Cja214 Week 4 Essay

Submitted By sanbernardino87
Words: 1465
Pages: 6

Police Conduct CJA/214 February 14, 2013

Police Conduct Police officers commit murder. They are accountable for their actions of abuse of police discretion. When looking at the corruption, misconduct, and brutality within the police force, there appears to be no firm statistics to show how rampant the problem is. Areas of the judicial system emplace strict stains on police officer’s behavior. A code of ethics is part of the officer’s instructions, which is a guideline for officers. Upon completion of police academy police officers will arrive to their duty station. Each department has their own criteria police officers must follow. These codes are to reduce the risk of conflict, reduce potential corruptive behavior, hold violating officers accountable, protect others as well as the department from legal liabilities, and help the public trust the behavior and motives of an officer (CJ Interactive, 2013). Corruption in the police department can start of very small with no knowledge of negative factors. Accepting any kind of gift, reward, or favor is against the police code of ethics. Police corruption ranges in severity levels. For instance gratuities, acceptance of small gifts, to violent crimes that are at the top of the police corruption pyramid (CJ Interactive, 2013). There appears to be no anyway to estimate the percentage of police officers involved in one form of corruption or another. The only estimates that can be given would be based on police officers who are currently or have been charged with misconduct, but it is an accepted fact that the majority of officers guilty of some form of misconduct or corruption are not charged with a crime. Anytime a group of people are given a large amount of authority over the rest of the people, it is only a matter of time before some of the people with the authority begin to abuse it. It is the nature of the beast, and one would think that by now, society would have accepted this. The very first time a police officer ever walked a beat, was probably also the first time a police officer was ever given a bribe. There are many claims the “war on drugs” has caused a large increase in police corruption, this is believable, take the average person and expose him to large amounts of money and drugs over time, and corruption should be expected. In addition, police officers can do almost anything they want without fear of interference or penalties except in the most extreme instances. Some witnesses call later and complain about an officer’s misconduct, but rarely will witnesses of misconduct confront a police officer. This would explain how, several times in the past 10 years, the nation has been witness to police officers severely beating people while in full view of the public, and yet no one stepped forward to intervene. When all these things are put together, we have the perfect environment for corruption. The problems of corruption, misconduct, and brutality within the police force are not new, and we have been dealing with these same issues for as long as there has been police. The answer, according to many, to this ongoing problem is always the same too. In areas where there has been excessive police corruption there has also been a lack of firm and ethical leadership that over time, allowed police officers gradually to slide into corruption. There is also the problem of what ethical behavior for police officers means. There seems to be no clear line regarding what is acceptable and ethical for police officers. There is debate about officers accepting small gratuities such as reduced or free meals, free coffee, or other small perks. Supporters of these small gratuities use police officers low salaries as the