Police Misconduct In The Police

2075 Words 9 Pages

Police corruption and misconduct has been a concern since the inception of the first police force. Every workplace has individuals who commit illegal or unethical acts of misconduct. The police department is no exception. Officers are responsible for acts of corruption, excessive use of force and brutality, violations of due process, racial discrimination and various other unethical behaviors. There are certain types of misconduct that occur most often and they have a wide reaching effect on the community as a whole. Researchers have come up with many theories as to why these types of misconduct occur, while officers have their own excuses. Police departments are utilizing several methods to reduce the occurrence of misconduct
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In the Industrial Age of the early 1800’s, there was a significant increase in poverty and crime in urban England. Sir Robert Peel, the “father of modern policing”, developed and presented a proposal to Parliament for a new police organization that would help in the reduction and prevention of crime in the city. Parliament established in 1829 the first police agency called the London Metropolitain Police. (Prenzler, 2009) Peel’s design for this police force included structure, uniformity and an authoritative system of discipline that helped to ensure officers conducted themselves ina professional manner and were held accountable for their actions in a hope to minimize corruption and provide public safety. Peel’s 9 principles of law enforcement, that the original police department was modeled after, are still considered the gold standard of modern police departments. (Silverii, 2014) The community initially shoed great concern in regards to the “new police” because they appeared militant in style.
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These include organizational breakdowns in management, ecological/environmental characteristics and sometimes officers are just “bad” people. While internal departments are primarily responsible for the discovery and punishment of police misconduct the structure of the entire organization as a whole is often to blame for higher levels of police corruption. Discipline styles have gained a significant amount of attention when it comes to placing blame on internal corruption. (Lee et. al., 2013) The more an officer feels he has to risk the less likely he is to commit acts of misconduct. (Prenzler, 2009) If management fails to properly discipline individuals, often by intentionally turning a blind eye to transgressions, they set a precedent of tolerance that leads to additional misconduct, not only by the officer that was not given discipline but also by other officers in the unit. (Lee et. al., 2013) Some refer to it as a “bad apple” but with bad organization and poor structure it becomes a “bad barrel.” Thus punishment will not deter corruption unless those who are liable to commit misconduct truly believe they will be punished. (Klinger,

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