Police Ethics and Deviance Essay

1131 Words Aug 19th, 2010 5 Pages
Police Ethics and Deviance

Ethics and the police is a subject that most people are interested in. When people use the words ethics and police in the same sentence, people usually think of police deviance, police corruption, misconducts such as drug and alcohol abuse, sexual violence, domestic disputes, and violence within families. Most common subjects people most associate with police ethics is police brutality, police deception, and abuse of their authority. Police officers in the United States are given tremendous authority and wide latitude in using that authority. In addition, to the average citizen, the police are the most visible symbol of not only the United States criminal justice system but also the United States
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These behaviors consist of police corruption, police misconduct, and police brutality. Police corruption is probably the most common ethic deviance in a police department. Corruption occurs when police abuse their authority for personal gain. Often time’s officers receive payments in order to look the other way when it comes to certain crimes. These payments are not just money payments but also come as personal favors, gratuities, and bribes. Police corruption may also include framing a suspect to maybe divert attention from another suspect they are helping. There are two different types of corruption, internal and external. Internal corruption is the illegal acts and agreements within a police department by more than one officer. External corruption is the illegal acts and agreements with the public by one or more officers in a department. There are three distinct elements of police corruption that have to occur simultaneously for a corrupt act to occur: 1) misuse of authority, 2) misuse of official capacity, and 3) misuse of personal attainment. The external corruption generally consists of one or more of the following activities: 1) payoffs to police by essentially non-criminal elements which fail to comply with stringent statutes or city ordinances, 2) payoffs to police by individuals who continually violate the law as a method of making money and, 3) clean graft where money is paid to police

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