The boundary line between corrupt and non-corrupt activities is quite difficult to define. A police officer who takes advantage of his power and authority for personal and organizational gains can easily be described as a corrupt police officer.
Corrupt police officials take bribes, launder money, and illegally transfer confiscated goods amongst other illegal activities. There has been corruption as long as there have been police forces in the United States. Due to some “rotten apples”, scandals emerge, defaming the entire police force. Not only lower ranked officers are involved in such malpractices, but also senior officers, and those ranked below them are involved in organized corruption.
One of the best examples of Police Corruption is the Rampart Scandal of the late 1990s where more than 70 officers were caught on account of police misconduct. The anti- gang unit of the LAPD Rampart Division was held responsible for police misconduct that included planting of evidence, framing suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, covering of evidence, unprovoked shootings and beatings. In May 2001, according to the statements of a policeman named Rafael Perez, who confessed to his part in police corruption, the Rampart investigation implicated over 70 officers for wrongdoing with 5 being terminated, 7 resigned, and 12 officers were suspended.
There are various causes of police corruption. According to a report, areas of police work that is subject to least managerial scrutiny such as policing of illegal goods or drugs are more prone to corruption. These areas are associated with financial temptations that lure a particular officer.
The best way to reduce corruption among police officials is to control it through various prevention strategies and introduce reforms every time. This is not easy as the reform must look at the organization as well as political and task environments. One thing is certain; you cannot completely judge the whole police force because of a few corrupt individuals.