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 of

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 flourish.
"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
Copyright © 2015  Barry M. Baker  
Police and

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