Police Corruption Has Become A Major Problem

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Throughout history, police corruption has become a major problem in the United States. It is defined as a form of police misconduct that involves the act of either a single officer, or a group of officers who abuse their powers to achieve personal or departmental gains. From as early as the nineteenth century, corruption has not only affected law enforcement agencies, but also our continuously changing society. Even though police officers are predominantly seen as honest and professional, the few who are dishonest and corrupt tend to devalue the profession as a whole. Police corruption is a general problem that is seen in both second and third world countries and is usually investigated by internal affairs divisions. Oftentimes it is hard…show more content…
This investigation also led to the establishment of the two main types of corrupt officers known as, the “meat-eaters” and “grass-eaters.” (The-Crankshaft Publishing, 2017) As stated by the Knapp Commission, Meat-eaters predominantly abuse their powers for personal gain, while grass-eaters simply accept payoffs or gratuities. Officers typically become grass-eaters to prove their loyalty to the brotherly allegiance, while others are influenced by or even become meat-eaters. (New York Post, 2016/17) It is a police officer’s responsibility, stated in the code of conduct, to serve, protect, and ensure the rights of the people; so it is baffling that some officers engage in these types of corrupt behaviors. Some theories suggest that these behaviors have to do with police discretion. Discretion is not a problem when used correctly, but when it is taken advantage of it can become a major problem. Police rules and regulations do not cover every situation, so when police officers are put in a situation where they need to make a decision, not all officers make the right one. In certain situations this could be the difference between life and death. Another suggested theory is lack of supervision. Many police officers do their work with very little supervision which could lead to officers not following

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