Police Crimes: A Significant Concern of Various Scholars - Research Paper

Published: 2023-11-15
Police Crimes: A Significant Concern of Various Scholars - Research Paper
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Policy Criminal law Police Criminal justice
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1806 words
16 min read


Police crimes relate to those crimes that are committed by officers mandated with law enforcement. The crimes could emanate when the officer is either off-duty or on duty and could be crimes committed by security officers employed by the county, state, and some special law enforcement officers (Bonnet, 2019). The police crime occurrences should be a significant concern of various scholars, police executives, and the general public. It is essential to note that the police crimes are capable of damaging the integrity of the police occupation as well as the legitimacy of various policy employing bodies and agencies.

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It is, however, surprising that only a little is known concerning the criminal offenses committed by the police enforcers (Bonnet, 2019). Again, limited statistical evidence exists on such occurrences, and since there is a lack of government entity mandated with the collection of data on the arrest of criminals by the police officers in the United States (Ayers, 2020). There are very few researches that indicate the prevalence and nature of police crimes in the United States.

Research indicates that police officers tend to engage in on-duty crimes such as petty thefts and bribe-taking (Bonnet, 2019). However, there are limited large-scale observational researches to determine police crime prevalence. It is essential to note that the lack of empirical and statistical studies on police crimes is a major problematic. This could be because such statistical findings could be adopted in developing various policies necessary in deterring the police crimes as well as the mitigation of the damages to the association between the police and the community. Again, it is worthy to note that the data on police crimes could be adopted to provide information necessary information on the correlation between police crime and some other forms of police deviance such as discrimination, deviance, and other forms of abuse.

As such, the findings for this report would provide necessary information on the role of police socialization process and culture (Bonnet, 2019). The data obtained would also help advance the understanding of the various vices and crimes committed by the police department in the United States. The various research questions in this survey would cover police integrity and crime more generally (Scott, 2020). Such crimes by police officers, which have been identified and studied in the study include broad aspects of crime ranging from simple to more serious ones. The problem of police crime is a topic that requires essential empirical studies which are least studied and explored.

Fundamentally, the crimes that are committed police officers often vary from place to place. Researchers have often struggled in the measurement of police integrity since there is virtually a lack of official data collected, disseminated, maintained for the purposes of criminal research (Scott, 2020). To complicate this situation, the police officers are exempted from law enforcement since there is an existence of reluctance in terms of law enforcement against the fellow security officers. As such, the study would cover the following research questions.

Research Questions

The research questions in this study include;

  • To what extent do the arrest due to police crime vary with some other forms of police misconduct?
  • What are the prevalence and the incidence of police officers arrested in Tacoma and the United States at large?
  • How are arrested police officers disciplined by law enforcement agencies?

Research Justification

In the wake of the recent occurrences of police violence that spurred the black lives matter movements in the United States, it is important to obtain necessary information regarding the prevalence of and incidences of police crime in the United States. It is also essential to understand how police crime vary with some other forms of police misconducts. Such findings would inform the various policies and training measures aimed at preventing the occurrence of such situations in the future.

Literature review (Cory)

The article, Family of man shot by Tacoma police files excessive force claim demands transparency, discusses a story of police misconduct in the City of Tacoma. Bennie Branch was a 24-year-old male who was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Upon investigation Officer Ryan Bradley was put on administrative leave and two weeks later he was back on duty. However, it wasn’t until 10 months after the shooting that information was released to the family of Mr. Branch or the public. This made our research team wish to have a better understanding of the community relationship between officers and citizens.

Police and Use of Deadly Force in Tacoma source discusses the law which gives police officers the right to use violent forces during their duties. Washington State Law “requires any use of deadly force involving a Police Officer to be investigated by an independent agency”. Because of this, the Tacoma Police Department Tacoma claims that they cannot push for an investigation or the integrity of an investigation into the use of deadly force by a Tacoma police officer. This has led to some uncertainties of how these investigations are conducted and why they are discreet. Does this affect perceptions of policing and do citizens believe that this is an appropriate method for investigations?

Prosecutor's Office releases ruling on fatal shooting by police in Puyallup discusses Initiative 940 which created the “good faith test”. The good faith test was an attempt to provide protocols for when it was and was not appropriate to use deadly force. It also requires officers to receive de-escalation and mental health training and requires enforcement officers to provide first aid.” (Siandhara Bonnet, 2019). This resulted in the prosecutor’s office deciding an officer-involved death that occurred in January 2018, was justified after negotiations with a suspect lasted over an hour resulting in loss of life. Later the good-faith test was changed to if an officer being reasonable in the circumstances would come to the same conclusion that deadly force was required. At the same time, the amended law required the state to reimburse defense costs if charges are dismissed or they are found guilty. the Prosecutor’s Office concluded there was a deadly threat involved to the officers and others, but said even if they were, they’d still meet standards.

Scott (2020) discusses an attempt by Puyallup’s Police department to be more transparent with the Use of Force policies that allowed chokeholds/strangleholds. They also provided the limitations of the practice such as only a limited number of trained officers are permitted to use the techniques, it can only be used in specific instances and can only be used when all other techniques cannot be used to prevent harm that doesn’t permit body weight, or anything else to be applied to the “vascular area of the neck”. (Puyallup Police Department). This resulted in Carotid Control Hold only being used three times with none of these incidents resulting in serious injury. When departments provided transparency to the public we wondered if this allowed citizens to feel safe around police.

In this article Police Brutality and Black Health: Setting the Agenda for Public Health Scholars there was an investigation into the links between police brutality and poor health outcomes among blacks. The goal of this of this research was to identify and address experiences of Black populations who face police brutality. Witnessing or experiencing harassment, routine unwarranted searches, and deaths that go unpunished send a message to the black community that their bodies are undeserving of justice and result in emotional and physiological effects for Blacks (Alang, S. et. al (2017) p.3). While this study does address the sociological impact of police brutality on Blacks, we need to understand the impact across other marginalized communities as well. WE believe that one’s ethnicity will play a vital role in their interactions with policing.

Klockars, C & Ivkovich, S & Harver, W & Haberfelf, M (2000) focuses on how Police integrity can be measured. Difficulties in controlling police corruption can be attributed to several factors: the reluctance of police officers to report corrupt activities by their fellow officers, the reluctance of police administrators to acknowledge the existence of corruption in their agencies, the benefits of the typical corrupt transactions to the parties involved, and the lack of immediate victims willing to report corruption (Klockars, C & Ivkovich, S & Harver, W & Haberfelf, M (2000) p.1). While offenses perceived to be severe by officers were reported, officers considered other officers who covered for colleagues that drove under the influence of alcohol as low severity. This needs to be further studied to determine perceptions on police brutality and where it ranks on its level of perceived severity.

The Social Ecology of Police Misconduct article uses qualitative data from the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project in the form of comments on the project from 36 bloggers. By looking into the experiences and perspective of the people that have commented on the data we are better able to look at how perspectives of police are formed and shared. This understanding was accomplished and formulated into four major themes that go as follows. 1. Contempt for Law enforcement (5 people). 2. Suspicious of Law Enforcement (8 people). 3. Law Enforcement as Agents of Brutality (16 people). 4. Respect for Law Enforcement (7 people). These reactionary themes reveal how people interpret societal data into their personal lives which is then shared via social media and changes the environment of police perspective by members of the public because of that.

The Racism and Police Brutality in America article uses data from over 20 years (1975-1996) from all New York City police precincts to find three variables in a location that increase police misconduct. 1. Structural disadvantage. 2. Population mobility. 3. And increases in Latino population. Due to the nature of the research they were also able to see a pattern in the geographical distribution of POC in New York. The most Important finding of this research was the paradox being proved to exist that police patrol the areas requiring the most help from police and also need the greatest protection from the abuse by police due to an area hosting criminal activity.


In order to answer the research question an online survey was constructed. This survey was 10 questions long broken into three parts. Part 1 were questions one through three with the intent of establishing the demographics of the respondent. Part 2 being questions 4 through 9 were the respondents' perception of the police. Part 3 was question ten with the goal of establishing through which medium the respondents primarily received their perception of police. The benefits of creating an online survey through Qualtrics are the data analysis models that are provided within the website. Cross tabbing the respondent’s identity factors with the perceptions of police provides a deeper level of analysis to show the statistical significance or lack thereof. By combining previous knowledge found in the literature review and the data collected below our conclusions can be drawn with empirical support.

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