Police Corruption In Serpico: Police Subculture

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Police corruption is not something that is frequently talked about, and there are definitely very few films about the subject. One such film is Serpico, which is based off of the life of NYPD Officer Frank Serpico. The movie shows the issues of police corruption, and how the police subculture works to keep it covered. The police subculture is a very complicated and closed thing. On page 162 of the textbook, police subculture is defined as “a combination of shared norms, values, goals, career patterns, lifestyles, and occupational structures that is somewhat different from the combination held by the rest of society.” Police work is very dangerous by nature, and can make the officers feel separated from the rest of society. Officers tend to…show more content…
It has been around for years, but that doesn’t mean that it must remain the same. While it is hard to know since I am not part of this subculture, I would think that it has changed, even in small ways over the years, which means it can always change for the better. This would not be a quick or easy change though. Police officers would have to have support from fellow officers and from higher-ups for the subculture to change. If officers don’t have this support, they wont report any corruption that they see because they realize that they are likely the only person it will affect. As one of the videos we watched in class said, it would have to get to the point that the dishonest cop fears the honest cop, not the other way around, like it tends to be now. I hope that some departments have already been able to establish this trust, but I don’t know if my hope is false. Trust takings a long time to be built up, but it is done all the time. Unfortunately it can fall apart much faster than it can be built, which is why I think that the subculture could be changed, but it would take years of trying to build, and probably rebuild, the trust the officers would need to report corruption within the
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