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Leip PAD 6053 31 July 2011 The Dark Side of the Law: Understanding and Addressing Police Corruption
Police corruption is something that all law enforcement agencies must deal with, regardless of whether or not a specific incident of corruption occurred recently. It is an element of police work that must be kept in check and there is no better way to do so than to understand all aspects of the subject. Therefore, this annotated bibliography attacks the issue of police corruption from all angles. As you will see, our coverage of the subject has been broken down into three sections for a specific reason.
First, we will define police corruption to the best of our ability. It is only after we have achieved a competent level of understanding that we can move on to the second section, in which we will give real-world examples of police corruption. All of these examples have occurred within the last six years within the South Florida area, so as to stay both current and local in our coverage. Moreover, all sixteen sources we’ve used below were published within the last six years. Finally, we will look at ways in which law enforcement agencies are dealing with police corruption, both proactively and reactively. Hopefully, this layout will make the subject accessible to any reader,
The Dark Side of the Law since we start with basic definitions and conclude with suggested solutions.
With that being said, the reader may still wonder why I chose to explore this topic in the first place. First and foremost, I plan on pursuing a career in law enforcement. Police work has always fascinated me and I have always considered myself to be a very lawful person. However, I know that there are law enforcement officers out there who do not engage in lawful behavior. They might be interested in using the power of their position to acquire money on the side, or they might have gotten into a bad situation and let it spiral out of control. Whatever the case may be, it is important that we understand police corruption so that we can prevent it from happening to the best extent possible. Only then can we move forward with the true intent of police work, which is to serve the public, maintain order and uphold the law.
II. Defining Police Corruption
Gottschalk, P. (2009). The Case of Police Corruption. In Policing the police: knowledge management in law enforcement (pp. 4560). New York: Nova Science.
In this chapter, Gottschalk offers an overview of the subject of police corruption, starting with a definition. He defines corruption as, “behavior that deviates from the formal duties of a public role (elective or appointive) for personal gain” (45). The author argues that corruption arises due to the very nature of police work, which is often
The Dark Side of the Law violent in nature and requires the use of authority to get things done.
The author also offers some hypotheses pertaining to police corruption. All of the hypotheses mentioned were not supported in the empirical research except for one. The supported claim states that, “Reporting crime will reduce police corruption” (47). This has been backed up by research. It is likely due to the fact that police corruption itself is a criminal act, which would be punished once it is reported. The chapter also expands on specific types of corruption such as pure extortion, extortion with the involvement of the court, corrupt transactions, mixed extortion and bribery and lastly, embezzlement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of police corruption as it relates to both organized crime and legitimate businesses.
I think this source explained the basics of police corruption extremely well. Since it looked at the subject from a general perspective, it was not comprehensive or detailed, but it did offer enough information to form an opinion about police corruption in general. Since data suggests that reporting crime will reduce police corruption, steps can be taken to ensure that crime reporting is being promoted across the board. This is an actionable item that a public administrator can use immediately. Therefore, the knowledge I’ve gained from reading this chapter was practical, yet supported by empirical data. Finally, the discussion of organized crime and businesses was much needed, as
The Dark Side of the Law this is often neglected in other summary texts on police corruption.
Prenzler, T. (2009). Understanding Police Misconduct. In Police corruption: preventing misconduct and maintaining integrity (pp. 15-26). Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Prenzler does a very good job of summarizing the different aspects of police corruption. Moreover, he differentiates between police misconduct and police corruption in a meaningful way, although he does point out that the terms are often used interchangeably. Nevertheless, Prenzler breaks down the categories of police misconduct as such: graft or “classic corruption, process corruption, excessive force, unprofessional conduct or miscellaneous misconduct, internal corruption or workplace deviance and finally, unbecoming or unprofessional conduct off duty” (16-17). These six areas are all forms of police misconduct, but according to Prenzler, not all are forms of police corruption. He argues that corruption usually carries with it the notion of “illegal material benefits” (15). The author goes on to illuminate some theories on the causation of police misconduct. He lists structural and cultural causes. A structural cause pertains to the work environment of police officers, while cultural causes relate to the organization as a whole and the various subcultures within it. In his conclusion, Prenzler suggests that, “a powerful, complex, and expensive prevention system needs to be instituted and maintained over the long term” in order to work towards reducing police misconduct (2526).
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This was a great introduction to the different types of police misconduct. Prenzler laid out a basic framework that could be further developed with more study. I learned about the basic differences between misconduct and corruption and I was also able to see where specific types of unethical behavior fit in. It was interesting to note how generalized the author was in his coverage of the causes of police misconduct. He narrowed it down to just two broad categories, yet it worked quite well for our purposes. Overall, I would recommend this chapter as one of the earliest starting points for anyone engaging in police misconduct or corruption research. While it may not be as detailed as other academic texts, it is important to have a basic framework in place and Prenzler provides just that.
Punch, M. (2010). Police corruption: apples, barrels and orchards. Criminal Justice Matters, 79(1), 10-12.
The message here is simple; the author believes that police corruption is not the matter of an individual but of an entire department. In other words, Punch argues that in order to address corruption, we need to address police culture and organizational culture. As he put it, rather than focusing on bad apples, “This indicates bad barrels, or more appropriately rotten orchards...” (11). So then, can an entire police agency be a rotten orchard and if so, how can it return to a healthy state? According to Punch, the cause of organizational corruption is based around four main factors: A strong macho culture in policing, a highly competitive nature, an all-or-nothing emphasis on results and lastly, the overall nature of a dynamic 24 hour emergency agency. As Punch puts it, “my message is
The Dark Side of the Law that it’s not a matter of bad people but of bad or poorly functioning systems” (11).
I chose to include this source because it looks at the issue of corruption from an organizational level rather than at the level of an individual. Subconsciously, we seem to believe that corruption affects this person or that person. It takes deep reflection to understand that corruption can affect an entire group of people. Punch does an excellent job of conveying this point in just a few pages. His statement that “The nature of the work turns police into highly social animals shaped by the collective” rings true. (10). Therefore, it is important to see corruption from this perspective early on, while we are still attempting to define what exactly corrupt behavior looks like. If we catch such behavior at the organizational level we can hopefully return the “rotten orchard” to a healthy state and thus prevent it from ever producing a rotten apple.
Mueller, R. S. (2006). Making Public Servants Serve the Public Good. Vital Speeches of the Day, 72, 518-519.
In this speech by Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Robert S. Mueller explains the importance of fighting public corruption and expands on the specific ways the FBI is fighting back. Mueller states, “For a nation built on the rule of law, and faith in government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we can and should do better.” He mentioned that since 2001, the top investigative priority of the FBI has been that of public corruption. Mueller argues that the FBI is ideally suited to fight public corruption because of their unique skills, investigative tactics and their insulation from
The Dark Side of the Law political pressure. Lastly, Mueller gave several examples of specific investigations conducted by the FBI, which led to the conviction of a public official who abused his or her power.
While this source speaks about public corruption in general and does not pertain specifically to law enforcement officials, I chose it because of the high involvement level of the FBI in fighting police corruption. It is my opinion that the FBI is doing all that can be done to assist in bringing corrupt officials to justice. For the director of the FBI to speak so openly about the subject further shows the commitment level from the FBI. The most striking part of this speech was a quote cited by Mueller, which was originally attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, stating, “Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life.” Overall, this speech shows how important it is to fight public corruption and what resources are at our disposable to do so.
Martin, R. (2011). Police Corruption: An Analytical Look into Police Ethics. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 80(5), 11-17.
Police corruption can be dealt with in many ways and at many levels. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Rich Martin understands this and in his paper he shows us what we can do try to prevent corruption from happening and how to deal with it if it occurs. Martin begins with an overview of “integrity,” which he believes is the necessary starting point of any police ethics discussion. Moreover, the author breaks
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down the key components of integrity as consisting of: prudence, trust, effacement of self-interests, courage, intellectual honesty, justice and responsibility. For Martin, these characteristics must be in place for one to act with integrity on the job. Additionally, Martin points out that when it comes to leadership, those in command should pay close attention to the culture of their law enforcement organization and adapt any ethics training to that culture. In summary, Martin believes that police corruption can be kept in check if departments have a strong policy in place, along with strong ethical leadership and a competent hiring and discipline process.
I completely agree with the author on his assessment of police corruption. Without integrity, a law enforcement officer would lose all public trust and would not be able to perform as a public servant. Therefore, the debate must begin with a discussion of integrity and how to ensure that it is present at all levels. I also enjoyed reading the author’s argument on culture. His assessment helped bring into focus the complex dynamics that go into police work. There is no singular cause of corruption and this article exemplifies that. For this reason, I decided to include this source early in our coverage of police corruption, to show that this topic is multifaceted and not isolated in just one area. After we understand that, we can work to correct any potential issues that may lead to corruption.
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III.Examples of Police Corruption
Walker, S., & Katz, C. M. (2008). Police Corruption. In The police in America: an introduction (pp. 446-474). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill.
In this chapter, Walker and Katz refer to the following definition of police corruption: “Acts involving the misuse of authority by a police officer in a manner designed to produce personal gain for himself or for others” (447). Furthermore, the authors point out that the costs of corruption are multifaceted. Unethical acts of corruption undermine public confidence in law enforcement as well as in the professionalism of the department. It also harms the entire criminal justice system. This chapter goes on to explore the various types of corruption, such as gratuities, bribes, theft, burglary, internal corruption and brutality. The authors point out the distinction between “grass eaters” and “meat eaters,” which are terms used to define passive and aggressive methods used by corrupt individuals. The chapter dives into an explanation on the nature of corruption at various levels and how and why it begins. The concluding section covers internal and external mechanisms for controlling corruption, through the enforcement of rules and regulations, the mobilization of public opinion and other
The Dark Side of the Law means.
While this chapter provides a broad overview on the subject of police corruption, I’ve included it here primarily for its definition and categorization of the subject. The way the separate acts of corruption are broken down can be very helpful to a researcher who is attempting to make sense of the differences between such acts. For instance, the act of taking a bribe in return for the non-reporting of illegal activities is different from the act of planting drugs on a suspect in order to make an arrest. If we wish to understand the true motives for these separate corrupt acts, we need to first understand the acts themselves and be able to categorize them. Moreover, this chapter includes a satisfactory explanation of the costs of corruption, which are again usually tied to the acts. I believe that if we study the costs, we can properly allocate resources to address the issues. Therefore, this is an excellent source for those looking to understand corruption and the various costs associated with it.
Stinson, P. M., Liederbach, J., & Freiburger, T. (2010). Exit Strategy: An Exploration of Late-State Police Crime. Police Quarterly, 13(4), 413-435.
In this article, the authors explore a topic that does not have much
The Dark Side of the Law coverage elsewhere. They look at late-stage police crime, or in other words, at criminal acts officers have committed as they approach retirement. While such late-stage behavior does not make up the majority of police crime, it is statistically significant as discovered by this study. At the very least, the authors argue for there to be more research conducted on late-stage police crime so as to make further
statistical analysis possible. Such analysis could then be used for policy considerations pertaining to police crime at all levels. To conduct this study, the authors used Google News and Google Alerts. What they found were over 2,100 criminal cases involving the arrest of a sworn officer between January of 2005 and December of 2007. Officers committed the highest levels of police crime in their 4th and 5th years of employment. During later years, crimes diminished as an overall percentage, but they were still statistically significant. The authors justified the inverse relationship between crimes and experience level by attributing it to the shifting attitudes of late-stage officers. The authors argue that in their later years, officers tend to go about their job without making waves.
This article was very interesting to me, because it dealt with a specific and rarely researched police subgroup. The late-stage officer acts differently than the rookie, yet there is not much research done to expand on this. At the very least, the authors pointed out that we need
The Dark Side of the Law to further investigate this area in order to adapt some of our ethics
training methods to late-stage officers. The motivations for late-stage officers are different than the motivations of mid-career or rookie officers and this needs to be taken into account. I find that this article helped me redefine my worldview of police corruption in a significant way. It has allowed me to see that different motives exist based on how long an officer has been on the job. This is very important when devising a training and prevention routine. Furthermore, this article differentiated between police crime and police corruption in a meaningful way, showing their similarities and their differences. This is a must-read article for anyone who is interested in the motives of those who commit both criminal and corrupt acts while employed as a law enforcement officer.
Schorn, D. (n.d.). Mafia Cops? CBS News. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/01/05/60minutes/main11 80833.shtml
In 2006, two New York City police officers were convicted of being hired mafia hit men with involvement in the murder of eight people. As reported by 60 Minutes, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa worked for Anthony “Gaspipe” Casso, the head of Lucchese crime family. During the late 1980s, Eppolito and Caracappa allegedly
The Dark Side of the Law delivered people directly to the mob boss and at times even killed for him in broad daylight. When asked if they did in fact carry out these crimes, both Eppolito and
Caracappa proclaimed their innocence. Their reasoning for the accusations stem from the fact that Casso and other apprehended mafia informants needed to provide information to police in order to bargain for a lighter sentence. Regardless of their explanation, both cops were found guilty of the murders.
I chose to include this story because it is one of the most extreme cases of police corruption in recent years. While many cases of corruption involve large sums of money or personal favors, this case involves murder. On top of that, the way in which some of the murders were carried out show an abuse of power unlike anything I’ve ever seen. According to the article, Eppolito and Caracappa would use their police authority to make their targets believe they were being arrested, only to deliver them to the mob boss in exchange for money. It is rare that we find instances of police corruption as disturbing as this, but yet we must let it serve as a constant reminder of what an abuse of power can lead to. I believe this case should be a part of all law enforcement ethics training programs.
McMahon, P. (2007, November 17). Jenne weeps at sentencing. SunSentinel. Retrieved July 25, 2011, from http://www.sunsentinel.com/sfl-0929jenne1117b,0,979123.story
The Dark Side of the Law In what has been called one of the most important police corruption cases in Florida
history, Ken Jenne, the former sheriff of Broward County was sentenced to over one year in federal prison. In 2007, Jenne pleaded guilty to mail fraud conspiracy and income tax evasion. Once considered a possible candidate for the position of Governor of Florida, Jenne’s fall from grace did not come easy. As the title of this source states, Jenne wept during his three-hour sentencing hearing and was eventually escorted out of the courtroom by U.S. Marshalls. At one point considered the “most powerful in the county,” Jenne allegedly accepted over $151,000 in illegal payments during his time as sheriff. Some of this money was even funneled through his secretaries.
The importance of this news article comes from the fact that this is a local case involving someone who appeared to be an upstanding public servant on the outside. Moreover, Jenne was a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and former FAU student body president. This goes to show that corruption is all around us, at various levels. Moreover, in contrast to the “Mafia Cops” case also covered in this annotated bibliography, this case is based purely around an attempted financial cover-up. Nevertheless, the damage to the public trust was done. Finally, I chose to include this example of police corruption to show that even those at the very top of an organization can act in morally unethical and illegal ways. Any training or prevention program needs to take this into account, so that everyone is kept in check, regardless of his or her position.
IV. Addressing Police Corruption
The Dark Side of the Law Sen, S. (2010). Police Oversight in USA. In Enforcing police accountability through civilian oversight (pp. 137-152). New Delhi, India: SAGE.
Written by a leading academic at the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi, this source provides an outside look on the matter of police accountability. There is much comparison within this chapter between the way law enforcement agencies operate in the United States and the way they operate in other parts of the world. The author puts these differences in perspective, so that we can see their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, Sen provides a very detailed history of civilian oversight in police work, focusing primarily on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Sen goes on to explore civilian oversight practices in Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Michigan and New York. As the chapter concludes, Sen offers six specific lessons and warnings pertaining to civilian oversight. Among them, he mentions that civilian oversight systems need to have approval through a formal legal process and that they need the support of city or county officials in order to function correctly.
While very scholarly in tone, this source provides a detailed foundation on the civilian oversight movement as it pertains to law enforcement agencies. Pretty much every aspect is covered, from historical
The Dark Side of the Law backgrounds to tips on creating a functioning oversight board. What I found to be most interesting was the fact that this source was not written by an American scholar, but rather by someone who is
detached from the methods commonly used here in the United States. Because of that, the content appears to be objective, with numerous mentions of how things are done differently in other countries. For a public administrator who is looking for examples of how things are done internationally, this is a great starting point. I wanted to include it here because of the international perspective and because it is simply a great explanation of why we need civilian oversight in police work. As the author put it, “The underlying premise is that though the public has relinquished to the police the authority to enforce law, it retains the right to control the police externally, if such a need arises” (138). In a nutshell, that is what civilian oversight is all about.
Wright, H. (2008). Law Enforcement Ethics 101. Sheriff, 60(1), 1114.
Howell Wright argues that the study of ethics is essential to the success of law enforcement agencies. He states, “if we want to be prepared to make good decisions either considered or in the blink of an eye, we must learn and practice an ethical decisionmaking process” (11). Wright goes on to explain some key terms, including worldview, ethical dilemma, normative ethics, metaethics, character and integrity. The author
The Dark Side of the Law believes that when it comes to law enforcement, we need to focus on normative ethics due to its practicality. As he put it, “Normative ethics is the study of what is reasonable and thus what people should think” (13). In summary, Wright suggests that an ethical
training program should consist of classroom instruction, an ethics call line, the creation of the position of Ethics Ombudsman, voluntary ethics workgroups, an established ethical decision-making process and other tools.
As for the usefulness of this article, I included it because it deals with ethics on a general level. At the end of the day, all police corruption cases are ethical cases, so it is vital that law enforcement officers and administrators understand the field of ethics. However, understanding ethics in police work is not enough. For this information to become truly useful, one must teach it and practice what it taught. I fully agree with Wright’s argument that “ethical decision making is a skill that must be continuously developed” (14). That is why I’ve included this article in this section of my annotated bibliography. The concepts within it can be used as training tools to prevent bad moral decisions from being made in the first place.
Wolfe, S. E., & Piquero, A. R. (2011). Organizational Justice and Police Misconduct. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 38(4), 332353.
In similar fashion to the article by Maurice Punch above, Wolfe and Piquero take a deep look at organizational behavior in an attempt to explain police misconduct. The authors
The Dark Side of the Law worked with survey data from officers at the Philadelphia Police Department to gauge perceptions on the organizational culture of the department. What they found was that when perceptions of justice and fairness were high, those officers were less likely to commit acts of corruption or misconduct. On the flip side, where feelings of injustice
were high, officers were more likely to act in corrupt or improper ways. In other words, the officers’ perception of their department, its policies and administrators was directly related to their ethical behavior while on the job. Furthermore, as the authors state, “officers who view their agency as fair and just in managerial practices are less likely to adhere to the code of silence or believe that police corruption in pursuit of noble cause is justified” (332). The authors conclude by suggesting five broad actions that can be put in place to prevent unethical behavior to the best extent possible. The actions are based around fairness, justice, engagement, equality, understanding and related concepts. When taken as a whole, these suggestions work to build a strong organizational culture and thus reduce the need for officers to deviate from an ethical framework.
My first thought upon finishing this reading was that it made complete sense. To fight corruption and misconduct, we need to start at the organizational level. After all, police officers are part of a larger unit, be it their squad, district or department. Furthermore, the very nature of police work requires that officers act as part of a larger force. Their authority comes from the support and legitimacy of the organization. In that case, Wolfe and Piquero did a very good job of looking into the behavior of organizations and how such behavior relates to unethical behavior. The only downside I noticed was that this study looked at just one department in just one major city. How well can such data be
The Dark Side of the Law duplicated in other departments of bigger or smaller sizes and in different geographic
areas? That has yet to be seen, but this article does lay the groundwork for such research to be done. I find the author’s suggestions very reasonable. For instance, one suggestion is to, “honestly show subordinate officers that the agency cares for their well-being and that their opinions are taken seriously” (349). While this seems like common sense, it is probably not the norm for most departments. In conclusion, this source would be very helpful for police administrators who are looking for ways to prevent unethical behavior from becoming a part of the culture in their department.
Gottschalk, P. (2010). Management Methods. In Police management: professional integrity in policing. New York: Nova Science Publisher's.
Gottschalk’s chapter on management methods offers a glimpse into the many different models of police oversight in the United States. Some of the models discussed include those based upon review, investigation, quality assurance, evaluation and performance criteria. The author also explores police complaints systems, which he defines as “the operational framework for handling complaints against the police in all of the stages of the complaints process” (70). The process can be further broken down into visibility and accessibility of the system, notification, recording and allocation, mediation, investigation, resolution and lastly, review procedures (70). This chapter also gives some suggested actions that may occur after the resolution of a complaint. Such actions include: criminal or disciplinary actions against an officer, informal actions or changes to
The Dark Side of the Law a policy or practice. Of course, in some cases, no further action would be needed. The chapter continues with the reminder that any type of police oversight board would
primarily be reactive in nature rather than proactive. Therefore, it is important for police leaders to act proactively as well, in order to prevent unethical behavior from taking place. In the concluding pages, the author explores some of the management methods used in other countries and compares several of them against one another.
Upon first reading, I did not grasp all of the concepts because of their complexity. However, upon a second reading it became clear that this source is excellent for setting up a management framework to deal with corruption cases. The fact that so many different countries are mentioned just goes to show the diversity that is possible in addressing this issue. Sometimes I feel that we are too myopic in our decisions, so hopefully this source will allow police administrators to broaden their worldview when dealing with police corruption. I do wish that a more direct and detailed comparison was made between the current systems used in the United States and those in other countries, but due to the brevity of the chapter I can see what this was not done. Nevertheless, the concepts contained within this chapter offer a great starting point for creating the framework for a police complaints system.
Gottschalk, P. (2009). Police Investigations. In Policing the police: knowledge management in law enforcement (pp. 107-126). New York: Nova Science.
The Dark Side of the Law This chapter begins with a list of five principles of effective police investigations. They
are: independence, adequacy, promptness, public scrutiny and victim involvement (107). This leads into a discussion on how investigations work. Four specific investigative areas are covered, consisting of the legal framework, characteristics of crime, national and local force policies and investigative skills. After this, the author describes the stresses of police work and how this affects police investigations. The chapter concludes with a very detailed exploration of the characteristics of detective work and the profile of an ideal police complaints detective.
My overall impression of this source is that it can be of great value to a police organization looking to construct a highly effective police complaints system. Once such a system is in place, the process of investigating cases can run smoothly. I never knew so much thought went into the selection process for detectives, but apparently it has merit. The section on “how detectives work” was very informative. It allowed me to see that a certain skill set is required to investigate police corruption cases. Because of that, I would recommend this source to anyone who is interested in the internal affairs of a law enforcement agency or to anyone involved in the development of an internal review board. The only downside of this chapter was a lack of examples from the United States. Most of the examples were taken from the United Kingdom and were still relevant, however I would have liked to see some local examples as well.
Prenzler, T. (2009). Recruitment and Training. In Police corruption: preventing misconduct and maintaining integrity (pp. 65-78).
The Dark Side of the Law Boca Raton: CRC Press.
In this chapter, Prenzler explores the areas of police recruitment and training as a means of preventing or reducing the propensity of police corruption or misconduct incidents. As he shows, it is easier to exclude the “bad apples” from the bunch before they become sworn law enforcement officers. Additionally, it is better to train police recruits on ethical behavior standards rather than discipline them once they have acted against such standards. Prenzler explores several elements of “progressive recruitment and training for integrity” (66). Such elements include: criminal history checks, panel interviews, personality and psychological testing, a recruitment integrity committee, polygraph testing, home visits, education in ethics and more. The idea behind these elements is that when used for recruitment and training purposes, a department can ensure that virtually everything that can be done to prevent police corruption and misconduct has at least been attempted. As Prenzler sums it up, “Recruitment and training create vital opportunities for police to select people predisposed to ethical policing, and then to develop and maintain ethical competencies in these people” (78). Nevertheless, the author acknowledges that even when these steps have been taken, they can easily become undone if the culture of the police department is negative or supports unethical or unfair behavior. Therefore, the recruitment and training elements above are just two parts of the puzzle and they should be treated as such. They may be the first defense against misconduct and corruption, but that alone is not enough.
This chapter covers a very important aspect of law enforcement,
The Dark Side of the Law because it deals with the selection and training process. If done correctly, only the most ethical recruits will be selected to undergo a thorough training regimen, which will include a discussion of ethics. Standards can be set at this stage, which can theoretically direct the
actions of a police officer throughout his or her career. Therefore, I find this chapter to be one of the most important sources in this annotated bibliography. It is much better to attack the threat of police corruption proactively rather than reactively. Moreover, the selection and training standards of an organization will help shape the organizational culture. If such a culture is based around high moral responsibility and ethical decision-making, then there should be a decreased risk of unethical behavior. I would recommend this source to anyone who is looking to prevent police corruption before it begins. The recruitment and training elements suggested are all extremely practical and have been proven to work.
In summary, this project was extremely challenging yet rewarding. I now have access to an organized list of resources pertaining to the subject of police corruption and each source has been summarized and reviewed. Furthermore, dividing the topic into three main sections helped me stay focused on the individual components of an otherwise complex subject. Hopefully the work above will be useful to students and researchers
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who are looking to further develop the literature on police corruption. More importantly however, I hope that this information will be used by those in the field of public administration and police management to assist with the prevention, investigation and punishment of police corruption.
To recap what we covered, we started with an overview of what police corruption is. We looked at various definitions and noted the similarities and differences between specific corrupt acts and between police corruption and police crime. Then, we explored several recent real-world examples of various forms of police corruption in order to see certain concepts in action. Finally, we looked at various methodologies used to fight police corruption, both proactively and reactively. The recurring theme throughout this annotated bibliography was that police corruption is not a one-size-fits-all problem. It can occur in a vast number of ways at all levels of police work from the chief of police to the road patrol officer. Moreover, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint an act of corruption, because of the ambiguous nature of certain definitions. We also saw that not all corrupt acts are illegal and this presents even another complexity to deal with. Finally, when looking at ways to address the problem, the best approach appears to be one that is comprehensive. Certain actions need to be taken that involve every aspect of police work, such as recruitment, academy training, ongoing training, civilian oversight, organizational culture, police complaint investigations and more. In other words, the best answer to reducing and preventing police corruption is to enact a system that fights such behavior from all angles. Only then can we move beyond the dark side of the law so that we can focus on the true purpose of police work, which requires the trust and support of
The Dark Side of the Law the community and the citizens within it.
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