The Code Of Silence Essays

996 WordsDec 4, 20144 Pages
The Code of Silence Some argue that corrupt police officers are simply the product of a corrupt culture of the agency they work for. These officers are socially introduced to a number of informal rules when they begin employment. This process and these rules serve two main purposes. First, this process is designed to minimize the chances of external or internal controls being mobilized to address the behaviors and, secondly, to keep corrupt activities at a level that is acceptable and likely undetectable. The rule most often referred to in this connection, is the “Code of Silence.” Officers are socialized into not cooperating with investigations regarding fellow officers. Whether or not the officer participates in corrupt activities for financial gain, an officer’s adherence to the “Code of Silence” places them squarely amongst the corrupt of the profession (Price, 1972). Some officers feel that discussing police transgressions regarding behavior or expressing worries about corruption makes them appear ‘‘weak’’ or ‘‘soft’’. Some officers are uncertain whether certain gifts, such as flowers from a citizen saying ‘‘thank you’’ to an officer, are appropriate to accept (Westmarland, 2005). This uncertainty on the part of officers contributes to the “Code of Silence” that at times appears to be present in law enforcement. The “Code of Silence” is not simply something which applies only to the patrol officer or the officer that does not hold rank within the department. The
Open Document