication or tabloid by paying 'extra.' Staff on communal payrolls also accepts gifts for professional services rendered.The compensation of free coffee and discounted meals or services from businesses to police officers is a prevalent, long-established practice in many authorities. Free coffee is possibly the most frequently accepted gratuity. Additional services that businessmen anticipate in return for giving a gratuity may include such instant acts as extra protection during business hours and after closing, police attend to banks, and regular patrol of the business locality.While officers offer extra services to personal businesses in return for a free cup of coffee, they ignore their duty towards other people within their area. Police...

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