Police Culture Essay

1324 Words6 Pages
Every organization has a distinct and unique culture. While the concept of “culture”, being abstract in nature, defies an exact and concrete definition, it is as individualistic and vigorously clear as the overt yet inherent dynamics that specify what a particular organization or group of people value the most, the expectations they have from their members in terms of how they behave and how things are generally done. Law enforcement agencies including the police department are no exceptions. In fact the police officers’ fraternity comprises of a closely-knit, high- solidarity group bound together by chords of common tasks and shared goals, unspoken and unwritten rules that form the context within which they work as a team. (Nwugwo, Boniface…show more content…
Within most police departments, the organizational culture that subsists is similar. From the day an officer joins the police department, all through his service and until retirement, he becomes a member of an inimitable brotherhood clique. Officers quickly imbibe early in their vocation, the importance of loyalty to fellow officers. This allegiance to each other surpasses even loyalty to their community, their oath of office or even their own personal code of ethics as conformity is an essential part of the brotherhood. Often, to claim complete acceptance and membership, an officer must act contrary to what their own value systems dictate. Instances where fellow colleagues overlook incidents of misconduct or corruption, rationalize the use of excessive force, falsify reports or even suppress evidence as they feel compelled not to “rat” (or tell tales) on their associates are examples of officers maintaining the blue code of silence. (Nwugwo, Boniface C., March 2001; Barry Daniel Patrick, 1999)
An officer acting outside the acceptable group customs faces the possible jeopardy of being nicknamed a “problem child”. Much research has indicated substantially that, not surprisingly, the proverbial police code of silence does not just exist but actually pervades all levels of the fraternity, is perpetrated even by higher administrators in the system and often expects police officers to turn a blind eye to witnessed misconduct by their fellow officers. (Barry, D P
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