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CHAPTER 5
The Role of Police in Society
Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
Abuse of Power by Police
The majority of police officers are professional and ethical.
However, a small minority abuse the...
San
Francisco
Police
Testilying
Case
(2006)
Officers received tip regarding drug activity in
a home.
They filed an affid...
San
Francisco
Officers
Allegedly
Committed
Perjury in
Reporting
Drug Busts
(2011)
Officers were accused of committing
per...
Viewpoint: Police as Crime
Fighters
• Criminals are the “enemy” and are fundamentally different
from “good” people.
• Poli...
Herbert Packer's
Model of Law Enforcement
Crime Control Orientation
• Preventing criminal conduct is the most important
fu...
Viewpoint: Police as Public
Servants
• Criminals are like any other citizens.
• Police have limited ability to affect crim...
Herbert Packer's
Model of Law Enforcement
Due Process Orientation
• There is a possibility of error.
• Finality is not a p...
Early American Law
Enforcement
• 19th
-century police were involved in social
service activities.
• Corruption was common ...
Community Policing
• In some ways, a return to original police
involvement in service and engagement with
community.
• Foc...
Ethical Problems in
Community Policing
• Gratuities may be an issue for officers who are
expected to create and maintain c...
 One police officer was fired and
two others were disciplined
after an internal investigation
revealed they routinely
acc...
Klockars’ Police Control
Authority: Entitlement to unquestioned obedience
that derives from fulfilling a specific role.
Po...
Source of Police Authority?
The Social Contract
• Each person gives up complete freedom in exchange for
the guaranteed pro...
Ethical Standards Associated
with the Social Contract
• Fair access
• Public trust
• Safety and security
• Teamwork
• Obje...
Characteristics of the Effective
Public Servant
• Wisdom
• Good character
• Balanced perception
• Integrity
Discretion
The power and authority to choose between two
or more courses of behavior.
Discretion may be influenced by “sty...
Duty
• The responsibilities attached to a specific role.
• Police roles include both crime fighting and
public service.
• ...
Formal Ethics: Codes, Guidelines &
Rules
Aspiration/
Ideal “Code”
Principles/
Guidelines
Mandatory
Rules of
Conduct
Descri...
Characteristics of Codes of
Ethics
 Fairness
 Service
 Importance of the law
 Personal conduct
Informal Ethics: The Subculture
 Typically form a homogenous social group.
 Have a uniquely stressful work environment.
...
“Themes” of Policing (Crank)
Police Characteristics (?)
 Cynical
 Isolated, alienated
 Defensive, distrustful
 Authoritarian, dogmatic
 More conse...
Noble-Cause Corruption
• Involves officers employing unethical means to
catch criminals because “it’s the right thing to
d...
North
Carolina
State Bureau
of
Investigation
Forensics
Scandal
(2010)
 A forensics expert for the NC State Bureau of
Inve...
“Blue Curtain of Silence”
• Facing the wrongdoing of a fellow officer is a police officer’s
most difficult ethical dilemma...
Loyalty
 A component of the esprit de corps of policing.
 An absolutely essential element of a healthy
department.
 Exp...
Sanctions on “Whistleblowers”
 A distressing aspect of loyalty
 Are often extreme
 Have resulted in state and federal l...
Major Alexey
Dymovskiy -
Russian
Police
Officer
Alleges
Police
Corruption
 A police officer in Southern Russia was fired
...
Change in the Police Subculture
Increased diversity
• Work force no longer socially homogenous.
• Officers vary substantia...
Zero-Tolerance Policy
--Implemented by William Bratton, N.Y. police chief, 1995-1999
• Police took an aggressive stance ag...
What Type of Policing Do We Want?
• If forced to make a choice, it is probable that the citizenry
would choose crime fight...
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Pollock ethics 8e_ch05

  1. 1. CHAPTER 5 The Role of Police in Society Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
  2. 2. Abuse of Power by Police The majority of police officers are professional and ethical. However, a small minority abuse their power. This leads to close scrutiny by the public of all police. Police officers have tremendous power in our society: •The power to arrest •The power to mediate or to charge •The power to use force •The power of life and death
  3. 3. San Francisco Police Testilying Case (2006) Officers received tip regarding drug activity in a home. They filed an affidavit for a no-knock search warrant, falsely indicating they had sent an informant in to buy drugs. When the raid team burst in, the 92-year old female resident began shooting at officers. She was killed by a hail of bullets. When officers found no drugs, they planted drugs, and forced an informant to lie about buying drugs from the woman. 2 of the 3 officers ultimately confessed and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. The lead officer received a 6-year sentence. Their sergeant pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating the dead woman’s rights.
  4. 4. San Francisco Officers Allegedly Committed Perjury in Reporting Drug Busts (2011) Officers were accused of committing perjury by falsely describing drug busts they conducted in written police reports. Video taken by surveillance cameras during separate drug raids show the police officers failed to get consent from the apartment-dwellers before conducting warrantless searches for narcotics. The officers also misrepresented their searches in later police reports. Since these reports are written under oath, this was tantamount to perjury, according to the Public Defender.
  5. 5. Viewpoint: Police as Crime Fighters • Criminals are the “enemy” and are fundamentally different from “good” people. • Police are the “army” that fights the enemy. • Police must be able to use any means necessary against criminals. • Since police are in a “war,” they must be allowed discretion in making decisions.
  6. 6. Herbert Packer's Model of Law Enforcement Crime Control Orientation • Preventing criminal conduct is the most important function of law enforcement. • Failure of law enforcement means the breakdown of order. • Criminal process is the positive guarantor of social freedom. • Efficiency is a top priority. • Emphasis is on speed and finality. • There is a presumption of guilt.
  7. 7. Viewpoint: Police as Public Servants • Criminals are like any other citizens. • Police have limited ability to affect crime rates one way or the other. • Police as public servants serve all people, including criminals. • Since police are public servants, their ability to use force should be restricted.
  8. 8. Herbert Packer's Model of Law Enforcement Due Process Orientation • There is a possibility of error. • Finality is not a priority. • There is insistence on prevention and elimination of mistakes. • Efficiency is rejected if it involves shortcuts. • Protection of process is as important as protection of innocents. • The coercive power of the state is always subject to abuse.
  9. 9. Early American Law Enforcement • 19th -century police were involved in social service activities. • Corruption was common in early police departments. • The move towards police “professionalism” began in the 1920s. • During this period, the role of crime fighter emerged as a characteristic of police. • The role of public servant was minimized.
  10. 10. Community Policing • In some ways, a return to original police involvement in service and engagement with community. • Focus is on proactive crime prevention rather than emergency response. • Encourages officers to see citizens as partners. • Shifts decision-making and discretion downward to patrol officers who know the neighborhood best. • More visible operations increase police accountability.
  11. 11. Ethical Problems in Community Policing • Gratuities may be an issue for officers who are expected to create and maintain close ties to the community. • The officer’s discretion in enforcing the law may be compromised by personal relationships. • Increased autonomy and decreased supervision may provide greater opportunity for misconduct.
  12. 12.  One police officer was fired and two others were disciplined after an internal investigation revealed they routinely accepted items from a local convenience store without paying for them.  Accepting gratuities is a departmental policy violation and a violation of the officers' code of ethics. St. Petersburg Officers Disciplined for Taking Gratuities
  13. 13. Klockars’ Police Control Authority: Entitlement to unquestioned obedience that derives from fulfilling a specific role. Power: Power is the threat behind the authority. Persuasion: The use of signs, symbols, words, and arguments to induce compliance. Force: Physical coercion.
  14. 14. Source of Police Authority? The Social Contract • Each person gives up complete freedom in exchange for the guaranteed protection of the society against others. • Police power is part of this quid pro quo. • Police power exists to provide protection. • Since police power may also violate rights if abused, it is limited to what is minimally necessary for protection. • If the social contract is the basis of police power, it is also the basis of police ethics.
  15. 15. Ethical Standards Associated with the Social Contract • Fair access • Public trust • Safety and security • Teamwork • Objectivity
  16. 16. Characteristics of the Effective Public Servant • Wisdom • Good character • Balanced perception • Integrity
  17. 17. Discretion The power and authority to choose between two or more courses of behavior. Discretion may be influenced by “style” of policing.
  18. 18. Duty • The responsibilities attached to a specific role. • Police roles include both crime fighting and public service. • How far does police duty extend… Enforcing the written law? Providing service? Ensuring medical treatment is provided? Preventing crime altogether?
  19. 19. Formal Ethics: Codes, Guidelines & Rules Aspiration/ Ideal “Code” Principles/ Guidelines Mandatory Rules of Conduct Describes the perfect professional. Describes the value system of the organization. Serve as the basis of discipline.
  20. 20. Characteristics of Codes of Ethics  Fairness  Service  Importance of the law  Personal conduct
  21. 21. Informal Ethics: The Subculture  Typically form a homogenous social group.  Have a uniquely stressful work environment.  Participate in a basically closed social system.
  22. 22. “Themes” of Policing (Crank)
  23. 23. Police Characteristics (?)  Cynical  Isolated, alienated  Defensive, distrustful  Authoritarian, dogmatic  More conservative than the general public  Value equality less than the general public  Value obedience over independence
  24. 24. Noble-Cause Corruption • Involves officers employing unethical means to catch criminals because “it’s the right thing to do” • Perceived by officers as fulfillment of their profound moral commitment to make the world a safer place to live • Is utilitarianism (the end justifies the means)
  25. 25. North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Forensics Scandal (2010)  A forensics expert for the NC State Bureau of Investigation repeatedly lied on the stand while providing testimony crucial to the 2003 conviction of a novelist accused of murdering his wife.  Michael Peterson's conviction was overturned and he was granted a new trial in December 2011.  Judge Orlando Hudson described at length how the expert, Duane Deaver, an agent with the NC State Bureau of Investigation, misled a jury about his qualifications and the reliability of his scientific opinions in the Peterson case.  Additionally, an independent audit completed in 2010 found that agents at the crime lab manipulated and withheld the results of hundreds of tests to confirm the presence of blood, tainting prosecutions based on that evidence.
  26. 26. “Blue Curtain of Silence” • Facing the wrongdoing of a fellow officer is a police officer’s most difficult ethical dilemma. • The code of silence present in police work is also present in other occupations and professions. • In policing, the code of silence is a form of noble-cause corruption. • Evidence indicates “blue curtain of silence” or “blue curtain of secrecy” is breaking down but still present (2/3 of police said “whistleblower would receive informal sanctions” & 61% said officers do not always report even the most serious violations/crimes of other officers).
  27. 27. Loyalty  A component of the esprit de corps of policing.  An absolutely essential element of a healthy department.  Explained by officers’ dependence on one another, sometimes in life-or-death situations.  A personal relationship, not a judgment.
  28. 28. Sanctions on “Whistleblowers”  A distressing aspect of loyalty  Are often extreme  Have resulted in state and federal legislation to protect whistleblowers  Legislation is ineffective against informal ostracism and rejection
  29. 29. Major Alexey Dymovskiy - Russian Police Officer Alleges Police Corruption  A police officer in Southern Russia was fired after publicly accusing his bosses of corruption.  Dymovsky called on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to take steps to fight corruption in the police force.  He says officers are forced to make up criminal charges against innocent people in order to cover up the police's inability to track down real criminals.  Although Dymovsky was immediately fired for what his superiors considered slander, an official probe was allegedly launched by the country's interior ministry into the situation in the local police department.  Dymovskiy spent 1 ½ years in jail for fraud and misuse of authority.
  30. 30. Change in the Police Subculture Increased diversity • Work force no longer socially homogenous. • Officers vary substantially in their cultural views. • Few factors are strong predictors of officers’ values. Civil litigation • Has increased the risk of covering for another officer. Police unions • Have become more formal with increased power.
  31. 31. Zero-Tolerance Policy --Implemented by William Bratton, N.Y. police chief, 1995-1999 • Police took an aggressive stance against street people and minor criminals, especially those in the business area and subway system. • New York City enjoyed a dramatic decline in crime. • However, citizen complaints against New York City police rose by 75%. • Crime rates fell throughout the country during this period, even in areas without zero-tolerance policies. • Also used “CompStat” which is form of accountability. Do you think zero tolerance is effective?
  32. 32. What Type of Policing Do We Want? • If forced to make a choice, it is probable that the citizenry would choose crime fighter. • Generally, police do not encounter much criticism when they are successful in their crime fighter role. • The zero-tolerance policy, implemented by William Bratton was an example of this.
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