Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Thomas Gergen


American policing is a unique institution because of the fragmented organization of our law enforcement services. We do not have the national-policing format or structure that is typically used throughout the world. While our fragmentation does provide local political control of the policing mission, it is also this local control that creates some of the problems generating police misconduct.

The history of policing in the United States provides the perspective that is required to evaluate the problems associated with any profession. To understand the past allows us to contemplate how we have arrived at the current state of law enforcement. Numerous examples of police misconduct exist and the publicity provided to these abuses can mislead the reader into believing that misconduct and corruption are pervasive in the law enforcement profession in general. The reality is that a very small percentage of officers engage in these types of activities, yet the result is the tainting of the profession as a whole.

There are numerous factors contributing to the ultimate conduct of officers in the field. Each factor, while individually significant, is not easily isolated from the remaining factors. For the purpose of discussion, an attempt has been made to identify the factors that primarily require the attention of police and political leaders.

Finally, an effort has been made to articulate potential remedies in a summary format, with references back to the discussion material.


Available when logged in with your CSP email address and password.

For users outside of the CSP community, use the "Request Access" button to submit a request for full text.