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Essay on Police Subculture

Essays, Essays on Policing

Essay on Police Subculture

Police subculture consists of the occupational culture that is shared among the police officers.  It is the subculture that shapes the attitude among many police officers which makes them cynical, isolated, defensive, alienated, distrustful, dogmatic and authoritarian.  This sub-culture, however, conflicts with the culture that the police department seeks to portray to the public. Oftentimes, it is the police subculture that is being blamed for the various transgressions of police officers (Christopher Cooper, 2000, p.1).

However, there are some changes in today’s society that cause many people to think that the police subculture is starting to break down.  One of the reasons for this is the increasing diversity in many police force (Joycelyn M. Pollock, 2010, p. 196).  In the past, the police force is mainly homogenous because of the implicitly policy in many police departments to hire only male or applicants coming from a particular race.  However, nowadays, the police departments are very diverse.  In view of the fact that police departments have opened up to different applicants, it is now common to see women police officers, Hispanic police officers, Asian police officers and African-American police officers.  These police officers bring to the police department new attitudes, beliefs and motivations helping pave the way to a more culturally diverse police force.

Moreover, in the past, it has become part of police subculture to cover each other up.  Because of the kind of training police officers receive before they become full-pledged police officers, they oftentimes see each others as brothers whom they need to protect at all time.  This attitude has led to many police officers covering for each other’s mistakes or violations of law.  However, nowadays, police departments no longer tolerate abuse by many police officers (Joycelyn M. Pollock, 2010, p. 196).   There is now a policy that it is not only the person who is responsible for violation that may be punished but even the police officers who had knowledge of the violation but failed to report the same to the officers.

These two factors – the increasing diversity and the strict policy – are the primary reasons why many people think that the police subculture is starting to break down.

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