Case study:The Making of a Bad cop

Essay by muyinUniversity, Master's July 2004

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In this case study, we can see that there are many serious problems, which make many young policemen go sour. They feel pain because they are forced to do something that they really don't want to do. There are three causes that lead to this undesirable situation: systemic weaknesses, job dissatisfaction, and group pressure.

I suggest that the high-level management of the police department should improve the training system and should correct the weaknesses within the system. By making these adjustments, the police department can solve some problems and reduce the possibility of making bad cops.


1. Some weaknesses in the system make the young policemen suffer. First, the recruitment is not rigorous enough. It only requires age limitation, high school graduation, and no criminal record. Then, candidates have a chance to get into the screening process. There are the usual examinations and questionnaires, then, they can go into the interview.

Although there is a representative of civil service and a psychiatrist present, the interviewers only ask the predictable questions and what candidates need to do is to give them the predictable answers. The interview usually takes five or ten minutes, and the recruitment process is done. It is not easy to determinate the moral character of the candidates, but the moral factor is more relevant if they are willing (or likely) to take advantage of the policemen's power, or if they feel comfortable associating with "bad cops" In fact, some "bad guys" really pass these processes and become policemen.

The second systemic weakness is that the training time at the Police Academy is too short. The rookies learn so many things before they go into six-month "probation", such as: the criminal laws they have sworn to enforce, the assimilation of the rules of evidence, the methods of arbitration,