Police officers are valued members of the community who have sworn to protect the public and uphold the laws of their respective city and state. However, occasionally members of law enforcement resort to using and abusing the authority and power given them. The types of police corruption can be internal, in which higher-ups know of police misconduct and look the other way or external in which an officer commits crimes against the public like taking bribes.
Police corruption is an abuse of power for personal gain that can occur during everyday events. For example, abuse can include an officer taking a bribe when an he stops a speeding motorist and is offered money to not write the ticket. A shakedown happens when an officer asks for money to let the speeder go and not write the ticket.
Read More: What Is the Meaning of Graft & Corruption?
Protection of Illegal Activity
Policemen originally investigating illegal activity could become involved with a criminal element like drug dealers. The abuse occurs if they accept drugs and payoff money to protect the dealer's territory and business. This corruption permits continued drug trafficking in communities, which in turn harms the public.
Theft at Opportunity
Policemen earn a modest salary. Temptation can be an irresistible lure when a narcotics raid recovers thousands of dollars in money and drugs. Police officers have been known to take advantage of the opportunity and remove some of the funds or drugs from the raid, which will leads to more corruption.
Internal affairs is a department within the police department that polices the police. The organization was developed to investigate and punish police who break the law and the higher-ups who are aware of misconduct and allow it to continue.
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images