Police deviance sample essay
Policing has a great potential for abusive conduct where police officers become perpetrators of various crimes. Aside from the exposure to the world of crime there is the inherent police culture which is generally susceptible to corruption. Police misconduct ranges from “the excessive use of deadly force, excessive use of physical force, discriminatory patterns of arrest patterns of harassment among the marginalized sectors of society which include the aggressive and discriminatory use of the ‘stop and frisk’ and overly harsh enforcement of petty offenses, overreaction to gang problems, lack of accountability including failure to discipline or prosecute abusive officers, or deter abuse by denying promotions and/or particular assignments of prior abusive behavior and a host of other potential abuses” (ACLU 1991). With this theme this paper succinctly captures and elaborates on specific police officer misconduct such as the occurrence of falsification of evidences by police officers for the use in trials.
~Nature of Police work
Law enforcement is a highly visible kind of work and the benefits, challenges and potential problems are immense yet appear typically predictable. Films and television people make sure that stuffs like detective stories, sitcoms with punch lines that depict familiar police caricatures and the like keep law enforcement on the frontlines. Not that it needs to be advertised; police work hugs the headlines because their tasks are unavoidably sensational.
Policing is said to be characterized as an occupation with “hours of boredom followed by minutes of sheer terror” (“Police Culture and behavior”). What is it like to be a police officer? What are the qualifications that this specific government agency requires from their potential recruits? Who can get in and stay as assets not only to the workplace or agency but also to the immediate community which is what police work actually entails? This paper attempts to describe and explain in précis the personality traits and other pertinent information concerning this important worker of every community. It seeks to answer the preceding questions and attempts to present a profile of what every law enforcement agency hopes to hire from among the applicants or attract from the general public.
~”Ideal Police personality”
In a study, the results reveal that confirms a clear personality profile with police possessing traits as “authoritarianism, suspicion, racism, hostility, insecurity, conservatism, and cynicism” (www.cameron.edu).
Despite the common thread that exists among the profiles of police, the demands that society impinges on policing style have started to effect on the qualifications expected to emerge from successful candidates. These days the police ought to display such qualities as “incorruptible, well-adjusted, people-oriented, free of emotional reactions, and logical” (Lefkowitz, n.d.). In addition, literature indicates that an undesirable temperament in policing is introversion with dominance and leadership topping the desirable ones.
Women officers are expected to exhibit more assertiveness especially that suspects usually do not respect female cops (Calderon, 2005). Given the culture unique to the workforce, police tasks are not only routinary and yet demand an all-around ability from the person; these are also in most cases stressful. Police suicides have even risen for a variety of reasons. Many are involved in risky assignments while some settle for the more mundane desk job which rarely sees action. The public have mixed perception with the job but many are still drawn to become law enforcement’s recruits.
~Use of false evidences in trials and the police officer’s code of ethics
There is a set of code of ethics for every kind of profession which serves as a guide that the police man adheres to in the course of his year spent in policing. It serves as a standard to the individual whose opportunities for corruption and misconduct are potentially aplenty. Adherence to the code of ethics is required more from those exercising such authority since the kind of work these people do hinges on their moral fiber. In cases involving the false evidences for use in trials, obviously, the fundamental right of the suspect has been infringed upon regardless of the fact that the individual in question has had several records of criminal activities or not (ACLU, 1991).
The rationale for most officers engaging with this kind of dirty work is their justifiable reason that for so long the criminal had been followed and is known to do the kind of work he did; that it’s high time the suspect be finally imprisoned. When there are no vital evidences linking the suspect to the criminal activity, police officers are tempted to plant and/or provide evidence. This has been an age-old problem and keeps recurring within the judicial system.
There are dire consequences concerning this specific act of planting false evidences against arrestees. To the police officer, the individual tends to develop or acquire the propensity to increase and grab the opportunities for misconduct or abuses. The lines between evil and good intentions become increasingly blurred for the individual, thus enabling the person/police officer to be less accountable with his misdeeds or actions (ACLU, 1991).
In conclusion, the reforms that had been in place for the police force to lessen or reduce these abuses are somehow adequate but monitoring by citizens, the media and those in government are better restraints to curb any further occurrences of similar cases of misconduct.
To act in an unethical manner such as the acts already becoming natural for police officers to do reduces and eliminates trust. When a police officer is initiated into policing, he begins with the public “swear in” which is done by a more superior officer before some number of audience (Kelly, 2003). When this occurs, the solemn ceremony signifies that the public entrusts to the sworn in public servant the duty to choose right over wrong, i.e., an individual cop with all the opportunities before him will not use these instances for his own gain or that of another except for the purposes that he was employed for in the first place. Erosion of trust is not simply a small thing; it is the violation of that basic faith and trust which was expected from the man in uniform.
Lefkowitz, J. (n.d.). The Police and the Criminal Justice System. Retrieved March 12, 2008, from: http://uwf.edu/swright/Spring%202005/ch%206%20Police%20and%20the%20Criminal%20Justice%20System%20-%203up.pdf
Strack, Lorr M.1994. Personality profile of police candidates. Journal of Clinical Psychology; 50(2):200-7. www.pubmed.gov.
Kelly, Sean F. Internal affairs: issues for small police departments FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, The, July, 2003 Retrieved March 17, 2008
American Civil Liberties Union. On the Line: Police Brutality and its remedies. New York. April 1991. Retrieved March 12, 2008 < http://www.aclu.org/police/gen/14614pub19971201.html>