CORRUPTION IN THE POLICE DEPT

Introduction

Corruption in the police department refers to the abuse of authority by police officers for personal gain or for the benefit of some interests beyond the public domain. The term can also be used to refer to patterns of misconduct that are seen in regard to brutality that people under police custody experience. The safeguarding of corruption and misconduct in the police department exist throughout the law. The police departments have codes of conduct that are meant to prevent the officers from gross misconduct. However, cases such as false arrest and imprisonment, racial profiling, political repression, surveillance abuse, sexual abuse, wrongful death and torture of victims are still rampant in the police department.

Cause of police brutality and corruption

  • Racial profiling

Cases of corruption and brutality in the police department can be linked with racial profiling due to the existence of racial, tribal, religious and socioeconomic status between the members of the public and the police officers (Holmes & Smith, 2008). Some parts of the population may generally view the police as oppressors while the police officers on their part can view certain parts of the population to be deserving of oppression based on their background.

  • Psychological problems

Based on some theories, psychological factors results into increased cases of brutality in the correction centers and among the police force. Studies indicates that personality traits have resulted into the use of excessive force by the police despite the fact that the stereotype of the bad rogue cop has always been disavowed. Personal problems and inadequacies that exist among the police may lead them into becoming brutal with their victims.

  • protection of cases of misconduct

The supervisors who form part of the long chain of command in the police force normally embrace questionable as well as unlawful conduct of their junior officers. The cases of misconduct are in many circumstances not reported properly, investigated or not addressed using corrective means. The investigators in the department who are charged with the responsibility of investigating cases of misconduct are usually geared towards casting the accused police officers in the most positive light. The worst forms of abuses are usually ignored by the investigators in the CDP internal affairs unit provided that there is no proof beyond any reasonable doubt against an officer.

  • Wrong perceptions

It has been established that younger officers are more likely to record increased cases of excessive use of force than older officers. This is mainly due to the fact that the young officers are less exposed to the real events besides the academic training that they have acquired. They do not have any historical references related to their jobs in which they can obtain relevant experiences. The generally cited claims that white police officers are more likely to arrest and use unnecessary force on the black males tends to support new cases of police brutality and racial profiling.

  • Organizational factors

The policies as well as the environmental conditions in which the police officers are operating are highly connected with the cases of brutality and corruption being witnessed in the United States. For example, in the case of Rodney King who was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in which the police were presumed to have used reasonable force that is accepted within their parameters, was a case of wrong policies. The policies of the LAPD allowed for the discretion of the individual police officers thus leaving a very large open window for potential abuse and insult. Therefore, police departments have used their policies to promote cases of misconduct.

Measures for eliminating police brutality and corruption

One of the measures that can be adopted so as to alleviate cases of police brutality is by understanding the personal challenges and problems that police officers undergo. This will help in understanding why some of them have to use excessive force. Community policing should be promoted in every state so as to ensure that there is increased understanding and awareness between the police officers and the members of the public (Geller & Toch, 2005). This will further allow the citizens to appreciate the roles being played by the police and correction organizations. Policies should be changed so as to ensure that no police department allows for the use of excessive force among their officers within the confinement of the law. Top level management within the police departments should seek to accept responsibility for cases of abuse and corruption as opposed to defending the accused officers and cases of gross misconduct among themselves.

Conclusion

The increased cases of corruption among the police officers and the correction centers have tainted the public perception of the police force and many people have increasingly viewed them as threats and not protectors. By adopting the mention approaches, confidence in the police department among the members of the public will be restored.

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