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Enhancing Police Integrity

NCJ Number
Carl B. Klockars Ph.D.
Date Published
January 1999
0 pages
This is a description of surveys of police agencies regarding police integrity and police corruption.
For purposes of these studies, police integrity was defined as “the normative inclination among police to resist temptations to abuse the rights and privileges of their office.” The studies were concerned primarily with organizational, as opposed to personal, corruption, i.e., they attempted to determine whether the agencies surveyed created an organizational environment/occupational culture intolerant of corruption. The first survey examined 30 U.S. police agencies--approximately 30,000 officers, and asked: (1) Did the officers know the rules of their agency regarding corruption? (2) Did they support those rules? (3) Did they understand the disciplinary threat for violating the rules? (4) Did they regard the threat as fair? and (5) Were they willing to report violations? The officers were asked to consider those questions and several others with regard to 11 test scenarios. The three police departments that scored highest on an integrity scale participated in a second survey where the scenarios emphasized corruption connected not so much with personal gain as with other factors, e.g., to protect a friend, misuse of deadly force and improper behavior toward a civilian. The presentation was followed by a question and answer period.