Introduction to Criminal Justice James Loughlin May 22nd, 2013 ABSTRACT Today being a police officer is more than just chasing a bad guy on a high speed chase or making an arrest. Many police officers deal with job stress which causes things to go wrong in their personal life. Many departments have come to terms with this and now offer help to those who need it. Officers and departments are also dealing with corruption and how to resolve this issue.
It is rare but, it is not rare enough to go unnoticed. A police officer is supposed to be there in a time of need when someones safety has been compromised, not to make a deal with the criminal so that the police officer and criminal both get what they want. Problems Police Officers Face Police officers are just like everyday people, who also deal with their own problems on the job. Like many other jobs, job stress can be one of the worst parts of having a job. Job stress can be one of the main reasons people choose to leave the job.
Another problem is corruption in law enforcement that many police departments deal with on a daily bases. As many people know, law enforcement is not a walk in the park. Like many other jobs, job stress can be one of the worst parts of having a job. Police officers see more than most of us will ever see in our lifetime. For example, I know of a man, who is now a retired police officer who has seen a lot of stuff; from as little as taking someone into jail for driving under the influence to being the first on the scene of a murder.
Law enforcement refers to agencies and individuals responsible for public safety, enforcing a set of norms and rules in a society and maintaining public order. It also refers to activities conducted by law enforcers such as dissuasion, detection and investigation of crime as well as apprehension of law offenders(Hess, Orthmann, & Cho, 2014). The most typical and organized form of law ...
He had a hard time separating home from work, which caused his marriage to fail. This man does not like to talk about the things he has seen, and still has many restless nights. There are many reasons that can cause stress; it is categorized into four different detailed stressors. These detailed stressors are external, organizational, duty and, individual stressors. An external stressor is when a police officer undergoes “verbal abuse from the public, justice system inefficiency, and liberal court decisions” (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
Police officers may feel that they are not getting paid enough , have too much paperwork and, do not advance in their jobs easily – other known as organizational stress. As Siegel and Worrell states (2012), a duty stressor is anything from rotating a shift to; too much work, boredom, fear, and danger. Individual stressors include problems in their marriage, the color of their skin, and who they are. Police officers who endure job stress are greatly affected. A job as a police officer has been associated to physical and psychological infirmities. Heart disease and diabetes has caused many untimely deaths.
Police officers face many unequal “number of divorces and marital problems” (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
In some police departments, suicide is greater than the suicide rates of ordinary people. Police officers experience a lot of stress and do suffer from it in more than one way. When you think of a police officer; you think safety and security for anyone who may be trying to hurt you. But, that does not mean that police officers are all good, there are many who are corrupt. Corruption is when an officer makes a choice to commit illegal acts to accomplish approved goals.
Corruption has been around since the early nineteenth century and police departments have always struggled with dealing with it. It was hard to tackle because the “police code of silence demands that officers never turn in their peers, even if they engage in corrupt or illegal practices” (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON POLICE OFFICERS There has been a lot of research on the negative effects of stress on people in general. I am sure you know that police work is one of the top rated professions for job stress next to air traffic controllers and dentists. A good way to start this presentation, I think, is to give a good working definition of police stress. Here it is: The feeling and desire ...
However, current research indicates that police corruption is rare. There are also four types of corruption such as, internal corruption, selective enforcement or non-enforcement, active criminality and, bribery and extortion.
An internal corruption happens within the police department who bends the rules and commits illegal acts. A form of selective enforcement or non- enforcement is when an officer makes the decision letting someone go, based on receiving anything in return that is non-informative and related to his personal wants. When an officer commits a crime that he is delegated to monitor by using their “positions of trust and power” is known as active criminality (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
Police officers whose “roles are exploited specifically to raise money” is called bribery and extortion (Siegel amp; Worrell 2012).
In the case of bribery, a civilian is the instigator and the police officer is the extortionist. Bribery and extortion are set into three categories; mooching, chiseling and, shopping. Mooching is when an officer receives free items in the exchange of preferential treatment. Chiseling is when an officer is presistant on receiving free admission to an event or simply a discount on a something. If someone were to leave a door unlocked on purpose for an officer to come and take something is known as shopping. There are a variety of corruption effects that police officers have to deal with.
Such effects include but are not limited to, the “encouragement and spreading of anti-social behavior, administrative control becomes ineffective, and civilians are starting to take things into their own hands because they fear that taking a case to the police will only instigate a bribery” (Police Corruption 2013).
Police corruption is a problem and it needs to be stopped. Even though there are these everyday problems, there are many ways to help resolve them. There are many things police officers can do if they are dealing with job stress and do not know who to resolve some if not all of their stress.
This paper intends to reintroduce “police corruption” by defining it, briefly mentioning real-life examples, discussing its types and levels, stating that there is also ‘right corruption’, restating its causes and effects, as well as, how this dilemma may be addressed. Police Corruption Defined “Acts involving the misuse of authority by a police officer in a manner designed to produce personal ...
Recruits going through the academy are being taught stress training which includes, “diet information, biofeedback, relaxation and meditation, and exercise” (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
Wellness programs have been added to some departments for men and woman who need to know how to manage their stress. Programs are offered not only for the officer but their families. This is to help a spouse and the officer’s children to better understand how to help the officer. Even just giving a little bit of support to an officer under stress can help. Law enforcement corruption can be controlled in a variety of ways.
One of these ways is to strengthen the administration which has been associated with “lowered corruption rates” (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
However, research has found that officers are more “reluctant than ordinary citizens to report unethical behavior on the part of their colleagues” (Siegel & Worrell 2012).
There is a new approach to controlling corruption and it is called the accountability system. This allows supervisors to be responsible for the actions of officers who work for them. Another way to step up and be of help is to tell superiors of an officer who was seen taking bribes.
You can make sure the officer is identified by getting his badge number and name. Also, try to get as much evidence as possible such as a “photo of police receiving a bribe” (Police Corruption 2013).
Officers can receive help, it’s the matter of if they want the help or not. As you can see, there are problems for police officers just like citizens who also deal with job related problems. Police officers have a lot of things that have to deal with on a daily basis which causes them to stress out. But, luckily they can receive help for their stress and get tips on how to better manage it. Departments are cracking down on police corruption and are using the best techniques as possible. Stopping it will be a hard task but, it can be done.