Police integrity in the United States Book Chapter

Ivković, SK, Haberfeld, MR, Peacock, R. (2015). Police integrity in the United States . 295-327. 10.1007/978-1-4939-2279-6_11

cited authors

  • Ivković, SK; Haberfeld, MR; Peacock, R



  • This chapter explores the contours of police integrity in the United States. The 11 local police departments, surveyed across the United States in the period from 2013 to 2014, constitute a convenience sample of a diverse range of police departments, with both large and small municipal agencies and sheriff’s departments. The questionnaire is built around 11 scenarios covering a variety of forms of police misconduct, including police corruption, use of excessive force, planting of evidence, and failure to execute an arrest warrant. After reviewing each scenario, the respondents were asked to report own and others’ evaluation of its seriousness, appropriate and expected discipline, as well as own and others’ willingness to report the misconduct. The respondents evaluated scenarios described in the questionnaire to range in seriousness from the least serious (acceptance of gratuities and verbal abuse of citizens) to the most serious (opportunistic theft, unjustifiable use of deadly force, and official report falsification). Although most of the respondents expected and supported some discipline for all the scenarios described in the questionnaire, they expected police officers to be dismissed from service only for the three most serious scenarios. We also measured the contours of the code of silence and found that the code of silence is far from the flat prohibition of reporting. The code was much stronger for the behaviors evaluated as the least serious and the weakest for the behaviors evaluated as the most serious.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 295

end page

  • 327