Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

Document Type



This essay examines the criminological conceptualizations and research on police crime, that is, the criminal behavior of sworn law enforcement officers. It starts with an overview of the conceptualization of police crime as it relates to organizational and scholarly perspectives of social deviance. Police deviance is often conceptualized to include various misconduct, corruption, and/or crime committed by police organizations and police officers. This essay focuses on police crime resulting in the arrest of a sworn law enforcement officer and is organized within a conceptual framework that incorporates five types of police crime: sex-related police crime, alcohol-related police crime, drug-related police crime, violence-related police crime, and profit-motivated police crime.

Publisher's Statement

This project was supported by Award No. 2011-IJ-CX-0024, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

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Publication Title

Sociology Compass