Police officers are assigned to serve and protect. They put their lives on the line each day in order to help ensure the safety of ordinary citizens. They also enforce the law. Sadly, if you listen to the news, there are more and more reports of police corruption. But, what would cause police officers who have vowed to protect the law to lose their integrity and become criminals themselves?
Being a police officer is extremely stressful. This stress can adversely affect their personal lives as well as their careers. Police officers have one of the highest rates of suicide and divorce in the nation. They also tend to drink more heavily than people in other professions. Police officers are expected to maintain high standards of conduct while dealing with criminals who do not respect them or the law. The constant exposure to stress can cause a police officer to make poor decisions and lose their integrity.
Long work hours
Many police officers work long hours. As a result, they miss out on valuable family time. It is not uncommon for an officer to say that they spend more time with their partner than they do with their families. The long hours and constant stress can cause an officer to lose focus.
Despite the long hours and the stress of the job, police officers are not paid well. They make far less than other professions. The average pay for a police officer is between $30,000 to $60,000 dollars a year. This is decent money. However, police officers will never make as much money that many of the criminals that they pursue do. As a result, some police officers find the temptation to cross the line too much especially when faced with their own financial woes.
Lose of sensitivity
Officers are constantly exposed to violence and death. In order to survive, they become numb to the cruelty and misery that is a part of their jobs. They often lose the ability to empathize with others. It is easy for them to forget the reason that they became police officers in the first place. The line between right and wrong become blurred.
There is just something about having a badge and a uniform that gives some people a sense of power and control. Police officers have the power to alter the lives of ordinary citizens. This type of power can produce an unforgettable adrenaline rush. Sadly, some officers abuse their power. As the old saying goes, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
Sense of hopelessness
There is something disheartening about seeing pain and desperation on a daily basis. And, that’s exactly what police officers deal with each time they head out on patrol. It may seem that no matter how hard they work, they just can’t seem to make a difference. This sense of hopelessness can cause some officers to lose their integrity.
Some officers are under pressure to meet a certain quota. This means that they are required to write a certain number of tickets or face unpleasant consequences. As a result, they feel pressured to write tickets for trivial matters or even falsify documents.
Being a police officer is a dangerous and stressful job. The long hours, low pay, and the constant exposure to death and violence can cause some police officers to lose their integrity.