Police Corruption

Essay by jordan09 July 2004

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Police Corruption is defined as the abuse of police authority for personal or organizational gain. This comes in many shapes and sizes, from the major drug trafficking and money laundering to looking the other way on minor everyday violations of the law. Ever since the concept of rules and regulation came about there have been certain people who were chosen to enforce those regulations. Some of those law enforcement personnel have been persuaded to look the other way on certain violations committed by their friends or family. Payments for these inconsistencies could come in the way of personal favors, bribes, or gratuities. Other corruption activities involve more serious crimes such as brutality, drugs, and framing of suspects (Schmalleger, 2003, pp. 227-229).

Police corruption is a complex phenomenon, which does not readily submit to simple analysis. It is a problem that has and will continue to affect us all, whether we are civilians or law enforcement officers.

Since its beginnings, may aspects of policing have changed; however, one aspect that has remained relatively unchanged is the existence of corruption. An examination of a local newspaper or any police-related publication on any given day will have an article about a police officer that got busted committing some kind of corrupt act. Police corruption has increased dramatically with the illegal cocaine trade, with officers acting alone or in-groups to steal money from dealers or distribute cocaine themselves. Large groups of corrupt police have been caught in New York, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. (http://www.cyberessays.com/politics/141.htm, 2002)


Corruption can be broken down into two sections, internal and external corruption. Internal corruption is the illegal acts and agreements within a police department by more than one of the officers. External corruption is the illegal acts and agreements with the public by one or...