Policing and Police Issues Essay

1212 Words May 2nd, 2013 5 Pages
Policing and Police Issues
CJA 303
Police misconduct of the past was centered on the police turning a blind eye toward other officers who committed crimes. When police officers join a police department, they become members of a “brotherhood.” This “brotherhood” plays an important role in the way officers see themselves and the world around them. Officers learn early in their career of the importance of loyalty to fellow officers. This misplaced loyalty is a major factor in police misconduct. Police culture allows misplaced loyalty to flourish, rationalizing it as part of the “brotherhood” (Barry, 1999).
The majority of law enforcement holds the public trust as sacred. These men and women are honest, hardworking police officers who have
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The Knapp Commission in 1973 identified two kind of corrupt officers: “Grass eaters” and “Meat eaters.” These terms were used to describe New York City police officers who used their position to engage in corrupt practices. Taking bribes, gratuities, and unsolicited protection money was the extent of the corruption engaged in by the grass eaters, who were passive in their deviant practices. Meat eaters participated in shakedowns, shopped at burglary scenes and engaged in more active deviant behavior (Pollock, 2004).
There is another type of corruption that is called the noble-cause. This type of behavior of an officer believes the sometimes police can employ unethical means to catch criminals; they believe this is the right thing to do using the utilitarian argument that the ends justify the means (Pollock, 2004). Some argue that such practices as coercion are not caused by selfishness but by ends-oriented thinking. The noble cause of police officers is a profound moral commitment to make the world a safer place to live. Officers will do whatever it takes to get an offender off the street, making up facts on an affidavit to justify illegal searches or establish probable cause for arrests. Police are not the only ones in the criminal justice who subscribe to noble-cause values. Crime labs investigators and prosecutors also engage in short cuts in order to convict the perceived guilty. Prosecutors have been known to suppress evidence and allow perjured

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