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

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 of corruption.

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, will
"When change gets out of control,
continuity is lost, and systems are
ignored." ~ Barry M. Baker
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.
Copyright © 2015  Barry M. Baker
Police and