Analysis Of Police Corruption Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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payments of money to the police from gamblers and prostitutes. (Knapp Commission Report, 1973: pp 1-3) “The cops who were engaged in corruption 20 years ago took money to cover up the criminal activity of others,” says Michael Armstrong, who was chief counsel to the Knapp Commission. “ Now it seems cops have gone into competition with street criminals.” (Newsweek, Oct 21,1992: p. 18) For cops as for anyone else, money works age for crooked police. Gambling syndicates in the 1950s were protected by a payoff system more elaborate than the Internal Revenue Service. Pervasive corruption may have lessened in recent years, as many experts believe, but individual examples seem to have grown more outrageous. In March authorities in Atlanta broke up a ring of weight-lifting

officers who were charged with robbing strip clubs and private homes, and even carrying off 450-lb. safes from retail stores. (Washington Post, Jan 18, 1993: p. 11) The deluge of cash that has flowed from the drug trade has created opportunities for quick dirty money on a scale never seen before. In the 1980s Philadelphia saw more than 30 officers convicted of taking part in a scheme to extort money from dealers. In Los Angeles an FBI probe focusing on the L.A. County sheriff’s department has resulted so far in 36 indictments and 19 convictions on charges related to enormous thefts of cash during drug raids — more than $1 million in one instance. “The deputies were pursuing the money more aggressively than they were pursuing drugs,” says Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven

Bauer. (Washington Post, Jan 18, 1993: p. 11) When cities enlarge their police forces quickly in response to public fears about crime, it can also mean an influx of younger and less well-suited officers. That was a major reason for the enormous corruption scandal that hit Miami in the mid-1980s, when about 10% of the city’s police were either jailed, fired or disciplined in connection with a scheme in which officers robbed and sometimes killed cocaine smugglers on the Miami River, then resold the drugs. Many of those involved had been hired when the department had beefed up quickly after the 1980 riots and the Mariel boatlift. “We didn’t get the quality of officers we should have,” says department spokesman Dave Magnusson. (Carter, 1989: pp. 78-79) When it came time to

clean house, says former Miami police chief Perry Anderson, civil service board members often chose to protect corrupt cops if there was no hard evidence to convict them in the courts. “I tried to fire 25 people with tarnished badges, but it was next to impossible,” he recalls. (Carter, 1989: pp. 78-79) The Mollen Commission testimony could also lead to second thoughts on the growth of community policing, the back-to-the-beat philosophy that in recent years has been returning officers to neighborhood patrol in cities around the country, including New York. Getting to know the neighborhood can mean finding more occasions for bribe taking, which is one reason that in many places beat patrolling was scaled back since the 1960s in favor of more isolated squad-car teams. The real

test of a department is not so much whether its officers are tempted by money but whether there is an institutional culture that discourages them from succumbing. In Los Angeles the sheriff’s department “brought us the case,” says FBI special agent Charlie Parsons. “They worked with us hand in glove throughout the investigation.” (Washington Post, Jan 18, 1993: p. 11) In the years after it was established, following the Knapp Commission disclosures, the New York City police department’s internal affairs division was considered one of the nation’s most effective in stalking corruption. But that may not be the case anymore. Police sergeant Joseph Trimboli, a department investigator, told the Mollen Commission that when he tried to root out Dowd and other corrupt cops,

his efforts were blocked by higher-ups in the department. At one point, Trimboli claimed, he was called to a meeting of police officials and told he was under suspicion as a drug trafficker. “They did not want this investigation to exist,” he said. (New York Times, April 3, 1993: p. 5) It was at this time that New York City police commissioner, at the time, Raymond Kelly announced a series of organizational changes, including a larger staff and better-coordinated field investigations, intended to improve internal affairs. His critics say those changes don’t go far enough. Much of that happened after Kelly’s reforms had been announced. The Mollen Commission is recommend the establishment of an outside monitoring agency, a move that Kelly and other police brass have