The slippery slope is a belief or an assertion by a person that occurrence of a particular event inevitably means that another event of a particular nature will follow. There is no viable explanation however as to the inevitability of the consequent event. Scholars believe that such kind of argument is not only misleading but also fallacious as there is no concrete reason given to explain the inevitability of the consequent act due to the occurrence of the initial act. (Chall, L. P. 1952)
A good example of fallacious slippery slope is to claim that since person A has been knocked down by a vehicle at some point of the road, then it inevitably follows that any other person who passes at that very point of the road must also be knocked down by a vehicle. This is fallacious because there is no concrete evidence to back up the claims. As much as some of the slippery claims may be valid there must be justification in order to prevent the reasoning from being termed as fallacious.
For instance it may be a valid and correct claim to state that now that there are rains, floods must follow. However, justification to this claim is required because not every rainy season causes floods. Slippery slope is therefore based on the principle that if a man is capable of doing a particular thing then automatically he is capable of doing another and much more. Therefore it is the chain of events from one to another that has brought the phrase slippery slope so that it is assumed that occurrence of event A slips to event B and event B slips to event C and the chain of events continue.
It must therefore be understood that for the slippery slope theory to stand ground, evidential proof is required to justify the connection between one and another. Lack of this justification makes the slippery slope theory fallacious. (Chall, L. P. 1952) Delattre classified police officers into four major categories. He classified them as the bad, uncontrolled, self controlled and excellent (Edwin J. D. 2002). A police officer with bad character is one who does not adhere to the professional code of ethics while implementing his duties.
He equally does not adhere to the various provisions of the law that governs his job type. In fact some scholars say that a police officer of bad character is actually equated to a criminal as he is seen as one who uses his position for the wrong purpose. They take advantage of the trust bestowed on them to deny members of public their rights and instead exploit and harass them. For instances a police officer who is posing as one taking patrols but then mugs the same people that he should be protecting then outright he is a criminal.
Equally a police officer pretending to help accident victims but in fact pick pockets them and walks away with their valuables is of bad character and is ranked in the same level as a criminal. (Perez, W. 2002) On the other hand a police officer who is uncontrolled has some professionalism in him. He recognizes that there exists a professional code of ethics but is not very careful to strictly adhere to the code of ethics very strictly. He therefore practices only a little of what he is required of him and much of what he does is in contravention of his professional code of ethics and the laws and provisions governing his type of job.
They can be simply described as those who carry out their duties only when it is convenient for them to do so. They are therefore not committed to their jobs and a little hardship or inconvenience will make them neglect their jobs. Such officers always seem good at their job but always contravene ethics at least once in a while. For instance an uncontrolled police officer will accept a bribe in order to destroy or hide a file of an accused person so that the case is terminated indefinitely. (Perez, W. 2002)
A self controlled police officers as the name suggests is one who is contained, calm, knows what is required of and actually does what is required of him by the professional code of ethics. However, this officer may with time find himself veering off maybe sometimes to break monotony and this way he contravenes what is expected of him. The only problem with such an officer is that due to his experience in his job, he may be aware of some of the means in which criminals engage in their criminal activities without necessarily accounting for it.
He may therefore be tempted to do so himself although he may eventually come back to his right sense and cease to do that which is unethical. (Perez, W. 2002) A police officer of excellent character has all the code of ethics at his fingertips and does virtually everything required of him. They have self-limit and cannot engage in what is unprofessional. They act in conformity with the laid rules and regulations and will not compromise for anything. A good example would be that of an officer who turns down an offer of bribe and instead takes in a criminal to account for their mistakes.
Theories on public corruption have offered various hypothesis. They include the society at large hypothesis, the structural or affiliation hypothesis and the rotten apple hypothesis. The society or large hypothesis that was offered by O. W Wilson backed the assertion that the society was actually accountable and responsible for the corrupt nature of public servants, the police department included. In his argument Wilson claimed that the corruption witnessed in the public service was because the society actually made it a habit to bribe the police officers in order to have their services.
With time, this became a habit such that a police officer could actually not render any services without the bribe as they already got accustomed to the habit. Wilson’s argument therefore is that the public at large plays a very contributory and instrumental role in promoting prevalence of corruption among the public servants. The structural or affiliation hypothesis on the other hand asserts that leaders or those in the forefront ought to lead by example. It in essence means that lack of control of departmental affairs by their respective heads may be means in which corruption is cultivated.
A metaphorical blue wall of protection is always used to refer to public servants who cover up and hide corrupt dealings conducted by others in their full knowledge. Such tolerance basically means that in essence corruption is tolerated and will definitely thrive. The rotten apple hypothesis asserts that some people’s behavior is simply incorrigible. Some people may have had a very negative environmental exposure probably during their childhood. This may then culminate to criminal behavior later in life.
This hypothesis therefore advances the argument that a person’s exposure has a direct effect on their behavior and habits. The assertion from this hypothesis therefore is that a person who was exposed to a negative environment like drugs and crime in general must carry on that behavior later in their lives. Given the position of the chief of police in a municipality where there is rampant police corruption, I would look into various areas and put certain measures to ensure that corruption is eliminated and curbed by all means so that it becomes a thing of the past.
I am of the opinion that the first step in solving any kind of problem is to find out the root cause of the problem. I would therefore first and foremost find out the causes of rampant corruption among the police. The first thing to evaluate is their salaries and wages. It is of utmost important for employed workers to get satisfied with the return they get at the workplace. Lack of satisfaction in terms of salaries, wages and allowances may be one of the major causes of corruption.
I would therefore talk to the people responsible in order to have the wages and salaries of the police officers increased reasonably in order to satisfy them. Another important aspect that should not be ignored is that of availability of social amenities. These among others include housing, food, sanitation, clothing and the general environment that they live in. I would therefore look into each one of these and ensure that all is available to ensure that the officers are comfortable at work (Edwin J. D. 2002)
Having looked at the above I would then put measures to keep all the officers in check. The measures would be very stern and strict to ensure that no officer contravenes the laid down rules pertaining corruption. These measures would basically be disciplinary in nature so that no officer risk in engaging in the vice. Such disciplinary action would include dismissal from work, indefinite suspension or even demotion of senior. (Edwin J. D. 2002) I would also make sure to link with members of the society who would report cases of corruption by the officers to me.
Having put all these measures in place would actually ensure that one time municipality where corruption was rampant is now corruption free for a better and fair society. (Delta, 1961) References Chall, L. P. (1952). Sociological Abstracts. Chicago. University of Chicago. Edwin J. D. (2002). Character and Cops: Ethics in policing London American Enterprise Institute Delta, A. K. (1961). Sociological Inquiry. London. University of Texas. Perez D. W. (2002). Police Ethics: A matter of Character. New York, Copper house Pub. Co.