This book examines a major twenty-first century issue: police misconduct—as it pertains to police management, operations, personnel, and the reputation and character of a police department within the community it serves. It considers the ramifications of inappropriate police behavior, and its far-reaching effects upon the individual police officer, the community, and the nation. The book is divided into four sections: An Introduction to Police Misconduct; Crimes Committed by Police Officers; Physical Abuse by Police Officers; and Police Accountability. It further explores legal issues, police brutality, deadly force, high speed pursuits; police officer selection; and various techniques and strategies to help control police misconduct. For individuals interested in protecting and defending our society—through a civil service career of their civilian concern.
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In an era when police administrators are advocating closer ties with citizens in their communities, scandals such as corruption, brutality, illicit drug use, as well as other criminal activities committed by police officers do little to portray the positive image the agencies are striving to attain. For the past several decades, police misconduct has made news headlines all too frequently. The tragedy of these primetime police scandals is that they give a black eye to the police officer who has integrity and who refrains from committing even a minor act that could be construed as misconduct. A greater tragedy occurs when citizens of the community and the nation lose their confidence in the police. The reputation of a police agency transcends its immediate community and more often than not, affects surrounding communities and police departments. Not only does misconduct committed by an officer personally affect that officer, it also affects the community, the police department that employs the officer and every police department and police officer in America. Frequently, negative police actions caused by inappropriate police behavior reaches every corner of the nation, and at times, the world.
Police misconduct cannot be tolerated. Due to the nature of police work, law enforcement officers need to be held to higher standards than the average citizen. A tarnished image of policing cuts deep into the moral fabric of our nation's character. Throughout the world, people watch police officers to determine whether they are living up to the standards expected of those in a position of law enforcement and public trust. Police officers are expected to be protectors, not abusers of society. The primary responsibility of police in our society is to protect the human rights of all citizens regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic make-up, race, gender, or religious beliefs. When police officers abuse those same citizens they have sworn to protect, they are ethically and morally violating the oath they committed to the first day they joined the police force.
The collection of articles contained within this book has been divided into four sections. The first section, "Introduction to Police Misconduct," discusses legal issues pertaining to police authority and defines police misconduct. The second section, "Crimes Committed by Police Officers," discusses police corruption and reviews specific crimes that have been committed by law enforcement officers. The third section, "Physical Abuse by Police Officers," discusses police brutality, deadly force, and high-speed pursuits. The final section of the book, "Police Accountability," discusses the various techniques and strategies to control police misconduct. These techniques and strategies include police officer selection, investigation of police misconduct, civilian review, and civil litigation.From the Back Cover:
Police Misconduct: A Reader for the 21st Century is the first and only reader covering the important—and increasingly controversial—topics of police misconduct, corruption, and abuse of power. This reader offers 35 in-depth essays that provide a mixture of classic and original, contemporary readings. Its three sections—Physical Violence by Police Officers, Crime by Police Officers, and Police Accountability—examine what police misconduct is, from where it originates, and how it affects the community.
Police Misconduct is a valuable and much-needed primary or supplementary text, and can be used in courses such as Community Policing, Police and Society, and Special Topics in Policing
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