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Essay on the Police Corruption and Misconduct and Its Effects in the Community

3 pages
800 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Police misconduct and corruption simply refers to abuses of authority by police officers. In essence, it is a range of criminal, procedural, and criminal violations. The misconduct connotes procedural violation when the officer flouts department rules and regulations, or criminal when the officer does not adhere to the laws set out by the state or the federal government. Misconduct could be unconstitutional when there are the violations of the rights and the liberties of the citizens by the police (White & Kane, 2013). The most common and notable forms of police misconduct include but not limited to excessive use of physical or deadly force, verbal or physical harassment, selective enforcement of the law, and discriminatory arrest (Long, Cross, Shelley, Kutnjak Ivkovic, 2013)

On the other hand, police corruption encompasses abuse of authority for personal or individual gain. It entails material benefit or profit gained illegally due to illegal or unconstitutional use of authority. The basic forms of corruption include extortion, fencing or receiving stolen goods, bribery, and selling of narcotics or drugs (Agbiboa, 2015). Moreover, the term may also refer to acts or patterns of misconduct by a police unit or department, especially where the offenses are repetitive and the superiors are also complicit, and there is notable failure to prevent such acts. Typically, police corruption and misconduct include brutality, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment or arrest, and at times wrongful deaths.

The effects of police misconduct and corruption are profound, to say the least. Economically, it leads to the embezzlement of funds by the officers, meaning that it the prerequisite to failure of implementation of programs at any given levels within the law enforcement (Eitle, DAlessio & Stolzenberg, 2014). Secondly, it leads to the harassment of those who stand for the law like whistleblowers, as they are perceived enemies of the law enforcement agencies. As mentioned earlier, extortion and bribery are the hallmarks of police corruption and misconduct. It means that when police engage in such vices they essentially rob people of who are making honest living of their hard-earned money (Donner & Jennings, 2014). There is close connection between police misconduct and the soaring of crime or criminal activities since the police tend to protect criminal cartel or turn a blind eye crime (Kochel, Parks & Mastrofski, 2013). Organized crimes such as human trafficking, narcotics, and arms trafficking will certainly rise. A compromised police force cannot legally and legitimately prevent crime, protect the violations of the law, or punish offenders.

Inference Made

Law enforcement requires the input of various agencies or organizations, and the failure of any entity is detrimental to the application or the execution of the law. For instance, the failure by the police of officers to arrest criminals or investigate crimes in a professional manner, due to reasons like corruption and misconduct, definitely leads to the failure of the entire justice system. Upholding the provisions of the law requires strict adherence to set standards by the officers. The failure by the police officers or any department within the force is therefore catastrophic.


It is worth noting that law enforcements all over the globe struggle to maintain the stands of integrity. However, application of certain measures has the propensity of lessening or eradicating the cause and subsequently the effects misconduct and corruption (Lee, Lim, Moore & Kim, 2013). In this regard, it is imperative thoroughly vet the new recruits and the candidates bound for promotion, enact formal regulations aimed at complete financial disclosure, undertaking of regular rotation of officers, and ensuring regular training programs (Sun, Hu, Wong, He, & Li, 2013).


Agbiboa, D. E. (2015). Protectors or predators? The embedded problem of police corruption and deviance in Nigeria. Administration & Society, 47(3), 244-281.

Donner, C. M., & Jennings, W. G. (2014). Low self-control and police deviance: Applying Gottfredson and Hirschis general theory to officer misconduct. Police Quarterly, 17(3), 203-225.

Eitle, D., DAlessio, S. J., & Stolzenberg, L. (2014). The effect of organizational and environmental factors on police misconduct. Police Quarterly, 17(2), 103-126.

Kochel, T. R., Parks, R., & Mastrofski, S. D. (2013). Examining police effectiveness as a precursor to legitimacy and cooperation with police. Justice quarterly, 30(5), 895-925.

Lee, H., Lim, H., Moore, D. D., & Kim, J. (2013). How police organizational structure correlates with frontline officers attitudes toward corruption: A multilevel model. Police Practice and Research, 14(5), 386-401.

Long, M. A., Cross, J. E., Shelley, T. O. C., & Kutnjak Ivkovic, S. (2013). The normative order of reporting police misconduct: Examining the roles of offense seriousness, legitimacy, and fairness. Social Psychology Quarterly, 76(3), 242-267.

Sun, I. Y., Hu, R., Wong, D. F., He, X., & Li, J. C. (2013). One country, three populations: Trust in police among migrants, villagers, and urbanites in China. Social Science Research, 42(6), 1737-1749.

White, M. D., & Kane, R. J. (2013). Pathways to career-ending police misconduct: An examination of patterns, timing, and organizational responses to officer malfeasance in the NYPD. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40(11), 1301-1325.

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