Bad Cops Term Paper

Pages: 7 (1947 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Police Misconduct

The objective of this work is to propose a research study on the topic of police misconduct.

Police misconduct is often socio-culturally-based either within or from outside of the police department of jurisdiction and may be avoided through enhanced collaboration between the community and the police officers.

There have been many recent reports of police misconduct alleged specifically as related to officers unnecessarily tasering suspects and other detained individuals with approximately 300 individuals killed by the officers with the tasers in the past eighteen months. Because a recent study has not been conducted relating to police misconduct it is necessary that study be applied in this area in order to understand how to best cope with acts of misconduct on the part of the police officer and in addressing the roots of the problem of police misconduct.

HYPOTHESES

The hypotheses for the study proposed herein are those stated as follows:

H1: Socio-cultural issues, both within the police force jurisdiction as well as in the public community are often the 'root' cause of increased incidents and allegations of police misconduct.

H2: Police misconduct is more likely to occur where a culture of violence exists in the community the police officers serve.

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Term Paper on Bad Cops Assignment

Statistics are very useful in application of case study in understanding police misconduct however, in the initiative to actually delve within the culture of the police, it is not possible to reach actual and real findings without actually entering into the police force culture in order to understand what is viewed by those who make the first determination of what constitutes police misconduct - or the police officer him or herself. Police misconduct is evidenced in the following review of literature to be phenomena that has a cultural basis in its very roots of formation and due to cultural principles and values within the police force itself which once begun experiences inherent growth of incident rates among police officers in that jurisdiction. As well, there are societies in which police officers must respond proactively to widespread or deep-rooted violence that is perpetual in nature rendering these officers subject to more reports of misconduct due to the requirement to respond offensively to violent citizens who in turn, make complaints. Therefore, in the attempt to study police misconduct thoroughly, the researcher must be committed to enter into a longitudinal study that is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. This study will conduct a thorough and extensive review of literature in this subject area of peer reviewed and academic scholarly nature and will analyze the findings interpretively and descriptively. This study will ensure that their exists a need for further study which will be conducted in the form of a longitudinal study of a police jurisdiction in which there have been known high incidents of police misconduct reported. This study will enter into a cultural observational and active research study and will interview and follow through case disposition of these alleged police misconduct incidents in order to understand the culture that surrounds what is acknowledged as police misconduct and how police misconduct is defined within the police force work culture and what regulates that perceived as and acknowledged as misconduct.

DEPENDENT VARIABLES

Dependent variables in this study include high rates of reported misconduct among the chosen jurisdiction in this case study.

INDEPENDENT VARIABLES

Independent variables in this study are the number of incidents in which police officers were convicted of police misconduct over the past twenty years, as that number is not yet known.

Other variables not able to be identified in this study include the gender, age and alleged form of misconduct committed by the police officers that will be participants in this study. This study will control for domestic violence as the action in which the officer was found to have committed an act of police misconduct since there are empirical findings which show that police misconduct has been a problem when it is in the form of domestic violence due to the high stress nature of the police officer role.

DATA ANALYSIS and COLLECTION

The collection and analysis of data concerning the culture of the police force and its resulting impact upon the misconduct of police in a jurisdiction will be collected in a method of observation and action research and interviewing with members of a police force in a jurisdiction that has acknowledged and reported high incidence of police misconduct.

SAMPLING

The sampling in this study will be police officers of one chosen jurisdiction that has acknowledged and reported high incidents of police misconduct who have in the past twenty years or who are presently involved in a case of alleged police misconduct on their part.

ETHICAL ISSUES

Ethical issues to be addressed involve the confidentiality of the police officers in this study and the police officers will as a result be asked to sign a consent form allowing release by the researcher of the data and findings of the study in which the findings related to the participant will be allowed to be fully used in all reports but the name of the individual will be kept fully confidential known only to the researcher(s) in this proposed study.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research: Center on Police Practices and Community report entitled: "Communicating Policy Misconduct: Alleged, Variably Reported, and/or Real?" (Giles and Daily, 2003) relates that communication scholars "have come to add police-community relations to the research agenda, not only because it is a unique form of intergroup communication theoretically, but also because of its importance in promoting a safer more secure society. We are way behind in this enterprise as Psychology has captured law enforcement's imagination and ground level support for some time now and ironically, on issues that can be clearly seen as communicative." (Giles and Daily, 2003) it is necessary, in the view of Giles and Daily (2003) to understand in research what is and is not empirical in the perceived illegitimate and legitimate 'use of force' due to the "differing interpretations for differing factions." (Giles and Daily, 2003; p.11)

The work entitled: "Coping with Police Misconduct in West Virginia: Citizen involvement in Officer Disciplinary Procedures: A Review of Existing Law, Legislative Initiatives and Disciplinary Models" published by the West Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2004) states that incidents of police misconduct continue unabated in West Virginia prompting advocates to call for improvements in existing procedures for handling citizen complaints against officers. This report does however remind the researcher that: "In order to minimize harm to others and to themselves, law enforcement officers must exercise critical and quick judgment, often when the circumstances are volatile and potentially deadly." It is clear, according to this report that "law enforcement officers perform a public service that is not easy to carry out." (West Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2004) in this case it was found that a negative view of police officers was the root of the allegations against officers and a community initiative was established which has enabled better collaboration among police officers and citizens. The negative view had arisen from culturally-based issues within the community and within the police force which have experienced integration through collaboration and cultural understanding. Incidents of police brutality breed fear and distrust among the public and this is stated to be "particularly among minority communities and in areas where police misconduct has occurred in the past. Police-community tension thus may exist because of previous incidents and cultural differences that stifle understanding, Improved relations between law enforcement and citizens will restore trust in this affected communities and make police efforts more effective through enhanced cooperation." (West Virginia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2004) the findings of this study were replicated in another study reported in the journal of Criminology article entitled: "The Sociology of Police Misconduct" which states that research conducted under a National Institute of Justice Grant 1996IJCX0053 which made examination of "whether variations in social ecological conditions in New York City police precincts and divisions have predicted patterns of police misconduct from 1975 to 1996." Misconduct included bribery, extortion, excessive force, and other abuses of police authority, as well as certain administrative rule violations." (Kane, 2002) This study was one of a longitudinal nature and states that analyses show that "dimensions of structural disadvantage and population mobility - drawn from the social disorganization literature - as well as changes in Latino population - drawn from the radical conflict perspective - explained changes in police misconduct over time. Further, most of the variations occurred within, as opposed to between, precincts and divisions over time, strengthening the case for a longitudinal examination" (Kane, 2002)

The work of Carroll Seron entitled: "Judging Police Misconduct: Street-Level vs. Professional Policing" states that it has been suggested by research that most citizens: "...tend to place a great emphasis on an expectation of evenhanded or trustworthy practices (Tyler & Huo 2002; as cited in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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