The police or correction subculture is mandated with the responsibility of enforcing the law whereby the expectation is purely on upholding the law. Therefore, they are expected to keep up with the standards of the law and avoid any form of conduct that may implicate weaknesses when implementing the law.
Quite often, appropriateness and correctness of their conduct in the line of duty has been a subject of debate and at times questioned in terms of validity. In the process of maintaining law and order, controversies and questions have emerged regarding the conduct of the police and correction subculture.
Robertson (2011) argues that even after numerous concerns which led to creation of law enforcement intelligence agencies, there are myriad of accusations that have been leveled at police conduct in the process of law enforcement. Collection and keeping of information by the police has been considered as subject of great controversy in the process of legal ramifications over the years. According to Snell (2009), police intrusion into individual privacy has been witnessed in many instances.
When suspecting certain individuals as either criminals or engaging in criminal activities, the police have been carrying out secret investigations without the knowledge of such people. Constitutional definition of the right of privacy requires that every citizen be guaranteed the right to privacy until court intervention. Secrete police investigations and installations of monitoring devices on suspected criminals have been considered as police misconduct.
Pressure from human rights agencies and other concerned bodies to withdraw from such acts of privacy intrusions have yielded little outcome. Willingness of the police to make such withdrawals has been nonexistent and thus the police have been considered as fuelling misconduct within the law.
In the line of duty, police subcultures emerge when some groups of police develop their own codes of ethics which clash with the clearly defined professional code of ethics. This code leads to a conflict between community service and personal protection. Due to the numerous common features in the police such as culture, batches, guns working risks and other setbacks, the personal code suppresses professional code (Watson, 2010).
This feature leads to creation of strong subunits within the police and thus creation of animosity with outside world, not just criminals but also concerned citizens viewed as stumble blocks in the process of law enforcement. The resultant animosity leads to great ignorance of constitutional rights and the law thus leading to great misconduct in the law enforcement process.
The police also develop a code of silence within themselves leading to great silences within the police. Such silences may lead to gross misconducts in the law enforcement process. For instance, when police perpetrate brutalities to suspects, they conceal vital evidences required in law courts.
Such acts obstruct the process of law enforcement. As known famously from a past case, a lot of Los Angeles police engaged in drug trafficking, evidence faking and beatings among others which led societal reaction through civil unrests. Such actions only continue to heighten police misconduct (Lawrence, 2011).
In yet another code which is usually referred to as “cop code”, there is a tool that enhances police misconduct in the process of enforcing law (Lawrence, 2011). Sometimes police behavior may generate negative societal perception of this institution. The resultant behavior will be elicitation of coldness or implicit rejection towards the police.
When such behaviors emanate, community cooperation diminishes and unwillingness to assist in identifying crime increases. This creates a rift between the community and the police leading to further misconduct in the process of enforcing the law.
Lawrence, N. (2011). Police subcultures vs. law enforcement code of ethics. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_6320027_police-law-enforcement-code- ethics.html
Robertson, J. N. (2011). How police break the law. Houston, Texas: Wiley & Sons.
Snell, P. (2009). Law enforcement intelligence. London, UK: Sage Publications.
Watson, R. K. (2010). Police malpractice. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.