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Police corruption is a complex problem It is a problem that has and will continue to affect us all whether we are civilians or law enforcement officers Since its beginning many aspects of policing have changed however one aspect that has remained relatively unchanged is the existence of corruption An examination of a local newspaper or any police-related publication on any given day will have an article about a police officer that got busted committing some kind of corrupt act Police corruption has increased dramatically with the illegal drug trade with officers acting alone or in-groups to steal money from dealers or distribute drugs themselves Large groups of corrupt police have been caught in New York New Orleans Washington DC and Los Angeles Corruption within police departments falls into 2 basic categories which are external corruption and internal corruption For a corrupt act to occur three distinct elements of police corruption must be present simultaneously 1 misuse of authority 2 misuse of official capacity and 3 misuse of personal attainment Dantzker 1995 p 157 It can be said that power inevitably tends to corrupt and it is yet to be recognized that while there is no reason to suppose that policemen as individuals are any less fallible than other members of society people are often shocked and outraged when policemen are exposed violating the law The reason is simple There deviance elicits a special feeling of betrayal Most studies support the view that corruption is present if not universal in police departments The danger of corruption for police and this is that it may invert the formal goals of the organization and may lead to the use of organizational power to encourage and crea te crime rather than to deter it General police deviance can include brutality discrimination sexual harassment intimidation and illegal use of weapons However it is not particularly obvious where brutality discrimination and misconduct end and corruption begin Essentially police corruption
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