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Big & Small City Corruption, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 380

Essay

Corruption happens when a government official, such as a police officer, uses his or her legislated powers for personal gain. Corruption includes extortion, bribery, nepotism, patronage, and embezzlement(Kratcoski, 2003). New York is infamous for having an ongoing problem with corruption; however, several other cities in the United States share the same problem.  Chicago and Philadelphia have had several instances where police officers were found guilty of corruption relating to illegal drug activities. Although other forms of police corruption exist in these cities, drug-related police corruption is the most prominent. Police officers involved in these scandals typically protect criminals or ignore their activities. In addition, police officers were found guilty of stealing drugs and/or money from drug dealers, selling the contraband, and lying under oath about their involvement in these activities(United States General Accounting Office, 1998). In most cases of drug-related police corruption, investigators identified profit as the main reason for corruption.

The size of the city should not determine the level of ethical behavior from a police officer. Big cities and small towns have all had their share of corrupt police officers. For instance, in 2009, a police officer in Jericho, AR, was found guilty of corruption when he attempted to solicit money from a driver who he claimed was speeding. He demanded the driver pay the fine in cash, right there and then, in order for all charges to be dropped(Brown, 2009). Jericho is a town of 200 people. Similarly, police officers in large cities have been found guilty of the same malpractice.

Ethical behavior is an innate quality that most people find difficult to bypass. Unfortunately, police officers are government officials in power positions therefore they often get away with more than a regular citizen would. Most civilians are intimidated by the threat of incarceration and will abide by a police officer’s request of bribery. It is the lawful duty and moral responsibility of the police officer to act in a principled manner, regardless of the financial temptations.

Works Cited

Brown, L. (2009, November 2). Speeding ticket recipients allege small town police corruption. Retrieved from wmctv.com: http://www.wmctv.com/story/11423585/speeding-ticket-recipients-allege-small-town-police-corruption?redirected=true

Kratcoski, P. (2003). International Perspectives on Institutional and Police Corruption. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 92(3), 600.

United States General Accounting Office. (1998). Information on Drug-Related Police Corruption. Washington, DC: United States General Accounting Office.

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