Almost every field of profession is guided by a well structured Code of conducts. The Code of conducts is essentially important in ensuring that all employees inclusive of the public servants purpose to work ethically. Police officers, who belong to the group of public servants, have been deployed for the main role of not only protecting the citizens but also promoting law and order in the society. They are further regarded as being the most visible symbol of not only the country’s justice system but also the country’s government. Thus, in order for police officers to efficiently play their roles, they also have to follow the best standards of behavior as stipulated by their own codes of conduct.
Drug War and Police Deviance
Police deviance has been defined as any form of misconduct or action that is not in line with the stipulated ethical codes and conducts, norms and values of a police (Dempsey & Dempsey, 2009). In other words, police deviation simply refers to any unethical activity or action that has been committed by a police officer. Deviance by a police signifies a sudden loss of integrity which can be viewed through a myriad of actions such as corruption, misidentification of victims and the act of providing false information to the public. One of the major forms of police deviance is corruption. The term corruption has been conceptualized as any form of gratitude that a person accepts for self-interest before doing his or her duty. Cases of corruption by a police have been mainly done with the intent of either gaining personal interest or achieving a common interest. This has been mainly done through a police wrongfully and unconstitutionally utilizing his or her authority so as to gain from a situation. Aside from corruption, other forms of police deviance include police crime and police misconduct.
The escalating rate of police deviance has been of a great concern to the entire society. This is because, any form of unethical activity or misconduct result to the society being dubious and worse losing confidence of the existing judicial system. One of the effects that police defiance has had on the society involves the alarming increase in cases of drug overuse by the youth. A vast majority of the youths have found it a piece of cake to now access illegal drugs. This has led to an outcry in the society as the morals and standard of living continue to rot especially with the significant increase of cases of drug abuse. According to Prenzler (2009), the root cause of an intolerable rise of drug abuse involves deviance by police. One of the main reasons behind involves the some of the police officers who have become corrupt as they accept monetary value in exchange for the drug cartels freedom. In worse cases, some police officers engage in accessing the drugs and abusing them whether they on-duty or off-duty (Punch, 2009). Most of these police officers are able to easily assess drugs from drug cartels and drug traffickers who in exchange get cover-ups and protection by the police. Drug abuse by the police is always likely to lead to damaging and destructive effects such as accidents, misidentification of victims and increase in the rate of brutality to citizens.
Accountability and Ethics
Accountability in the police sector refers to any attempts made to control the behavior of a police officer so as to conform that stipulated by the ethical codes of conduct. Accountability in the police sector can be a daunting task especially due to the fact that most police officers are not always under any person’s supervision. Most of the police officer’s immorality and misconduct usually remain undetected as most victims would fear of the consequences pertaining to confessing the police officer’s misconduct. However, over the past, police agencies have attempted to intensify and incorporate new police accountability methods through deploying new agency units, creating more paper work, assigning new supervisory responsibilities and in some few cases employing normal citizens to act as an overseer (Prenzler, 2009). Even though these changes had been made with internally with the main intent of controlling the behavior of the police officers, the results have always been doubtful. It is with this reason that external accountability mechanisms was introduced so as to ensure that any case of police deviation had been adhered with. An external accountability mechanism of accountability is mainly governed by the law under the Supreme Court or the citizens themselves. Thus, accountability in the police department may be done by the Supreme Court’s decisions, civil litigation against the police at federal or state level and criminal charges by the citizens (Punch, 2009).
Theoretic explanations and society’s response to American police
The American citizens regard the police officers as the most visible symbol to both America’s government and Justice System (Dempsey & Dempsey, 2009). In the past, society had confidence in the America’s police sector as many viewed them as people who used their authority to perform good acts to fellow men. However, today a vast majority view the American police as a person who is to no good due to the recent rise in cases of police deviance such as corruption, police brutality, bribery, racism among other forms of misconduct. In spite of the fact that not all police officers are unethical, most of the American citizens have lost hope and confidence in American police.
Prenzler, T. (2009). Ethics and Accountability in Criminal Justice: Towards a Universal Standard. Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.
Punch, M. (2009). Police corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing.
Dempsey, J. S. & Dempsey, J. S. (1999). An introduction to policing. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub.