General Question

Nuggetmunch's avatar

Is it true that raising pays of the police department could prevent corruption and hence decrease crime rate?

Asked by Nuggetmunch (500points) February 15th, 2020

Or is corruption just a character flaw that is separate from pay scale?

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16 Answers

seawulf575's avatar

There are a great number of corrupt people that make great money. In fact, they tend to get more corrupt as they make more money. If you have an employee stealing from your business and you give them a nice pay raise, do you believe they will suddenly stop stealing? So no, I don’t believe suddenly paying cops a lot more would suddenly stop corruption and decrease crime. But then, I really don’t believe that most cops are corrupt. Maybe a bit naive on my part, but that’s how I see it. There are some, to be sure, but not lots. Now, I do believe that many cops do enjoy the position of power their jobs give them….not the same thing.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Vetting them better is what would make a difference.

elbanditoroso's avatar

More pay doesn’t always mean more honesty. It might help a fraction to pay police more, but not much.

It’s more a matter of respect – if people valued police more, they would likely live up to the honor given.

ragingloli's avatar

No. Violent authoritarian professions naturally attract violent authoritarians. Then they get drunk on power. Making it legal for citizens to kill them, would.

ragingloli's avatar

Coppers want respect, they first need to stop being corrupt, violent, fat thugs.

jca2's avatar

In some areas, cops make large salaries with overtime, plus good benefits and pensions, so low pay is not a problem everywhere.

In the County I work in, an expensive area of the country with high salaries for both public and private employees, cops and correction officers are regularly the highest paid in the County. They make more with overtime than the County Executive and other leaders.

Corruption is a character flew and a well paid person is just as likely to be corrupt as a low paid person.

Poseidon's avatar

Extremely unlikely,

Thankfully over 90% of police are honest and joined the force to protect the public.

Of the very few who are ‘bent coppers’ a pay rise for them will not stop them from taking bribes from criminals. A corrupt policeman will get more money from the criminal than they will from a pay rise.

Added to this if they were given a pay rise it would just increase their money because they would not only get the rise in wages but would still be taking money from crime and criminals.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@elbanditoroso “It’s more a matter of respect – if people valued police more, they would likely live up to the honor given.”

Or maybe it’s the other way around.

snowberry's avatar

My experience with “bad” or “corrupt” police runs about 50/50 good vs bad. Those are not great odds. I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that my needs might be just as well served by knocking on a stranger’s door to ask for help.

Ultimately, it’s a heart issue.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You don’t know if an officer, is not suited for the job, until shit, gets real… I’ve seen it time, and time.
That’s the easy answer.

They can appropriately deal with the situation, or they can get it wrong. Some can be overactive , others can freeze up. I’ve dealt with both…. You just have to see how they react….
It’s not always about corruption.

seawulf575's avatar

I got pulled over one time by a cop that was extremely aggressive, almost angry. She came up basically yelling at me. At one point I got out of the car (with her okay) and she asked if I had any weapons, I told her I had a small pocket knife and reached three fingers into my pocket to get it. She just about pulled her gun and shot me. Her behavior was horrible. At the end of her giving me a ticket, I then laid into her, I wanted her name and badge number as well as the name of her supervisor. I told her how her behavior was extremely inappropriate and caused more problems than it was worth. She stuck out a hip at me, telling me “This is all being recorded!” like that was some sort of threat. I told her I hoped so and that I would demand her supervisor watch or listen to any tapes when she got back.
I called up her station later and got hold of her supervisor. I told him I was less than impressed with the performance of one of his officers. He asked which one and I told him. He asked what happened and I told him from start to finish the tale of her pulling me over. I pointed out that when she first pulled out, she pulled up so closely behind me I couldn’t even see the front of her car in my rear-view mirror. She followed me for about a mile that way. On slimy, slush covered winter Ohio streets, I asked him if he thought that was appropriate, or even a safe act? He agreed it wasn’t. I told him start to finish of her behavior on the stop, her aggression, her calling me a liar, her almost pulling her gun on me. I told him she had told me that she was recording everything like it was some sort of a threat and I suggested he listen to those tapes to see how accurate my report was. I told him that I understood that cops have a tough job…every traffic stop can go south in a hurry…I get it. But this sort of aggression doesn’t make it any easier and, in fact, makes it harder for cops everywhere. I wanted to know what he was going to do about it. He tried telling me she was a very good cop and he had never had any problems with her. I told him that maybe she was just having a bad day, but that the way she performed in the field made me think this was more routine than periodic. I let him decide if “coaching/warning” her or me filing a report on her would be a better path towards getting her straightened out. He, of course, opted for the coaching/warning. And to his credit, he called me up later to let me know he had followed through.
The point of this tale is that there are cops out there that are just angry, for whatever reason. Maybe they are just insecure to start with, maybe they had a fight with their SO before work, maybe they are having financial issues in their private life, maybe they are just arrogant pricks. But there are many good cops out there as well. And I don’t believe that giving them more money would cure any of the anger issues (except possibly the financial worries one). My experience has been that money is a temporary cure. Unless the initial pay is not consistent with comparable pay of other areas, it is nice to get a pay raise, but people forget that and focus on the negatives again soon enough.

SEKA's avatar

I guess it “could”; but it has been my experience that most corrupt people were simply corrupt and additional funds wouldn’t change their personality

Smashley's avatar

I support it. Increasing pay would increase competition for the jobs, and would encourage more people to apply, diversifying the police force, socioeconomically, which should do something for corruption. If you payed them more, we could increase educational and behavioral standards, and hopefully root out those just in it for the power bonus.

dabbler's avatar

It’s relative. There are whole countries where the police are paid next to nothing and routinely demand ‘support’ to get them to do anything. In those places the police are effectively a tool of whoever is in power.

In the U.S. cops tend to be paid at least a reasonable wage but there has been evidence that where it’s on the low end the police have higher rates of corruption than elsewhere. They are involved in more extortion or bribery.

Psychologically, most police have the same profile as crooks except in the measure of ‘social responsibility’ i.e. they think like crooks.

snowberry's avatar

@dabbler Makes sense, and that would explain the behavior that I have seen.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I tend to agree, to an extent. People who never walked the back streets, don’t usually make good LEOs.
You could say, it takes a wolf, to deal with other wolves.

To catch fish, you think like a fish…

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