Corruption can be defined as a situation whereby individual acts on an opportunity that he has created for their gain due to the office they hold. Police corruption has filled our society for a long period now. Corruption is a criminal act anywhere in the world. Police corruption just like police brutality taints the image of law enforcement badly.
Through corruption in the police force, other criminal acts like drugs peddling and prostitution are protected. These protected businesses end up being the key financiers of organized groups that commit acts such as terrorism, (Pollock, 2012). One cannot question the role that police play in our society especially with the dwindling insecurity globally. This makes the police a very important part of our society.
It’s difficult to understand police corruption due to the various complex aspects involved especially in a state like Maryland. One aspect though stands out on this topic; the vice is spread into every part of the globe. The police in Maryland is not alone in this though the society should not expect less simply because it is happening elsewhere.
Corruption within the Maryland State Police can be broken down to either external or internal corruption. In this case, internal corruption is whereby two or more police officers engage in an illegal agreement. External corruption, on the other hand, is whereby police engage in corrupt acts with members of the public whom the police are supposed to protect. The most common acts of corruption amongst the police and in this case the Maryland state police are the misuse of attainment and authority, (Singh, 2007). This paper will try to analyses corruption amongst the Maryland Police State by looking at the historical context, culture and the politics involved.
The culture embedded in the police force eventually influences the behavior of the said officers. Manifestations are easy to find and kick out of a police force. This includes weapons, report forms, rank insignias among others. It is however not easy to identify and change the culture of a police force. The values and beliefs of the police force are indoctrinated into the minds of new officers, and then it becomes a cycle. Many studies have been carried out on police corruption. One thing that is always found in mos
t reports is the inclination of corruption towards male officers as opposed to female ones. In Maryland State, no woman has been involved lately in a large scandal just to proof the findings of these researches. Other studies on police misconduct have also found that women are less likely to be caught committing unethical acts (Pollock, 2012).
Looking at the racial angle of police corruption it was found that black police officers were more likely to be part of corruption as opposed to white ones, Pollock (2012). It is important to note that this is a perception and therefore likely to be biased.
The likely explanation for this result is the assignment and the vulnerability of black police officers to situations where there is a need for the use of force. One can, therefore, say that certain assignments are assigned to black police officers especially where there is a need for the use of force. The key differentiator for this perception is the person in charge of shuffling officers who should be questioned on the criteria applied, (Shockey-Eckles, 2011)
The existence of distinct culture within the police in the USA can be traced back to 1829. In this year Sir Robert Peel created the London Police Department from scratch. He intentionally modeled the organization structure of the department to resemble that of the military which he had been involved in.
Considering the limited time granted to Sir Peel his work can be defined as both successful and innovative. He managed to establish a hierarchical command that was meant to foster respect and build authority within the force, (Shockey-Eckles, 2011).
Shockey-Eckles, 2011 reports that US policing is filled with paradigm shifts that have been influenced by historical events and cultural changes. One of the important cultural practice is the insistence on loyalty amongst the officers.
Through this loyalty, police officers protect each other to the extent that they protect their corrupt colleagues. Remember this is a doctrine planted deeply into the culture of the police force. It is also a fact that by being a police officer one has powers that would enable them to protect the public while at the same time indulge in illegal acts with low chances of being caught, Shockey-Eckles, 2011).
The State of Maryland is changing and quickly becoming more unsafe for the normal citizen. This has made the role of the police officers very important for a society to operate accordingly.
This huge demand has led to reduced attention on police recruitment and the subsequent selection. Without these two important functions being taken seriously, it is expected that the moral standards will continue to drop immensely, (Sanders, 2008).
The main role of having to select leaders is for them to guide their society in making priorities and the necessary policies to ensure achievement of the necessary goals and milestones.
Once the selected leaders have set out the said policies, it now becomes the job of the police officers to ensure that the policies are implemented to the fullest by working with other government agency bodies. The elected officials also have a duty in ensuring that the policies have been implemented in a way that the set milestone will be achieved.
Some government officials decide to do the wrong things by misusing the powers bestowed on them by the public. Corruption amongst the police in Maryland starts where one does not want to be fired by their senior. Police corruption and other unethical acts are a concern to many Marylanders since the police endanger the lives of the majority.
There is little knowledge on members of the public on how to control corruption within the police force. The elected leaders have not done much to deal with the situation since some of them are also beneficiaries of the vice, (Bayley and Perito (2011)
Every city is allowed to have its police force. People who live in the city apply to join the service. Effort should be taken to ensure that those chosen are of good reputation, honest and pf integrity. These citizens also need to have other values like sound judgment and active in body and mind to enable them to exert their duties by the law and without hurting others.
A police department which has men and women with such traits would be a good investment towards the security of Maryland. To reduce corruption and gross misconduct within the Maryland State Police, it is important that those in charge of recruitment and personnel pay close attention to ethics and unethical practices, (Shockey-Eckles, 201).
According to Pollock (2012), an ethical issue is a situation where a person has to decide on what to do and what is expected of them. Police officers must ensure that they always make the right call in their duties. They must make the right decisions when called to. Duties have also been define as an action that a person needs to do for them to be considered as moral, (Pollock, 2012).
Police officers need to be evaluated from time to time by their supervisors. Eight content areas are at this moment suggested for the evaluation of police within Maryland State. The score should be between one to five on the eight areas of assessment.
These eight areas should identify discipline as the key weight against which performance is measured. The eight suggested areas include; job knowledge, initiative, quality of work, cooperation, dependability, responsibility, interaction with the public and work quantity.
Measuring the performance of the police officers regularly will energize the police officers as they will be aware that their efforts will be measured at the end of the month or quarter, (Sanders, 2008).
This goes in line with the suggestion by Bayley and Perito (2011) on establishing an oversight authority in charge of monitoring police activities. It is an open fact that police in Maryland engage in unethical behavior and rampant actions need to be taken to salvage the situation.
Bayley, D., & Perito, R. (2011). Police Corruption. United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 9/12/2017 from http://www.usip.org/files/resources/SR%20294.pdf
Jiao, Allan (2010). Controlling Corruption and Misconduct: A Comparative Examination of Police Practices in Hong Kong and New York. Asian Journal of Criminology, 5(1), 27-44. Retrieved September 1, 2012, from ProQuest Criminal Justice. (Document ID: 1993196461).
Joycelyn Pollock (2012). Ethical Dilemmas & Decisions in Criminal Justice, (7th Edition). Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Belmont, CA.
Sanders, Beth (2008). Using personality traits to predict police officer performance. Policing, 31(1), 129-147. Retrieved December 9, 2017, from ProQuest Criminal Justice. (Document ID: 1448241411).
Shockey-Eckles, Martha (2011). Police Culture and the Perpetuation of the Officer Shuffle: The Paradox of Life Behind “The Blue Wall”. Humanity & Society, 35(3), 290-309. Retrieved September 1, 2012, from ProQuest Criminal Justice. (Document ID: 2496149831).
Singh, Arshrika (2007). Corruption in police. Retrieved 9/12/2017 from http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Police/2007/police-corruption.html