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Ethics and Corruption in Law Eforcement - Research Paper Example

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Ethics and Corruption in Law Enforcement Instructor name The drug laws on both state and federal levels have contributed to the abuse of power and corruption among law enforcement officials across the U.S. A comparison can be made to similar circumstances that occurred during the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s…
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Ethics and Corruption in Law Eforcement
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Download file to see previous pages According to a 1998 report by the General Accounting Office, “...several studies and investigations of drug-related police corruption found on-duty police officers engaged in serious criminal activities, such as conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures; stealing money and/or drugs from drug dealers; selling stolen drugs; protecting drug operations; providing false testimony; and submitting false crime reports” (General Accounting Office, 1998: 8). Of those law-enforcement officials convicted of various corruption offenses resulting from FBI led investigations between 1993 and 1997, about half were for drug-related offenses. More than 100 drug-related cases involving police officers are prosecuted nationwide every year. Another of the indications of the widespread problem of corrupt cops is that all of the federal drug enforcement agencies have had at least one of its agents implicated in a drug-related offense. Officers nationwide have given in to the same temptations offered by the selling of drugs that have lured their criminal adversaries. This discussion examines the scope of the problem citing specific examples and the possible criminological reasons behind this behavior. The growth of police corruption instances involving drug sales is relatively easy to explain. The financial rewards offered by the sales of illegal drugs in relation to other forms of income both legal and illegal, is enormous. The temptation attracts law enforcement officials who are becoming increasingly more discouraged by the growing proliferation of drug traffickers. Though police agencies of all descriptions have fought the 30-plus year ‘drug war’ by spending billions of dollars and locking up millions of people, their efforts have not only not ended drug use or sales but drugs are now more available, cheaper and purer than ever before. Disheartened police officers involved in stopping drug crimes put their lives in jeopardy but are under-paid and under-appreciated by an indifferent public. Many officers joined the force to protect and serve but find them regulating an illegal drug market that they know they will never suppress. As long as the U.S. government continues it’s disastrous ‘war,’ formerly well-intentioned cops will continue to be lured by the money to be had by engaging in the drug trade they are expected to prevent. They risk their lives for a war which has no end and they know this fact better than anyone. Fighting a losing battle discourages even the most loyal and honest of law officials and some use this to justify becoming involved in a drug cartel. It’s easy money, they are being underpaid for dangerous work and their efforts are futile. In 2002, 41 police officers in Tijuana, Mexico were arrested (Peet, 2004). These officers, who included the Chief of Police, were on the payroll of drug dealers. They protected drug shipments, took bribes and committed murders. The allegations against these police officers is hardly an isolated incident in Mexico as most of the towns located along the border of the U.S. are controlled and ‘policed’ by drug cartels (Peet, 2004). Any country that wages a war on drugs faces corruption among its police officers, politicians, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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