Slippery Slop

CJ 340: Applied Criminal Justice Ethics

Professor: Lace Oakland

George Johnson



In the text book character and cops the author Edwin J. Deltarres goes on to write about police corruption. It puts before us three very relevant and serious issues of discussion. It is presented in the form of a hypothesis let??™s look at them number one is ???The society at-large???. The next one is what is called the ???Structural??? theory and finally we have what is very well known in the world of law enforcement ???The rotten apple theory???. In these next few pages I will give a brief analysis of what the expectation of a law enforcement official is as well as a deeper look into these three hypotheses.

Let us first take a further look at the role of the Law enforcement official it is bestowed upon him or her to maintain a higher level of standards. His or her conduct must be exemplary to all in the department and even more important the watchful eye of the public citizen.
In the 1950??™s preface to the Policeman??™s Manual George Chandler wrote this. The Law enforcement official His work must be of such a high character that all who come in contact with him must realize that he is a very highly both mentally and physically trained officer having as his only ideal that obedience to the Law is liberty. The main duties of an officer of the Law are as follows first and foremost safe guard the live of the people in the community and property of the people. The next would be to keep peace between the citizens. Then next would be ensuring the rights of all to liberty, equality and justice. Police officers have sworn an oath to uphold the ethical standard based upon the Constitution of the United States of America. Each officer has to be take heed to the stricter standards. They have an obligation to carry out each and every one of their duties to the letter. In addition to this they are daily faced with ethical dilemmas in the mist of carrying out there required task set before them.
As the Law enforcement official is to represent the integrity of each and every government institution. He is to be unwavering in his oath and character as well as his responsibility to maintain his position. He is to never except special treatment because of his office. The officer has to be firm in his stand against ever small scale or large scale of corruption. He should never accept gratuities or free gifts because nothing is free everything came with a price. The ???slippery slope??? this is where officers can get caught up in this might start off very slow and subtle. The issues of the Slippery Slope has been a serious topic in many other arenas but especially in the field of Law Enforcement. In the next few pages I will touch on just how harmful allowing the practice of these kinds of this. If this type of behavior is one continued and allowed by the head of the department then more and more we will see corruption slowly seep down into influencing officer to sale drug do favors for criminals like looking the other way. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated by any police department. This can lead not only the department into trouble but also the community and does reflect upon the people as having a bad reputation. Police officials can never allow themselves to be influenced and overtaken by other negative ideals. These types of thing can be forced upon an individual over time. If this type of negative thinking and actions are allowed to continue then other officers that where once looked upon as good then start to adopt this kind of mentality the poor decision making will come out of this and more corruption takes root in the department. Which leads me to my discussion on the first hypothesis theory the society at large. This theory explores how other negative outside influences have such impact on the department. In the early sixties police officers were viewed very differently than they are today. In that time they were the public servants and the people would pay them essentially to protect them personally. They were like bell boys or in home servants to whom ever had the money. This all took place before the development of our justice system. There were different forms of payment and gratuities that would bring a smile to the officer??™s face. One in particular item was alcohol or money even property. Many local businesses in exchange for services would allow the officers to anything they wanted food or a place to stay or useful information on someone. The former Chicago Police superintendent O.W. Wilson is the one that brought these theory about and also drove home the point that patterns of bad behavior would ultimately produces corruption in Police officers characters. This is where the slippery slope comes into play. With that being said as I made the point of police officer should never accept any form of gratuities because this will lead into other and more problematic issues later on down the road. This then brings me to the next theory on police corruption which is called structural or affiliation hypothesis that tells us that certain values are passed on to others under leaders that are to be an example. Those that are in leadership must have a firm control over the activities of the department but should also be effective so to allow the promotion of corruption to run ramped.
One example of the slippery slope would be if an officer started to take a free bottle of water given to him by a business owner while the officer was on his foot patrol. Then this kind of jester might be returned with looking the other way while business owners park in a no parking zone. One other example would be if we allowed gay marriage and that they have the right to marry any one they would like to. This can be the begging of then allowing people to marry multiple people at the same time which is Polygamy. This in turn destroys family values it bring confusion into homes and society at large.
Have you ever heard of the popular phrase ???One bad apple spoils the whole bunch??? This is the theory that some people are just rotten to their core. This is based off of the assumption that these person has been exposed to negative things over a very long period of their life. One example of this would be a man by the name of Charles or Carl Panzram born in 1891 was in and out of prison for the whole of his life. He committed anywhere from 8 to 82 murders and other horrible crimes. This men was born into poverty and grew up in and out of prison was beaten and only knew hatred and anger and suffering. In the documentary Carl Panzram: The sprite of Hatred and Vengeances he is only focused on making other suffer for what he had to go through his whole life and in 1928 he was sentenced to life in prison. Then in September of 1930 he was executed by hanging and died in Leavenworth Kansas. This is one example of the rotten apple phrase. With that being said in each of these example of the rotten apple and structural and the slippery slop all of these play off of one another. In each department officers and other figures need to continue upholding the banner of truth, justice, mercy and peace as well as charity.


Delattre, Edwin J. Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing? By: Ault, PERSPECTIVES ON POLITICAL SCIENCE, 10457097, , Vol. 24, Issue 4

Wyatt-Nichol, H., & Franks, G. (2009). Ethics Training in Law Enforcement Agencies.? Public Integrity,? 12(1), 39-50.? 

United Nations Office on Drugs and, C. (2011).? Handbook on Police Accountability, Oversight and Integrity. New York: United Nations.

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