You are in a special warrants unit in a major metropolitan area that specifically goes after street crime suspects with violent tendencies and histories of resisting arrest by the police. You are new to the unit but have come from a very professionally run narcotics operation in which your previous team dealt with extremely violent offenders. The unit is made up of plainclothes patrol officers who carry silver badges and seasoned violent crimes detectives who carry gold badges. The badges are mounted in the outside of the police ID wallet and flip open when swung with the hand.
After about 3 weeks with the unit, you notice that everyone arrested by the unit has a welt on their forehead. You are tasked with taking a prisoner to the jail cell, and you get a close look at the welt, which reflects an obverse seal from the silver badge of the attached patrol personnel. When depositing the prisoner into the holding cell, you see another suspect who had been arrested earlier. He bears the welt reflecting the obverse seal of the gold badges of the detectives. You ask the prisoner you are placing in the cell how he got the welt, and he tells you that after he was handcuffed, one of the officers smacked him in the head with his badge and simply said, “Silver.” Upon returning to the office, you ask the supervisor about the welts on the prisoners. He laughs and says it is a competition between the silver badges and gold. Whichever group marks the most prisoners with their badge seal does not have to pay for any drinks at the off-duty party at the end of the month.
Note: This scenario is based on an actual antic of a narcotics unit operating in the late 1970s.
Address the following:
Is this behavior in any way acceptable in a law enforcement agency? Why or why not?
Why might these officers be engaging in this type of activity? Explain in details
Regarding the use of this activity as a coping strategy, what do you think are at least 2 potential negative outcomes of this behavior? Explain.
Disclose your feelings about this activity from a moral and legal standpoint.
How do you think these officers could be approached through proper negotiation to successfully moderate their interpersonal discord? Explain in detail.