Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Police Corruption: Where to Start?
Corruption has been around since the beginning of policing. "Police corruption is the abuse of police authority for personal gain. Corruption may involve profit or another type of material benefit gained illegally as a consequence of the officer's authority. Typical forms of corruption include bribery, extortion, receiving or fencing stolen goods, and selling drugs." (Law Library, 2010) Although corruption is always happening, both, in and outside the walls of government agencies, it may go unnoticed for quite some time. When a department is caught with corrupt members the department and that individual are looked down upon.
There are several types of corruption within the department. There is favoritism when it comes to hiring and promotions, where the best candidate is not always chosen over the more popular candidate. In some extreme cases promotions are granted to those who offer the largest monetary incentive. During internal investigations some individuals are given more leeway than others when they committed a more serious offense.
A common source of corruption stems from within the department but is brought into the community. A well known form of corruption that is often portrayed in the media comes from officers who steal drugs from the department they work for and sell them back onto the streets in order to make a profit. Some police personnel also will tamper with evidence or mislead investigations to protect the real suspect.
Corruption is still a problem in today's society, and it will continue to be a problem as long as there are corrupt officials who do not appropriately discipline corrupt individuals.
Law Library - American Law and Legal Information. Police Corruption and Misconduct - History, Contemporary Problems, Further Readings. http://law.jrank.org/pages/9248/Police-Corruption-Misconduct.html. August 23, 2003.