What are the first words that come to your mind when you say police? Thanks to all those police/action/drama TV series like CSI and Law & Order for example, we gained a certain amount of awe towards them from our early age already. They show us how good, in this case the police, always beats evil and therefore, most of the episodes have happy endings with bad guys ending up behind bars.
I experienced deep disappointment once I realized that this is not always the case. Just one simple example could ruin our perfect perception of a system that should be working flawlessly. My friend was sixteen when he was driving, which made him an illegal driver since the legal driving age is 18. So, you might ask yourselves what was his driving license for those two years. The answer is simpler than you thought; it is only 20 or 30 euros depending on how the police officer is feeling that day. My friend would be pulled over and without much a due, a police officer would just take the money and let him go.
It is true that both of them gained personal benefit at the moment but this, however, presents a snowball effect that will bring to light much more serious issues in a bigger perspective. It would start as a tiny and harmless snowball, which once let down the mountain, it could create a devastating avalanche. By letting my friend drive like that, that police officer consciously allowed him to be a potential threat in traffic. Let me put it in the more vivid scenario and ask: how would you feel if you knew that a member of your family had a car accident caused by my friend just because that police officer let him drive?
By definition, police corruption is using the authority and public power in order to receive personal gain. It is true that police department job involves putting your life in danger and a lot of stress, but this is absolutely not an excuse for breaking the law. It is an example of an extreme paradox because they are there to make sure that the rules are followed and in the end, they are the ones not obeying them.
Police corruption is unfortunately much spread and very complex, so there is no single way of dealing with it. It is like a plague because it is very easily spread when police officers do not get revealed or get punished for it. However, we can not just hope for it to get better by itself, we can not just hope somebody else will act upon it, and we certainly can not just hope it will disappear one day. We are playing a big part in it and it is a crucial first