An Increasing Problem Throughout Law Enforcement Agencies

 In The United States In the United States, drug-related police corruption is becoming an increasingly, unjustifiable problem throughout the ranks of law enforcement agencies. Many variables exist to explain the reason for their actions, but ultimately, what makes them do it? Knowing how to recognize a corrupted officer or one exhibiting signs of traveling down the wrong path is essential in order to mitigate the problem. Law enforcement leadership also plays a vital role in the identity and prevention of drug-related corruption.

Drug-related police corruption is any act by a sworn police officer that is the sale, manufacture, distribution or supporting of drug activities for the personal gain of the officer. Why is this corruption a problem? Many law enforcement officers who are sworn in to protect the lives of our citizens, to abide and uphold the law, are doing the exact opposite, and this is a problem. The purpose of the study is to provide empirical data on cases of drug-related police corruption. It identifies and describes incidents in which police officers are arrested for criminal offenses associated with drug-related corruption.

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Data was analyzed on 221 drug-related arrest cases of officers employed by police agencies throughout the USA. Findings show that drug-related corruption involves a wide range of criminal offenses and that cocaine is the most prevalent drug. Older officers and those used by large companies are less likely than others to lose their jobs after a drug-related arrest (Philip Stinson, 2013). Drug-related police corruption is a problem that will not go away on its own which is evident by the statistics. The first step in preventing corruption would be to recognize the signs of a corrupted officer.

Learn what puts an officer at risk of becoming corrupted, and what makes them defy the law they swore to uphold, protect and defend. Drug corruption is born out of police attitudes because if an officer is lacking the right attitude then corruption can become a mainstay for that officer (Cheurprakobkit, 1998). For example, if any officers believe that the enforcement of drug laws is a waste of their time and that they are underpaid, they may accept a bribe from a drug trafficker to allow the trade. This places a little more money in their pocket and allows them not to worry about enforcing a law they may not agree with.

Knowing how to identify the signs of a corrupted officer is a necessary step to decreasing the amount of drug-related corruption, and may one day lead to mitigating the issue. What leads law enforcement to corruption? After looking at yearly sales of different drugs in the United States, it was found that weed brings in about $3 billion dollars, heroin $10 billion, and cocaine, a whopping $38 billion dollars annually (Stevens, 1999). If you pay attention to these numbers, you can clearly see how easy it would be for a low paid, frustrated police officer to turn corrupt and help with the sale, transport, or manufacturing of illegal substances.

To reduce police corruption, the commissions recommend creating external oversight over the police with a unique focus on integrity, improving recruitment and training, guidance from supervisors of all ranks about integrity, holding all commanders responsible for the misbehavior of subordinates, and changing the organization’s culture to tolerate misbehavior less (Perito, 2011). While drug-related police corruption continues to pose a threat at some level in every law enforcement agency, it does not necessarily mean there is a high percentage of corrupt law enforcement officials.

While it is a problem, it could be prevented with proactive steps – observing the actions and lifestyles of these police officers. There is an opportunity for corruption wherever there are drugs present, and no law enforcement official should be above suspicion. Corruption has been identified at the lowest and highest levels. Bibliography 1. Francis L. McCafferty, M. a. (1998). Corruption in Law Enforcement:A Paradigm of Occupational Stress and Deviancy. Retrieved from J Am Acad Psychiatry Law, Vol. 26, No. 1: http://www. jaapl. org/content/26/1/57. full. pdf 2. Office, U. S. (1998, May).

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htm (accessed April 14, 2010). 19. B. Arrigo and N. Claussen, “Police Corruption and Psychological Testing: A Strategy for Preemployment Screening,” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 47 (2003): 272-290. 20. Tim Newburn, Understanding and Preventing Police Corruption: Lessons from the Literature (London: Home Office, Research, Development, and Statistics Directorate, 1999). 21. Philip Stinson, J. P. (2013, September 15). Police Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested. Retrieved from Blog: Bowling Green State University: http://blogs. bgsu. edu/pilproject/

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