Law Enforcement Corruption Controlling Corruption Internally Police Discussion Chapter

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Law Enforcement Corruption

Controlling Corruption Internally

Police corruption is something which occurs in all countries to some extent and is largely a byproduct of a system which is flawed in a multi-faceted manner. When corruption runs rampant within a police force, it's generally a result of shoddy leadership, superficial culture and a system which lacks transparency and accountability (Newham, 2011). Corruption is something which is able to flourish not simply as a result of opportunity and greed, but because of a climate within police forces that prizes loyalty over integrity, along with leaders who turn a blind eye, out of a sense of denial, or willfully or as a result of those in leadership positions who are more afraid of the results of a corruption scandal than of corruption itself (Newham, 2011). In order to control corruption internally there needs to completely transparent means of accountability and ways for all members within a police force to monitor one another. Furthermore, the chief and his attitude make a tremendous difference within an organization as the chief sets an example, and sets the tone of the climate within a police force. The police chief is the one who let's everyone know what is more important and more valuable, integrity or loyalty.

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Internal affairs units should be staffed with individuals who have high levels of integrity and who are led by people or a person who exudes positive leadership. They should be managed with a high level of transparency following a code of ethics that is clear and known to all members.

TOPIC: Discussion Chapter on Law Enforcement Corruption Controlling Corruption Internally Police Assignment

Police subculture, known as the blue curtain, which values secrecy and loyalty to its members exists as a result of mistrust of the public and a general "us" vs. "them" mentality (Chambliss, 2011). The blue curtain can be opened by reminding members that their fundamental loyalty is to the citizens they seek to protect. Furthermore, establishing an atmosphere of "zero tolerance" for corruption, and living up to it, is another way to ensure a police force values honor and veracity over all else.

Theories of Police Corruption

The three main theories of police corruption are: sociological, sociocultural, and organizational. "Sociological theories emphasize the code, solidarity, and norms of the police culture that contribute to the opportunity for police corruption. The occupational subculture is a major factor for not only creating police corruption by initiating police officers into corrupt activities, but also by sustaining and covering up corrupt activities by other officers" (Chambliss, 2011). As alluded to earlier, an "us" vs. "them" mentality can create an atmosphere where nearly all of the behavior of police is permissible and justifiable.

The sociocultural theory of corruption explains that a few officers gradually descend into corruption via a range of misdeeds which they rationalize away (Chambliss, 2011).Others posit, in an organizational theory of corruption, that the structure of police forces, which are incredibly bureaucratic and have a quasi-military structure are actually conducive to corruption occurring and largely become tolerant of it.

In my opinion, the theory which makes the most sense is the sociological theory because this theory explains that the climates of many police forces are that which can foster a sense of permissibility of corruption. According to the sociological theory, it's too easy for police officers to create a collective mentality where they have special status as crime fighters and law enforcers and thus they should be allowed certain liberties. As discussed earlier, the "us" vs. "them" mentality can be a breeding ground for corruption and a carte blanche to instill officers with a feeling of entitlement… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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