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Essay about Effects of Organizational Culture on Police Decision Making

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This essay discusses the effects of the police organizational culture on a Police officer’s ability to make independent decisions.

Every culture is composed of four elements: “values, norms, beliefs, and expressive symbols” (Peterson, 1979, p. 137). Each police officer is influenced by the police organizational culture during training. After graduation fro the police academy, the officer is influenced by the more experienced officers of the department. Research conducted by several authors has found that peer influence never ceases even after years of experience in the field.

Throughout life, people change their point of views by the impact of the people they encounter and the structure of society. Although people initially
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The belief systems found in the police organizations is the idea that crime is only fault by police officers who dislike patrolling of their local communities. Police are above the law in a secrete brotherhood , while the general public are ignorant, obstructive and overly demanding. The anarchic ideas embedded into the officers can lead to misuse of power, misconduct and corruption.

The composition by recruiting officers is to manufacture loyalty and conformity by implying the craving to seek approval during training and later by experienced officers during their career. Leading officers frequently influence new recruits by their unethical behavior and poor decisions making. Many officers are aware of the wrong behaviors, while others justify their actions by the principles “us versus evil” that “justifies all that police do to control their turf, including righteous abuse of suspects and malcontents” (Crank, 1998). Most officers will follow their footsteps out of fear, rejection, and becoming cut off from the organization.

Although, a small percentage of officer keep their common sense and independent decision making skills in their job performance; to avoid becoming an outcast officers adhere to the “code of silence” out of survival. In many cases, retaliation is not an option for officers because this is their lively hood for their
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