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Police Corruption Essay

1117 words - 5 pages

Police Corruption
Ryan Alvarado
November 13, 2012
Richard Palomo


In the history of police in the United States there always has been an element of corruption. Because the police officers themselves are human, the possibility of corruption will always be present. Sometimes it is minor but then that usually can lead to more major crimes and eventually the corruption itself will spread throughout an organization. The level and extent of corruption is difficult to determine as the crime itself is very covert. There really is no for sure solution to stop the corruption and wrong doings; however, steps can be taken to alleviate some of the criminal offenses. As long as ...view middle of the document...

A study done by James J. Fyfe and Robert Kane on the New York City Police Department from 1975 through 1996 found that very few officers were found to have been involved in corruption or other forms of police misconduct. The data indicated that 1,543 officers out of about 78,000 had engaged in career-ending misconduct, which represented about two percent of all officers employed over the period (Walker & Katz, 2010). One must also take into account that when something happens and is determined to be a result of police corruption or misconduct that it does not mean that it is the whole department or the entirety of the police force. In every organization there is always one or just a few bad apples and unfortunately the actions of those individuals are the ones that are focused on by the media.
Police corruption and misconduct happens in virtually every police department at some level but one police department that seems to be notorious for police corruption and misconduct is the New York Police Department (NYPD). One specific case involving police misconduct and corruption happened in New York in October 2011 when 16 NYPD police officers were charged with offenses related to ticket fixing. The charges, detailed in a huge stack of paper made up of nearly two dozen indictments with roughly 1,600 criminal counts, include hundreds of instances in which 10 of the officers allegedly fixed traffic tickets. Six other officers were accused of engaging in a wide variety of corruption crimes. Many of the counts were misdemeanors, though all the officers, except for two, were charged with felonies.
Police brutality can be one of the most heinous crimes a police officer can commit. A police officer has a higher level of training and a position of power and authority and when he or she abuses that power and training to hurt someone, it really diminishes the public view of the police. One example of police brutality, once again involves the NYPD, where in September 2011, an off-duty NYPD officer, Michael Pena, was charged with raping a schoolteacher at gunpoint. According to the woman, she was stopped by Pena, who was intoxicated, and ordered her into an apartment backyard as he pointed a gun at her...

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