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Policing the Police (From Police and Policing: Contemporary Issues, P 169-180, 1989, Dennis Jay Kenney, ed. -- See NCJ-121271)

NCJ Number
R Blecker
Date Published
12 pages
The Constitutional form of government in the United States requires continuing attention to avoiding expansion of government power at the expense of people's liberty and to police the police to restrain them from overzealousness.
The founders of our government feared not only that the executive would seize power, but also that they would sell it. The recent history of police corruption in New York City has shown that this has sometimes been the case. Undercover operations have successfully exposed police corruption and have also shown the need to avoid entrapment. In addition, several judicial decisions have demonstrated the importance that courts attach to the issue of the defendant's predisposition to commit a particular type of crime. Finally, consideration of policing the police involves the paradox of using simulated criminality to catch criminals. Such a process corrupts the undercover agents involved, the prosecutors, and ultimately the citizenry and reflects the conflicting needs to promote trust while remaining suspicious and preserving government. 12 references.


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