Police Code of Silence

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Police Code of Silence Some experts will explain that people become police officers for the power and status of the job, while other say they join in order to help people but over time become cynical and corrupted by other officers. The culture of being a police officer instills a sense of entitlement to power and authority over the rest of society (The Brotherhood). This sense of entitlement breeds the police personality. That is, when an officer puts on the police uniform they also assume the role of authority that goes along with it many times commanding the obedience and respect from the public as a whole. The police personality fosters and “us vs. them” mentality that cops are always the good guys and everyone else is a potential bad guy (The Brotherhood). There is a subculture in Police work that in some cases can carry severe penalties towards officer’s if they were to “rat” on another officer. This subculture code of “Don’t give up another cop” has been described as the code of silence, or the blue curtain of secrecy (Pollock 119). In this subculture police officers are often ostracized or deemed unfaithful to the badge if they were to turn on another officer and testify against them during an investigation. Police officers must trust other officers to back them up in a struggle that could potentially be a life or death situation. Without mutual trust of other officers one’s life could be put in jeopardy in certain situations. Officers develop a brotherhood with strong bonds of loyalty that ensure they will be there for each other in life and death situations. In essence the code of silence requires that other officers stick together or face consequences from the “brother” they have betrayed. Many times officers are belittled, forced out of the department, or transferred to another precinct. The code of silence is an unwritten code that

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