Police Corruption: Preventing Misconduct and Maintaining Integrity

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ISBN 9781420077964
Cat# 77961



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  • Uses a succinct, easy-to-read style with all specialist terms introduced and explained
  • Reveals strategies drawn from the international scientific literature on policing
  • Includes key theories but focuses on practical applications
  • Contains interesting, shocking, and instructive real-life case studies


While many police officers undertake their work conforming to the highest ethical standards, the fact remains that unethical police conduct continues to be a recurring problem around the world. With examples from a range of jurisdictions, Police Corruption: Preventing Misconduct and Maintaining Integrity examines the causes of police misconduct and explores applied strategies designed to maximize ethical conduct and identify and prevent corruption.

Analyzes the roots of corruption

Introducing the phenomenon of police officer misconduct, the book provides an analysis of unethical behavior, its effects, and different causal factors. The author examines the impact on the community and the police themselves, the dilemma of establishing universal ethical principles, and ways of identifying and measuring misconduct problems. The remainder of the text examines applied strategies designed to maximize ethical conduct and prevent corruption.

A myriad of proven strategies

Exploring a wide range of approaches, the book discusses best practices in the recruitment of ethical applicants, strategies for dealing with misconduct, risk reduction strategies and early warning and intervention systems, along with advanced strategies such as drug and alcohol testing, integrity tests, and the use of covert surveillance. The text also explores the role of independent external oversight bodies that audit police strategies and conduct their own investigation. The final chapter on ethical leadership emphasizes the need to go beyond a checklist of rules with leadership that values, requires, and models integrity in all aspects of police work.

Examples from around the world

Taking a global approach, this volume recognizes that policing is prone to the same potential problems of corruption and misconduct everywhere in the world. Highlighting the importance of establishing robust and enduring anti-corruption protocols in new and emerging democracies, the book provides a model comprehensive integrity system, underscoring the need for a sustained commitment to combat corruption.


Table of Contents

The Misconduct Problem in Policing

Historical Background

Major Judicial Inquiries and Associated Corruption Cases

Academic Research

Notorious Cases

The Irish Miscarriages of Justice Cases

Ruby Ridge

Abner Louima

The Dutroux Affair

Police Death Squads

"Mafia Cops"

The Problem of Ambiguity


Understanding Police Misconduct

Categorizing Police Misconduct


Causes of Police Misconduct




Setting Standards

The Importance of Police Ethics

Police Powers

Police Legitimacy

Police Legitimacy and Ethical Policing in Unequal or Nondemocratic Societies

Constabulary Independence and the Separation of Powers

The Role of Codes of Ethics


Due Process, Including Deception and Entrapment



Loyalty and Whistle-Blowing




Cooperation Between Policing Agencies

Custody Requirements

Striking and Moonlighting

Personal Conduct


Measuring Misconduct and Integrity


The Press

Citizen Action Groups and Integrated Methods

Complaints and Discipline Data

Surveys and Interviews

Defendant Surveys

Public Confidence Surveys

Police Surveys

Police Ethical Climate Surveys

Legal Professionals


Incident Data

System Audits

Integrity System Assessments


Recruitment and Training


Promotional Material

Criminal History Checks


Panel Interviews

Personality and Psychological Testing

A Recruitment Integrity Committee

Nondiscriminatory Recruitment, Affirmative Action, and Women Police

Polygraph Testing

Illicit-Drug Testing

Home Visits

Intelligence Checks on Associates

Character Checking in Recruit Training and Probationary Programs

Higher Recruitment Age

Personal Financial Checking

Recruit Training and Education in Ethics

Higher Educational Standards

In-Service Training and Education


An Advanced Complaints and Discipline System


Complaints and Discipline

Key Elements of an Advanced Complaints and DisciplineSystem

A Professional Standards Unit

Mandatory Police Reporting and Whistle-Blower Protection and Support


Case Assessment and Allocation

Quality Investigations

Final Outcomes

Inquisitorial Methods and Administrative Authority

Officer Rights

A Disciplinary Matrix

Alternative Responses

Advanced Techniques

Responding to Vexatious Complaints

Quality Control


Alternative Dispute Resolution

The ADR Movement

ADR for Complaints Against Police


Informal Resolution

Managerial Resolution

Evaluations of ADR for Complaints Against Police

Quality Control, Intelligence, and Behavioral Change

System Controls and Risk Management


Strategic Intelligence


Principles of Complaint Profiling and Early Intervention

Individual Profiling: Some Case Studies

The Victoria Police Early Intervention System

Early Intervention: Unit Profiles

Broader Risk Management and Threat Assessments

High-Speed Pursuits

Data Access Controls and Data Trails

Informant Management

Due Process in Investigations and Prosecutions

Corruption Hazards and Rotation of Personnel

Miscellaneous Areas of High Risk


Public Order Policing

Theft of Property

Intelligence Gathering for Investigations and Covert Operations

Maintaining Momentum and Maximizing Yields


Advanced Techniques


Integrity Testing

Targeted and Random Tests

Legal and Ethical Issues

Associated Issues

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Covert Surveillance

Undercover Agents

Financial Audits and Indirect Incapacitation Strategies

Witness Protection Programs


External Oversight


Stakeholder Perspectives


Oversight Agencies


Police Perspectives

Public Opinion

Civil Liberties Groups

Government Reviews

The Performance of External Agencies

A Model Oversight System


Leadership for Integrity


Types of Leadership

Assessing the Impacts of Ethical Leadership

Overcoming the Internal Cultural Divide

Ethical Leadership and Integrity Mechanisms

Selection and Education of Ethical Leaders

Ethical Leadership and the Compstat Model

Police Union Leaders