You're entering your police career during a time of change never before experienced by past generations of police
officers. In the late 1960's and early 70's, police departments underwent major reforms. Departments were modernized,
and organizational systems were well conceived and implemented. Police departments attained levels of efficiency and
accountability that had never previously existed.
Today…police departments are more politicized than ever before...and that's going some. Police chiefs, and their
obsequious minions, are more interested in their self composed resumes describing their numerous grand
accomplishments and areas of expertise. One need only divide the accomplishments and expertise by years of service to
realize that most resumes are simply autobiographical self delusions. To be fair…not all police chiefs and those high
ranking minions are political hacks. After all, nothing is ever one hundred percent.
As a young person, you're not going to have a lot of patience. You're going to want to move as fast as you can as far as
you can. It's always been that way, but things like seniority and actual requirements for experience use to temper the
overly ambitious, ensure continuity, and keep change within manageable boundaries.
When a police department's foremost concern is continuity and adherence to well organized systems of control, change
can occur at a reasonable and rational pace without wrecking continuity and those all important systems of control.
When change gets out of control, continuity is lost, and systems are ignored. Think of continuity and systems as a
department's immune system. For a human being, once the immune system is damaged, the body is susceptible to any
number of diseases. For a police department, a damaged immune system results in its susceptibility to numerous forms
When you hear a police chief invoke the phrase, "thinking out of the box," stay as far away from that police department
as possible. The chief could be simply parroting the phrase, because it's popular these days. However, if "thinking out of
the box" is a philosophical center piece of that police department, you can be certain that the department is either
operating in an environment of confusion or well on its way.
Once a police department is overly infected by politics — politics has always been a destabilizing factor — destabilization
will occur at a rapid rate. You'll see frequent personnel reassignments within the command structure and throughout
the department; constant implementations of "new ideas and initiatives;" slavish adherence to current politically correct
thought as it pertains to anything and everything, and a general decline in competent supervision at all levels.
When it gets to the point where everybody is just making it up as they go along, corruption, in every imaginable form,
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When the subject of police corruption comes up, most people think about crooked cops taking bribes to protect drug
dealers, or cops accepting, or demanding, sexual favors from female suspects. While these two examples certainly are
forms of police corruption, they're only the result of a more profound and systemic cycle of corruption that emanates
from the top down.