Essay on Ethical Dilemma of Police Corruption

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Police corruption can begin by innocent gestures like accepting free food which can prompt activities, for example, criminal behavior. As indicated by Pollock, a moral difficulty is the point at which a person must settle on what to do. Either the decision is unclear, or the correct decision will be troublesome in view of the cost included or the correct decision of activity conveys some negative outcomes (Pollock, p.3). Cops must settle on the correct decision in not accepting anything free. No law enforcement officer ought to ever assume that those working with them, underneath them or above them share a similar set of values. The prevention of taking free food will not only stop corruption but show how reliable police officers are.

As I would like to think, one of the moral difficulties in the field of criminal justice is police corruption. Corruption of a cop is a moral problem that isn't discussed. It happens frequently and individuals don't know about it. I will address this moral problem through a cop’s perspective. I will address the problem of police corruption dependent on the situation: “You are a rookie police officer on your first patrol. The older, experienced officer tells you that the restaurant on the corner likes to have you guys around, so it gives free meals. Your partner orders steak, potatoes, and all the trimmings. What are you going to do? What if it were just coffee at a convenience store? What if the owner refused to take your money at the cash register?” (Pollock, p.221). In order to fulfill the purpose of this paper, I will analyze the ethical dilemma of police corruption by looking at a useful solution for the dilemma, decision making, and consequences of taking anything free.

Ethical Dilemma: Police Corruption

Corruption is a critical justice issue. Therefore, the criminal equity framework ought to plan for advancing changes and enhancements in reducing police corruption. It is fundamental to discover an answer for corruption by the police. Schafer (2002) proposed mandatory ethics and aspirational ethics to determine the moral quandary of corruption among cops. Mandatory ethics can be characterized as building up moral codes that depend either on the standard of law or definitive understandings. Mandatory ethics are essentially practice measures dependent on associations ' various methodologies. Mandatory ethics exist in associations. It is foreseen that the numerous staff and laborers will hold fast to the mandatory morals guidelines while serving customers. This additionally ensures the validity of the association. Adopting mandatory morality in criminal justice would guarantee police respect citizens, opportunities and advance decency and equity in court procedures. From a persuasive point of view, aspirational ethics are built up. Aspirational ethics encourages best and alluring moral practices that inspire individuals to a specific social course.

Creative thoughts and new philosophies ought to be set up to address corruption. This fundamentally identifies with the creativity to address corruption which can be put in place. In the modern world, the establishment for creativity is the utilization of trend setting innovation. To diminish corruption cases, contemporary and most recent mechanical offices and capabilities should be effectively fused into law authorization. Innovative thoughts, for example, body cameras can be extremely proficient when embracing degenerate activities in giving a genuine record of events at a wrongdoing scene or other police job.

The philosophies of controlling police corruption ought to be founded on rationale making antagonistic and undesirable impression of such practices. This would then be fused into law requirement perspectives and strategies. Consequently, most law authorization officials would pass on corruption exercises because of the essential rationale that creates an observation that corruption in the public eye is improper and undesirable. This will be a huge philosophical way to deal with decrease corruption issues.

Professional Missions

The two law enforcement missions are the fight against crime and the public servant. Police officers fight crime against criminals and are regarded as those serving the need of the public under government servant police officers. Police officers serve all individuals and have a civil and legal duty for everyone. If police officers are involved in corruption, they are opposed to be a public servant. This misconduct, however, is due to the hiring of the incorrect people, and this is known as the rotten apple. Screening, training and education, integrity testing, and early warning or audit systems should be enhanced. Improving individual screening such as background checks, interviews, loan checks, polygraphs, drug tests, and other screening instruments are used to remove unsuitable people from the pool of prospective hires. The screening range differs from department to department, but is usually more advanced, particularly when using psychological testing and interviews.

Education was advanced as a required part for improving police morals. In any career choice, education is important to have. It is fundamental for cops to utilize what they realize when they are out on the field as a cop during their tutoring. Training is ethics in the foundation and in-administration courses is recommended today for all police organizations. There are ventures to turn into a cop. To achieve the target of being a cop, one must have instruction and pass all the important preparing. As indicated by Pollock, respectability testing otherwise called 'Sting' exercises is proposed to evaluate whether cops are going to settle on legit decisions (Pollock, p.210). I concur with this since it's fundamental to perceive how an individual thinks and chooses their decisions.

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Old Vs New

The rookie policeman may decide not to order anything after entering the restaurant, but the issue is what if he's hungry and this break is the only break they can have before the shift is over? He may decide to order food, but what can he do if the proprietor refuses to take the money from the cash register? Can he tell the senior and experienced policeman not to go to the restaurant? Or can he report the problem? Wright says that “an ethical dilemma is an issue that forces a choice between two ethical principles” (Wright, 2008) Technically, if one choice is correct and one alternative is incorrect, there can be no dilemma. Going with the correct decision is ethical. The ethical dilemma of the above situation is that the fresh inexperienced officer could determine his professional life as a law enforcement officer by deciding what to do and whatever decision he makes at that stage. The officer's most immediate dilemma is whether to discuss the information with the police department.

Police Culture

Police subculture can be a belief, attitude, or behavior that only police officers adhere to. The code of silence is a belief among police officers. It's the concept not to give up another unethical policeman. I'm saying this because police officers stick up for each other and don't say when they commit misconduct. This is contrary to their obligation to uphold the law. If the rookie reports this problem, his professional life or other officers’ social sanction is in jeopardy, which may destabilize him for the remainder of his career. If the rookie applies the silence code to the scenario, it could affect his moral life. The rookie was trained to apply ethics and professional ethics while at the police academy. Applied ethics is the study of what is correct and wrong regarding a job or topic, whereas professional ethics applies principles of right and wrong regarding a particular profession or occupation.

Learning theorists think that kids learn what they are taught, including ethics and values and conduct (Pollock, p.90) Viewing this from the perspective of a police officer, their beliefs about right or wrong originated from their childhood based on their rewards and penalties. Modeling is a concept of the learning theory that are values and moral beliefs that emerge from those with whom one admires and aspires to identify. I believe this theory of modeling is a little crazy. For instance: we have an individual looking up to a serial killer, is that individual expected to commit wrongful acts of killing just because he/she admires and aspires to identify with the serial killer? This only demonstrates how individuals from a young era can get corrupt. I don't think anyone is perfect and individuals should want to be themselves to avoid corrupting themselves.

Professional Codes

After conducting an interview with Lt. Michael Holton, he said: “Officers are not only guided by the Code of Conduct, they are also driven by the Code of Ethics”. Police officers must comprehend that the identification is an indication of open confidence and recognize it as an open reality to be kept inasmuch as they are consistent with the morals of police administration. They should never act impertinently or permit individual emotions, biases, hostilities or kinships impact their choices. They should implement the law affably and properly without dread or support, noxiousness, never tolerating tips, and failing to use superfluous power.

To promote both the Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics, each official gets a duplicate of each upon graduation from the police foundation. Furthermore, they are given a duplicate of each during their yearly execution assessment. This is done to help officials to remember each code and to fortify that the office consolidates the codes into its Core Values. Departmental initiative has made it very evident that the Code of Conduct, the Code of Ethics, and Core Values are held in high respect and officials are liable to teach, up to end, should they disregard any of them.

In the Code of Conduct there is a specific section that states no police officer should accept gratuities. If I was the rookie police officer, I would always follow the code of conduct because failing to do so would require consequences. Pollock states that “police are professionals, and professionals don’t take gratuities” (Pollock, p.187) There are organizations which have prohibited officials from tolerating any sort of endowments and even free suppers. Cop must answer to the organization of these experiences. Fitch expresses that “great basic leadership abilities are among the most significant properties law authorization officials can have” (Fitch, 2010). While it might be difficult to dispose of inclination and other thinking blunders from the basic leadership process by and large, it is feasible for sworn staff to altogether improve the nature of their decisions. With a little exertion and mindfulness, they can figure out how to consider how they outline issues, any sentiments of pomposity, the manners in which they select and assess data, how that data is handled, and the impact of forceful feelings. What's more, thusly, officials not exclusively can improve the nature of their decisions yet in addition their trust in the choices they make.


As I expressed before police corruption can begin with a gesture of accepting free food. It is imperative to comprehend moral situations in the criminal equity framework. Police corruption has been a continuous circumstance that isn't discussed as much as police brutality. police officials should be public servants. Police corruption conflicts with what a public servant is. There are constantly two decisions in every moral situation. The good and bad decision however an individual should consistently go with the correct decision. There are a few components in a police subculture. They have certain beliefs, an attitude and explicit practices they pass by. In any case, there are explicit codes they should completely pursue. Set of principles and code of morals are critical in such a case that they pursue these codes, they are making the best choice in avoiding police corruption.

Based on my analysis and knowledge of the ethical dilemma of police corruption, I recommend that there should be consequences for police officers who are corrupt. The consequences for police officers who commit police corruption in taking free food can be charged and prosecuted, and termination from police services. Any activity that is considered corrupt for the law enforcement officers can results in them being charged in the court of law. This occurs when it is confirmed that the acts of the officers in taking free food was done to attract some favor from the police. Depending on the evidence collected, the officer can face various forms of punishment if found guilty such as incarceration, fines or penalties. Termination due to the corrupt practices. The dismissal can be done when the investigations are going on to evaluate the corrupt behavior of the officer. This is done to prevent possible interference from the ongoing investigations. This means that the police officer would risk his or her job if they are linked to certain corrupt practice.


  1. Fitch, B. (2010, June 01). Good Decisions: Tips and Strategies for Avoiding Psychological Traps. Retrieved from
  2. Pollock, J. Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from
  3. Schafer, J. R. (2002). Making Ethical Decisions A Practical Model. FBI Law Enforcement. Bulletin, 71(5), 14.
  4. Wright, H. (2008). Law Enforcement Ethics 101. Sheriff, 60(1), 11–14. Retrieved from
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