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Deviance 1 Law Enforcement Deviance Your name ADJ 235 Due date Instructors name Deviance Introduction Law Enforcement Deviance 2 If a bank teller removed 500 from his or her cash drawer and placed it in his or her co worker s locker management would believe that the co worker committed a crime stealing the money from his or her employers When the co worker was able to show that he or she did not commit the crime but another individual within the bank had placed it there hoping the worker would be fired it would be expected that the thief receive some type of punishment In essence what happened was that a worker had planted the evidence This type of behavior is punished harshly in a normal work environment but that is not always the case in law enforcement Deviance occurs on a daily basis sometimes on a minor level and other times large amounts of cash drugs and or stolen merchandise is involved There are times when this behavior is ignored by higher ups and there are other times when law enforcement officers hide their deviance well escaping detection Deviance Planting of evidence is not the only type of deviance that occurs in law enforcement offices around the globe Other unethical actions include falsifying reports police brutality drug trafficking and discrimination Why do officers fall into a cycle of corruption Many believe that the demands of an officer coupled with the economic downturn lead to misconduct Police Crimes 2004 There are others who speculate that these crimes occur when an officer gets so wrapped up in his or her work that he or she loses focus of the big picture When this happens officers will take short cuts to make an arrest and close a case Wilton 2008 Another reason that deviance occurs is that law enforcement wages are low for the work they perform It has Deviance 3 been said that money talks and this can be the case with an officer who feels that he or she is worth or owed more than he or she is making The opportunity to grab large amounts of cash occurs when large drugs busts go down drugs are sold or an officer can moonlight as security for a drug dealer Being over zealous can also contribute to an officer getting caught up in devious behaviors Law enforcement officers are passionate about what they do and their devotion to the unit in which they work can be admirable When an officer is eager to benefit the unit and fit in with his or her co workers he or she may be willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill his or her job duties including breaking the law Under the Radar Many times deviant behaviors go unpunished because they are not known Officers who commit crimes and do not uphold the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics have become skilled at apprehending those who break the law in turn learning how to elude detection Criminal activity can flourish when this happens When an individual s wrongful ways are learned of higher ups are unsure how to handle the situation Police departments rely on the public to help apprehend criminals and maintain safer communities When the community learns of police corruption they begin to mistrust the officers within the department This means that officers will not get assistance from the public and the public loses respect for those who are supposed to uphold the law When an officer makes a large drug bust or apprehends a serial criminal he or she is praised Most officers are honest so their work is not questioned but to reduce the instances of criminal activity among officers work should be checked Having to answer to another officer a Deviance 4 captain or sheriff may deter some from acting in an unethical manner Another reason that unethical behavior may be allowed to continue is due to an officer s standing and reputation If an officer is seen as admirable one would believe that his or her work is also admirable this is not always the case Officers use their standing within the department to get perks from community members and they can also use this standing to break the laws they are paid to uphold Recommendations Deviance will always occur in law enforcement but the number of cases involving deviant officers can be reduced One of the best ways to reduce unethical behavior is to set up a system of checks and balances This type o system would give an officer someone to answer to Supervisors would check the work of their officers randomly so that an officer would be unsuspecting of an investigation Using community members to test officers would be another way to verify an officer s ethics Commissioning a community member to approach a law enforcement officer looking for drugs or any other type of criminal activity would test an officer s ethics Police departments also need to set stricter punishments for those caught engaging in deviant behavior A slap on the wrist is not going to prevent further unethical behavior Prosecution to the fullest extent needs to take place for officers to believe that the department is serious about zero tolerance for unethical behavior Conclusion For the most part law enforcement officers are law abiding and ethical citizens of the communities they protect Over zealousness lack of focus and greed are all reasons that a once honorable officer may turn to deviant behavior Officers need to follow the same laws they Deviance 5 enforce Following the mentality of universal ethics is the universally acceptable behavior would assist an officer in making ethical decisions Deviance 6 References Police Crimes 2004 Police deviance and ethics Retrieved August 28 2010 from http www policecrimes com police deviance html Wilton Karen 2008 Deviance and Law Enforcement Associated Content Retrieved August August 28 2010 from http www associatedcontent com article 1190442 law enforcement deviance html cat 17

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