Most criminal justice agencies have some version of an internal affairs (IA) department. Hollywood has long portrayed IA as the enemy, investigating and looking to reprimand their own brothers and sisters in law enforcement, corrections, and the courts. Personnel who talk or report issues to IA are often characterized as rats or snitches, and there is said to be an unwritten rule known as the blue wall of silence.
Do you believe IA should be as concerned with the law enforcement officer who fails to report a known ethics violation versus the person suspected of the ethics violation? Should they (if proven to be guilty) both be reprimanded? Explain your position.
REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S POST. EXPLAINING WHY YOU AGREE WITH HIS POST TO THE ABOVE DISCUSSION (A MINIMUM OF 150 WORDS EACH)
I find this topic interesting because I was recently selected to go to Internal Affairs at my Agency, while I agree that Hollywood gives a very narrow view of Internal affairs, reality is much different.
Internal affairs investigate far more than alleged criminal violations, it is responsible for investigating all manners of ethical violations and fraud as well. It also handles all the public accusations or complaints against officers. An example would be timecard fraud which has been an ethical violation, where an officer claim more time for pay or comp time than they actually serve, this can be a difficult area to investigate due to rules which allow officers to claim stand by time for things sucks as court appearances, which make it hard to prove or disprove an allegation.
Yes, IA does investigate criminal activities of law enforcement officers, but these are actually a very small part of their duties. Also, snitches as they are referred as are another issue brought about by Hollywood. An officer has an inherent duty to report ethical violations as well as any other violations that a fellow officer might commit. if an officer fails to report an ethical violation they are just as guilty as the officer who committed the act. This complacency allows greater violations to occur as this becomes a deviated norm. Each time you allow a violation to go unpunished it shows that this is allowable, that it then deviates from the normal rules and regulations, which allows this new deviance to become the new normal operating policy.
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