Terrorism in the United States has had effects to the police force. The major terrorist attack that has impacted law enforcement agencies has been the attack on September 2001, where the Twins Towers was hit by an airplane. It has resulted to an expanding role of the law enforcement agency especially after the September 2001 attack by terrorists. Also terrorism attack has resulted to a change in allocation of resources with more resources injected in securing United States from terrorism attacks rather than enforcement of law in the country. There has also been an improved relationship between state and local law enforcement agencies and with private sector after the terrorist attack (EKU, 2004).
Homeland security department is affecting functions of state police today. This has been significantly noted especially after the September 2001 attack on the US by terrorist. The attack made the state police homeland security roles to be expanded this roles are associated to coordination of homeland security, collection and analysis of critical information, protection of critical infrastructure and major assets. The role of police has also risen to securing the states borders and preparation of better response facilities, systems and tactics. This was done to fill in gaps vacuum that resulted from shifts in the federal law enforcement. These new requirements are believed to cause a substantial impact on state police intelligence, and planning.
Terrorism acts also have brought shift in priorities regarding resource allocation in the police departments. According EKU (2004) resources that were allocated to the drug enforcement department traditional criminal investigations have been reduced by about 10%. These resources have been directed to fighting terrorism in the United States. This has been done through improving border and port security, conducting preventive patrols and high-tech crime investigations. The shifting of resource s may be disadvantageous to various states which are experiencing criminal challenges.
Following the major terrorism attack, state and local law enforcement have improved their relationship with private sector. The research results released by CSG (2004) show that over 60% of state agencies have reported that local agencies have continued to request assistance in computer investigations and technical assistance. Also state police agencies have strengthened their collaboration with corporate security agents and also with private companies. The interactions involve staff background check and facility security. This was thought to be effective since the private sector controls about 85% of United States critical infrastructure.
The historical terrorist attack on American land has generally resulted to some changes in the police force. After the terrorism attack, state police officers homeland security duties were expanded. This was done to improve the countries security and to support the fight against terrorism. Also after the attacks, there has been a change in resource allocation by the enforcement agencies. The allocation gives priorities to guarding the country against terrorism attacks other than internal criminal activities. Significant change that has been experienced after the attack also includes an improved relationship between state and local law enforcement agencies and also with private sector.
Social stigma is considered to be social discontent or disapproval of a person in regard to his character or beliefs that is against cultural norms (Goffman 1986). There has been an existing discrimination of police by the public because of fear of the force. Social stigma is believed to have an impact on personal character. This proves that social stigma will cause an effect on how police officers embrace the stipulated ethical code. Social stigma has also played a major role in promoting certain vice in the police force.
The law enforcement code of ethics guides police force on the conduct that the officers need to uphold as they discharge their duties. To the officers this will mean that he has act in a manner that will enhance peace and protect the general public. When the public stigmatize a police officer, it becomes hard for the officer to discharge their duties in the favor of the public. This indicates that the police officer will have gone against the code of ethics.
There has been a saying by many that says that police are corrupt people. This has affected many people and has resulted to public stigmatizing police, thinking that all police officers are corrupt. This therefore, affects every law enforcement officers to the extent that they will receive a bribe they comfort themselves with the same saying. The stigma has also affected those close to the police officers such that, as they interact with police officers they will tend to bribe them. So many officers have found it difficult to resist these offers especially if it is a smart one. This has certainly increased corruption cases in police force.
Social stigmatization of police accounts for rise of corruption in the law enforcement department. Social stigmatization by the public makes it hard for the police force to collectively discharge their duties in the favor of the public. According to the case depicted above, social stigmatization of police has encouraged rise of corruption cases in the department.
Both police corruption and police abuse of force are products of police officers unethical move. Police officer is motivated to be corrupt by different reason as the one that will drive him towards abusing force. Factors that lead to a police officer becoming corrupt include; greed and being in a situation that needs money while the factors that will lead to police abusing power will be pride and vengeance.
Greed is referred to unexplainable desire of a person to possess wealth or goods for himself. These same desires drive police officers towards requesting for a bribe when he or she gets a chance. Most of corruption cases are believed to be instigated by being gluttonous. A police officer also may be driven towards corruption because of his dire need for money and he or she does not have any place he can get it from. This happens when a police officer involves himself in activities that drain him and so it remains to be a question of ethics.
A police officer is likely to abuse force out of pride. This is as a result of his personal character that drives him with need to show off. There have been cases of police personnel bragging to their mates. Delatre (2002) gives a case of a law enforcement agent who sodomized and brutalized a man in restroom. The officer who is known as Justin Volpe confessed commit torture and he also bragged off among his workmates. Also acts of brutality by police may be as a result of the officer wanting to take vengeance. These are mostly the unforgiving type and most of them do so under influence of drugs. This happens especially when one of their police officers has been brutalized and so the cops decide to avenge.
These driving factors of unethical practices of police show a distinction between the reasons why police officers may abuse force and why others become corrupt. A police officer may become corrupt out of greed or being in a situation that urgently require money. This is quite different from the factors that lead law enforcement personnel to wrongfully using force. An officer may brutalize a person out of pride or desire to show off or such person may be driven by need to avenge.
According to individual conscience is rooted in an individual religious and moral values and it impacts a sense to be responsible through freely reasoning. Conscience when seen as collective judgment may lead to a loss of law. Conscience will generally involve more of religion and beliefs and not law. Conscience has an element of compulsion, compelling and invokes use of reason (Underkuffler, n.d). This will simply mean that if a police officer will be directed by his individual conscience he will not adhere to the law.
Conscience may hinder a law enforcement officer in cases which will involve religion. This would become quite clear maybe if an officer gets to understand that his religious leader is involved in criminal activities. According to law when an officer is faced with such a scenario, he is supposed to conduct a comprehensive investigation and find out the truth before arresting a culprit. Though this specific officer is supposed to show no partiality in accordance to law enforcement code of ethics, he may be barred by his conscience to conduct investigation. Conscience also will make it hard for a police officer to arrest such people he esteems or even close relatives.
Training of police officers on code of ethics will effectively help officers in their operations in accordance to the law. According to culcom (n.d) a law enforcement officer is supposed to discharge his duties without fear of favor and should not let his or her personal feelings or friendship influence his decisions. This stipulates that a clear understanding of code of ethics, which can be enhanced by training, will aid an officer to achieve this. Training of ethics will also help a police officer to obtain the necessary conduct in his performance of duty. It will help law enforcement officers to overcome judgment that will go against law.
Conscience will involve use of personal judgments and not what law stipulates. A police officer will easily go against the code of ethics if directed by his individual conscience. This is proved in the scenario above where the police officer finds it difficult to arrest a person he or she highly esteems. Through proper training of law enforcement officer regarding adherence to the stipulated code of ethics, the officer may overcome such judgments.