Police Subculture In Law Enforcement
The police subculture can be a result of the mentality of “us” versus “them”.
New recruits To become a member of the police department one must first go through the police academy. Throughout the academy, the recruits are in a classroom setting and do not experience the adrenaline rush associated with a car chase, or bullets flying past them. Things are completely different once they hit the streets after the police department hired them. Experienced officers known as field training officers (FTOs) train the new recruits during their probationary period. These new recruits are sometimes told to forget what they were taught at the academy and that their FTO will teach them what “real” police work is and how it is done (Malmin, 2012). The FTO will …show more content…
Laws influence police behavior and how officers handle some situations. Officers are rarely supervised while on patrol and if they are, it is by a fellow officer rather than a superior officer. Because of this, officers are left with discretion in almost every situation they encounter. This discretion for the law also influences how things are handled in the police subculture. This same law is used not only by police officers but also against them when there is suspicion of wrongdoing. According to some authors, the law acts as a fundamental value for police officers and not only as a form of legitimacy but also as a justification for daily police actions (Herbert, 1998; Manning, 1977). Officers feel obligated to use the law to uphold a social order and to keep the peace. Police officers use the law in every situation to determine what their action should be to solve that situation. The law shapes the way officers can and cannot act on a daily basis. This may not hold true for every officer but for the majority of police officers the law determines how they do their job efficiently and to the best of their ability. It is an important part of the police subculture and how police behavior is different from the behavior of a criminal or even a typical citizen of the community. Some officers may still abuse their authority and use it to their advantage but in that case, their