A gratuity can be regarded as the acceptance of either meals or services for free or even getting discounts. Accepting these offers or gratuities like a free meal or a 30% discount from the neighbourhood Denny’s may apparently be harmless. However, the moment an individual has a badge; it becomes unacceptable since it violates the stipulated ethics code concerning the inclusion of financial gains or rewards. All the same, other departments may permit a free meal offered like a cup of coffee if a tip is left by the officer while others do not allow this.
Accepting even the gratuities considered small may get the officer down the road to what is referred to as the Slippery Slope. The hypothesis of slippery slope is described as the corruption that starts with things which are seemingly harmless and with good intentions but with time turns out to be crimes for profit (Delattre, 2006). It is not really that some officials may actually follow the wrong route after yielding to small gratuities, but the things the people offering gratuities really want.
Some owners of restaurants for instance tend to offer coffee for free or meals at reduced price as a way of being kind to police owing to claims that they are underpaid. However, others in a more or less subtle way anticipate a favour in return. Others indeed are after the presence of the police while others want customers who are illegally parked to be left alone and such like things (Delattre, 2006). Police Characters The bad This kind of a police officer will look for misconduct opportunities. They are indeed corrupt. The chief concern of these police officers is their personalities and the things they can do to their benefit.
Their main desire is to be at the peak of the food chain. They can do anything to get and remain at this position. What has been taught to them pertaining to ethics does not count. In fact, they are not ashamed of the way they abuse their authority (Delattre, 2006). For instance, brazen officers in the elite unit “anti-gang” in California persistently emulated the street gangs they should have instead done away with. Several officers as a result became drug dealers, bank robbers and such like acts of felony. These are officers in the category of bad character.
They extort drugs and money; commit murder as well as setting up scenes of crime in framing people. The uncontrollable The attributes of the officer in this case will seek to have gain at the expense of having regard for the law (Delattre, 2006). They are easily influenced and in most cases are followers. They are also referred to as grass eaters. This is because they may even accept small gratuities, selling drugs to make a little more money. They are even willing to accept small bribes. These officers get paid illegally by residents to perform duties they are supposed to do.
The Self-controlled These kind of officers dislike the higher conduct standard to which the society holds them (Delattre, 2006). They always have the “Suppose” setting in their minds. They however do their work with self-discipline. They in most cases see or hear of cases of corruption in their departments or adjacent departments as officers who are not caught in it profit. They are in the middle of what is wrong and right. It therefore becomes very difficult to pin point these police officers. They do their work and everything apparently is good from the outside.
It is hard to read their minds and also hard to establish what is in the inside. The excellent These are actually incorrupt and it would not cross to their minds that they can be corrupt. Delattre (2006) argues that they respect and also love to be honest which form a second nature. They indeed fit to have the trust of offices of the public in enforcing law (Delattre, 2006). Theories Society-At-Large hypothesis This hypothesis gives the view that the community itself is the cause for which the police are corrupt. According to O. W.
Wilson, a former police superintendent of Chicago, the police are corrupted by the people they serve. It has therefore become the norm to give the chauffeurs, cooks, maids, and doorman as well as delivery men some gifts and gratuities. It was a bit hard to transfer the idea from the servants to the civilians the norm of accepting pay offs from drivers and businessmen (Delattre, 2006). For instance, drivers on trucks would put money to their licences for driving to evade traffic citations. Very small bribery eventually became a usual thing and the police could now make many stops of traffic to have the bills.
The small offers led the way to bigger ones. The Structural or Affiliation Hypothesis As put forward by Arthur Niederhoffer, the idea of affiliation/structural hypothesis is that, recruit officers of police learn from their veterans. They get wind of the practices through their superiors and take into their steps since they are afraid of being denied by their fellow colleagues or may be from other departments. Even though they know it is not right, they become desensitized since they want to feel accepted. It continues like that because no one is willing to change the culture.
As seen in the movie, “Crash”, a recruit officer is partnered with an old officer who regards the misconduct of the police as nothing. Despite knowing what the veteran is doing is wrong, he does not say anything and he becomes corrupt as the movie ends. He kills a hitchhiker accidentally and frames the case as a cover up for his mess. Rotten Apple Hypothesis This is the commonly accepted theory. It maintains that the police results to corruption from putting into a position of policing, a person who has an already developed tendency of corruption (Glenn, 2007).
To prevent this, departments have already gone ahead; there are now better and detailed checks on background, psychological investigation as well as other departments which need a degree in Criminal Justice. There is therefore need of weeding the rotten and putting in place excellent police force. Conclusion There may factors that lead to a corrupt police force. While power can lead to corruption, complete power in a proportional way corrupts absolutely. This has been a great challenge to the police force. It has been said that no man can abstain from abusing power that has been granted.
Gratuities have always been used as an escape gate for having been offered in good intentions may be as a show of kindness or appreciation but have mounted to greater effects which were not thought of in the first place. This is what is being referred to as “Slippery Slope”. However, amidst all these, there exist different police types: the bad, the uncontrollable, the self-controlled and the excellent. From the discussion, in this paper, it has largely been found and concluded that the history of the rookie into the police force counts a lot in determining the operations of such an individual.
It is indeed a slow fade of his character when a rookie gets into a group of corrupt veteran officials. Corruption therefore mounts through the small things that are neglected at first and termed as nothing as reflected in: society-at large, structural/affiliation and rotten apple hypotheses. References Delattre, E. J. , (2006). Character and cops ethics in policing (Fifth edition). Washington, D. C. : The AEI Press Glenn, F. (2007). Predominant theories of police corruption. Retrieved June 8, 2010 from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/359222/
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