Professor Chief Lamar Hobbs
Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
July 14, 2011
Question #1: How Prevalent is Corruption in Georgia Law Enforcement?
Frankly, I think the gauge for corruption in law enforcement has reached far beyond the boundaries that were originally intended, not just for Georgia, but for the nation. For example, Abner Louima sued the state of New York “. . . claiming that officers conspired to create a ‘wall of silence and lies to obstruct justice’ . . .” in winning his case with an $8.7 million dollar settlement (Hess, 396). This is only one of many allegations against law enforcement officers when people have had what is commonly termed as ‘an unpleasant experience with law enforcement officers.’ Corruption is everywhere and law enforcement, even in Georgia, is not exempted from the guise of corruption. One might suppose that corruption is the devil’s advocate within a group working very hard to uphold the Constitution, abide by the rules, and encourage others to do the same; however, with corruption of policemen comes a high price. Not only is corruption a crime, but it also presents the problem of trust within a community of those that are considered keepers of the law. How prevalent is corruption in Georgia law enforcement and what provisions are being implemented to combat this breach of trust that that prevails among us?
From research reviewed for the State of Georgia, there does not seem to be issues with corruption; however, efforts are being made to minimize the causes. According to the definition outlined by the Criminal Justice, corruption is defined as “the misuse of police authority for personal gain” (“Police Corruption” 2011). The vice has also been referred to in a more casual manner as the rotten apple theory where corruption of a few misleads many. But, this theory has been dismissed by some claiming there is no consistency by some officers becoming corrupt within an organization and not others.