Police Corruption In Modern Society Essay

1971 words - 8 pages

Police corruption has long been a systemic issue for policing agencies. During the “reform era” policing underwent a transitional shift that changed and restructured it into a more bureaucratic and paramilitary policing system; this was done with the intent to combat the epidemic that was police corruption (Chappell & Lanza-Kaduce, 2010). During this era, local politicians greatly influenced police behaviours and this resulted in various types of corruption, such as patronage and police interference in elections (Kelling & Moore, 1988). Organizational changes were also implemented; these encouraged a flow of instructions downward and information upward (Kelling & Moore, 1988). ...view middle of the document...

There are three main categories that reflect the intent of corrupt behaviour when officers are using or abusing power or position for: personal gain, organization gain or for a noble cause (Loree, 2006). Abuse for personal gain can encompass: bribery, extortion, theft or kickbacks (practice of obtaining goods, services, or money for business referrals by police officers), to name a few (Loree, 2006). Abuse for organization gain consists of leaking information, falsifying evidence, protecting other officers, etc. (Loree, 2006). Noble cause corruption pertains to situations when officers decide to “circumvent the law in order to serve what they perceive to be the greater good” (Scaramella & Cox, 2011, p. 268). All of these types of corruption work to erode the public trust in policing services. Corrupt actions of the police victimize the public, the justice system, as well as the integrity of police.
Officer Training
Current officer recruitment and training are ill suited to fulfill the requirements of police officers in a community policing model, and so, it fails to help minimize police corruption (Chappell & Lanza-Kaduce, 2010). In community policing, community members and officers work together to solve issues in communities. Although community policing has been adopted into current academy paradigms, the informal teachings and structure of these academies weakens the curriculum teachings (Chappell & Lanza-Kaduce, 2010). Police Academies are a bureaucracy that consists of “command hierarchy, explicit rule systems and complex divisions of labour/specialization” (Chappell & Lanza-Kaduce, 2010, p. 189). Traditional academy teachings focused primarily on technical aspects of policing (marksmanship, driving skills) which are in stark contrast to the community policing model that teaches effective problem solving and community engagement techniques (Chappell & Lanza-Kaduce, 2010). Chappell and Lanza-Kaduce (2010) stress that a hidden curriculum is present in policing academies that undermines formal curriculum teachings.
Police recruits are often young and impressionable and through the academies socialization process recruits begin to embrace the policing culture and look to each other for support (Chappell & Lanza-Kaduce, 2010). Adherence to this subculture within the academy can be linked to the furthering of the idea of the “Blue Code of Silence”, whereby officers are loyal to each other and the organization making it extremely difficult for them to report other officers’ misconduct (Loree, 2006). The code of silence and hidden curriculum involved in police academies works to develop officers who are unable to embody community policing tenets and officers who are prone to corrupt activities.
The content of the curriculum that is used to train officers needs to be compounded with appropriate teaching styles and structure. Teaching an officer to be able to problem-solve and be a mediator while simultaneously subjecting them to Para-military...

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