Terrorism Impact on Police Mission Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

terrorism has impacted the police mission in the U.S. Be sure to provide examples. Describe at least two disagreements that exist regarding the appropriate law enforcement behavior to fight terrorism and maintain personal liberties?

Terrorism and the events connected to September 11, 2001 have impacted the world in ways we could never imagine, affecting the way we view our safety and the way that we view ourselves. State and local police forces have been impacted as well, being confronted with new tasks and new dangers. Just as the Federal government created an entire new department of Homeland Security, police departments were faced with massive changes as well. For instance, these changes were: "coordinating homeland security at the state level; collecting, analyzing and sharing critical information and intelligence; protecting critical infrastructure and key assets; securing the nation's borders, air and sea ports; collaborating with federal and local law enforcement on task forces; and preparing for new response equipment, tactics, systems and training" (csg.org). Incidences which previously might have been looked at as innocuous were now being treated very seriously: a backpack left behind on a bus could be treated as a likely threat to the collective safety.

As a result of the fact that the police have a much harder job nowadays, they've had to engage in a range of new tactics, some of which are controversial. For instance, the "all crimes" approach is based on the theory that "a nexus does exist among types of criminal activity, including illegal drug operations, money laundering, fraud, identity theft and terrorism. It is well-known that some of the Sept. 11 terrorists were cited for traffic violations prior to the attacks while others obtained and used fraudulent driver's licenses" (ncjrs.gov). Thus, the all crimes approach seeks to pinpoint terrorists through their connections to lower-criminal activities. However, those in opposition to this approach think that it just opens the door for detaining or harassing people based simply on suspicions and paranoia and can open up the door to the adverse effects of racial profiling.

On a similar note, state and local police have become more rigorous in protecting and patrolling America's borders which means that it can become more difficult for even U.S. citizens to go in and out of America. State police have a much stronger presence at state, interstate and national borders and officers have more duties at various points of entry (ncjrs.gov). While this is absolutely necessary, many feel, it has also caused a range of conflicts, such as congestion at the borders and what some feel is harassment or unwarranted detainment of "suspicious" but ultimately harmless people attempting to cross.


What role does social stigma play in police ethics? Describe this role. Give specific examples from your reading, or your experiences, where social stigma played a role in furthering police corruption and when it played a role in reducing it.

Ultimately, social stigma should absolutely not play any role whatsoever in police ethics; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Social stigma represents the shortcomings of society and the failure of members of society to treat everyone equally. The police should not reflect this or enhance it in anyway; rather the police should work to help reduce social stigma. The police need to either be blind to social stigma and work hard at treating others equally or make active efforts to minimize social stigma. For instance, in America, one could argue that black men are seen as dangerous. This is a form of social stigma which is incorrect, but which does exist. The police aggravate this social stigma by playing into the stereotype by doing things like pulling over black male motorists more often than any other demographic. "In 2010, black residents represented 33% of the 494,000 people stopped by Houston police, while the city's black population last year was 23%, according to the most recent census. The percentage of Hispanics stopped last year was 32; white, 30…Though the "driving while black" phenomenon has been a thorny issue law enforcement has been grappling with for many years, it puzzles some as to why the trendline doesn't appear to be abating" (Pinkerton, 2011). This is not just a problem in Houston, but a problem all over the nation.

On the other hand, the police help to minimize social stigma when they offer a lending hand to help marginalized groups such as the mentally ill or members of the LGBT community. These are members who often have social stigmas waged against them and are vulnerable to attacks from bigots or bullies. The police can help abolish such stigmas by offering these vulnerable members of society extra protection.


Are the ethical forces behind police corruption the same as those involved in police abuses of force? Identify four components of public corruption within the criminal justice field, and describe the strategies used to control this corruption. Support your answer.

The ethical forces behind the police corruption are very similar to those involved in police abuses of force. While these phenomena are somewhat mysterious to many experts, many components come up repeatedly. The first component involves a sheer lack of integrity: some unethical people are simply going to be attracted to a job in the police force because it will allow them a certain degree of power and the ability to engage in a full manifestation of their lack of integrity, thus resulting in an abuse of power. This is why and how police corruption and brutality can occur. "The possibility exists that no matter how conscientious they are and how thoroughly they do their jobs, first- and second-level commanders cannot keep an officer inclined to act unethically from doing so" (fbi.gov). Other components like a lack of leadership, police subculture and work environment are all factors which can create a situation where police corruption and brutality are more likely to occur. For instance, if the work environment means that there is a strong push to "get results" or to "keep up those numbers" this can create a pressured environment where integrity can easily be lost. "It is this push for results by administrators that some officers can interpret as their agencies not caring or wanting to know how those results are obtained. These officers may see it as a license to get results at all costs. Because policing often is equated to war (e.g., the 'war on drugs'), this war mentality can produce many of today's integrity issues" (fbi.gov). In a similar fashion, with police subculture, there is something known as "the blue curtain"; this means the sense of secrecy and privacy that whatever happens within the police force, stays within the police force.

This vibe can create an environment where corruption is allowed to flourish. As some experts point out, police officers experience so much that is unique from the average person's every day experience, the bonds that officers form can sometimes be stronger than their own family ties; while this bond is nice it can create an "us vs. them" mentality and that can breed corruption.

One strategy for eradicating corruption is to create a higher level of transparency within the police department. They should go through audits from outside agencies and there should be outside auditors going through checks periodically of the department. In fact the police department should also be subject to things like surveillance or rewards for whistle blowing.


Define and discuss individual conscience and police assignments using specific examples. Explain how training can prepare would be police officers for the ethical dilemmas they will face. Provide examples.

Individual conscience and police assignments will most likely continue to engage in a delicate dance, with officers trying to find their own level of harmony on a case by case basis. The different amounts or levels of…

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