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NCJ Number: 181012 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Corruption Among Narcotic Officers: A Study of Innocence and Integrity
Journal: Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:Fall 1999  Pages:1-10
Author(s): Dennis J. Stevens
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This second article in a three-part series examines the factors that tend to foster corruption among narcotic law enforcement officers.
Abstract: To better understand the experiences of narcotic officers, 255 narcotics officers were surveyed. All of the officers were members of the North Carolina Narcotics Law Enforcement Officers Association, and all were sworn law enforcement officers in North Carolina. The questionnaire contained several demographic questions, many closed-ended question, and general questions about respondents' attitudes about their police work. Seventy-six percent (n=194) of the officers reported that they did not trust other narcotic officers with information they had obtained during investigations about drug traders, and over one-half of these 194 officers said they questioned the integrity of the officers. Of the 194 officers who distrusted other officers, over one-third of them questioned the integrity of their top commanders. Sixty-three percent of the officers reported that very often they heard that narcotic officers used more force than necessary to make a narcotics arrest, including the use of deadly force. Twenty-six percent of the officers said that they often heard that other narcotic officers personally consumed and/or sold controlled substances that had been taken from drug traders, abusers, and other officers. Eighty-two percent of the respondents reported that other narcotic officers had violated due process rights of a drug trader or a drug abuser during an investigation and/or while making an arrest. Some methods of due process violations included unlawful entry, illegal searches, long periods of detainment, and threats. Overall, the study concludes that highly idealistic educated narcotic officers (women were better candidates than men) were more likely to become involved in corruption, primarily due to their lack of experience and military training, as well as a strong belief in law and order. Officers committed to furthering the ideals of law and order tended to consider it their duty to punish and get drug offenders and dealers off the streets, even if this involved the use of excessive force and the violation of a suspect's due process rights. Recommendations are that narcotic officers be selected based on their experiences, especially military service. Further research should examine the link between military training and quality narcotic law enforcement service. 2 tables, 25 references, and 7 notes
Main Term(s): Police corruption
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Drug law enforcement; Police Brutality; Police misconduct; Police personnel selection; Professional conduct and ethics
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