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MEASURING POLICE CORRUPTION

NCJ Number
46862
Author(s)
J E FISHMAN
Date Published
1978
Length
56 pages
Annotation
RESULTS ARE REPORTED OF A FIELD TEST OF 755 POLICE OFFICERS IN SIX CITIES TO DETERMINE THE VALIDITY OF THE MCCORMACK-FISHMAN POLICE IMPROBITY QUESTIONNAIRE (M-FPIQ) IN MEASURING POLICE CORRUPTION.
Abstract
THE M-FPIQ CONSISTS OF FOUR SECTIONS: SCALE 1 CONSISTS OF EIGHT ITEMS ASKING THE OFFICER TO RANK BEHAVIORS WHICH HE COULD OR COULD NOT JUSTIFY AND IS DESIGNED TO MEASURE THE OFFICER'S PERSONAL INTEGRITY; SCALE 2 IS DESIGNED TO MEASURE THE PERCEIVED DEGREE OF DEPARTMENTAL ENFORCEMENT OF AN ANTICORRUPTION POLICY FOR THE SAME EIGHT BEHAVIORS LISTED IN SCALE 1; SCALE 3 IS DESIGNED TO MEASURE THE DEGREE OF PEER GROUP SOLIDARITY WHICH CAN WORK AGAINST THE REPORTING OF CORRUPT ACTIVITIES BY A FELLOW OFFICER; AND THE FOURTH SECTION CONSISTS OF STATEMENTS DESIGNED TO MEASURE PERCEIVED DEPARTMENTAL CORRUPTION, QUESTIONS RELATED TO POLICE-COMMUNITY ATTITUDES AND RATIONALIZATIONS OF POLICE CORRUPTION, AND QUESTIONS ELICITING DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION. IN THIS STUDY, PRETESTING TOOK PLACE AT REGULARLY SCHEDULED POLICE ROLLCALLS. TO EXAMINE THE VALIDITY OF THE M-FPIQ, RESULTS FOR THE SIX DEPARTMENTS WERE COMPARED WITH PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THE DEPARTMENTS BY THE ADVISORY BOARD OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION MANAGEMENT PROJECT, ASSESSMENT OF DEPARTMENTAL CORRUPTION LEVELS BY A PANEL OF EXPERTS, AN ANALYSIS OF DEPARTMENTAL RECORDS, A 2-YEAR SURVEY OF RELEVENT NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, AND INDEPTH INTERVIEWS WITH DEPARTMENTAL OFFICIALS AND PATROLMEN. A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF QUESTIONNAIRE DATA SUPPORTED THE VALIDITY OF A LARGE PORTION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE, AND ALL THREE SCALES OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE SIGNIFICANTLY DISCRIMINATED CORRUPT FROM NONCORRUPT DEPARTMENTS. FROM THE FIELD TESTS IS WAS FOUND THAT OFFICERS IN CORRUPT DEPARTMENTS JUSTIFY MORE UNETHICAL BEHAVIORS AND PERCEIVE A LESSER DEGREE OF DEPARTMENTAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST A WIDER VARIETY OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIORS THAN DO OFFICERS IN NONCORRUPT DEPARTMENTS. OFFICERS IN CORRUPT DEPARTMENTS IN CORRUPT PRACTICES. POLICE DEPARTMENTS WITH A CORRUPTION PROBLEM HAVE A LARGER PERCENTAGE OF OFFICERS WHO FEEL THAT DEPARTMENTAL ANTICORRUPTION POLICY IS UNCLEAR THAN DO NONCORRUPT DEPARTMENTS; AND WHILE OFFICERS IN CORRUPT DEPARTMENTS GIVE LOW ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT CORRUPTION, THOSE IN NONCORRUPT DEPARTMENTS GIVE EVEN LOWER ESTIMATES. REPLICATION OF THE STUDY AND FURTHER RESEARCH INTO ADDITIONAL VARIABLES IS RECOMMENDED. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE M-FPIQ CAN AID THE POLICE ADMINISTRATOR IN THE ASSESSMENT OF A DEPARTMENT'S ETHICAL CLIMATE. QUESTIONNAIRE ITEMS, EXTENSIVE STATISTICAL DATA, AND REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (JAP)