Thoughts about the Police Practice of the Blue Wall of Silence - Essay Example

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Author’s Name: Due Date: The Blue Wall of Silence: A Cultural Enigma within the Police Force One of the key elements of good institutional governance is the concept of “accountability”. Every bureaucratic institution in the current world has a mandate to safeguard its operative approaches by nurturing informed professional ethics of keeping their knowledge and intentions secret…
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Thoughts about the Police Practice of the Blue Wall of Silence
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Due The Blue Wall of Silence: A Cultural Enigma within the Police Force One of the key elementsof good institutional governance is the concept of “accountability”. Every bureaucratic institution in the current world has a mandate to safeguard its operative approaches by nurturing informed professional ethics of keeping their knowledge and intentions secret. Noteworthy, such professionalism should engender oversight and complaints mechanics to help root out elements considered poisonous to the barrel. Unfortunately, accountability within the police force has been marred with questionable attributes across the entire United States. Functioning under the “Blue Wall of Silence” (Blue Shield), there has been a general uneasiness among police officers concerning whistle blowing on the misconducts perpetuated by fellow colleagues within the force. The police administration has fallen prey to the bureaucratic code of ‘secret sessions’ shielding knowledge and actions of its rogue officers from criticism; a fact that only serve to destroy the public trust in the force but also signals a moral decay that extends much into core fabric of the society. It has been an open secret that the solidarity shown within the police force has been one that extends beyond its borders, a phenomenon that only serve to deepen their reputation among the public. Fellow officers back up each other in all circumstances including those that are openly nasty just to belong.  Apparently, all wants to be part of a clique so as to remain internally relevant in terms of how they relate to one another. Thus, bending rules to cover colleagues involved in heinous crimes such as illegal brutality is considered part of a preservative measure of cementing a culture of unity. Not known to the majority is that the police silence on such matters only postpones time bombs that occasionally explodes to stain a name that others struggles hard remake after a series of substantial lost ground. No wonder, the police history swings akin to a pendulum, oscillating between scandals and reforms besides villains and heroes. It is undeniable that the police perform a wonderful job protecting the public from harm against distorted minds such as those of terrorists. However, how they measure up to the task bestowed upon them is equally important and needs periodic assessment. Unless there is some sort of acquisitive motive or where the outcome is undoubtedly predictable, chances of police officers reporting fellow colleagues of misconduct such as excessive use of force are rare, perhaps due to fear of the level of punishment that may be meted upon them. Well, it is a culture, a culture that has permeated into the society. I concur with Punch sentiments that the systemic strands within police organizations have and has had consequential effects into their failure to detect corruption and prevent or control activities of repeat offenders (Punch 44). It is a culture characterize by regimentation into ritualistic ideals embedded in the old fashioned heterosexist and homophobic traditions deeply rooted within the system. In other words, the “Blue Wall of Silence” is a kind of ideology passed on from one generation to the next grounded on a faux-heterosexual masquerade of the force battling the “forces of darkness” (Nolan 253-255). Accordingly, the Blue line is clearly demarcated; the police force on one side verses other forces being on the other end. With a mindset that fosters the belief that the end justifies the means, the law enforcement officers engage in a tussle of making American streets safe even at the expense of violating the very laws they are meant to protect. Consequently, they testify in favor of wrongful convictions; they plant evidence on suspects to divert justice; they falsify reports to win public trust; they have done all sorts of misdemeanors that impact negatively on the reputation of the agency, yet their service is mandatory. Time is ripe for a relook at the whole system of the Code of Silence. The current generation is in an advanced stage towards an “information burble”. It should dawn on elements sticky to the past that secrecy, especially in matters that are of public interest, is no longer a viable way of conducting business. I understand that loyalty, which has been a key aspect of the Code of Silence, is important for police operations such as investigations. However, maintaining silence to the extent of feigning ignorance in the name of loyalty by police officers, whether for noble causes or not, only promotes deviance within the force. I suppose that a genuine mandatory reporting policy with appropriate supervisory mechanics can better solve the weighty issues that tend to tarnish the brighter side of the force. Otherwise, the willingness to expose the rot within the system will still be a major challenge dodging the police with occasional, negative surprises. References: Punch, Maurice, P. Police Corruption Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Portland, Oregon: Willan Publishing, 2009. Print. Nolan, Thomas. “Behind the Blue Wall of Silence: Essay.” Men and Masculinities 12. 2 (2009): 250-257. Print. Read More
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