Police Deviance and Accountability in Popular Culture

Posted: March 2, 2015 by gurpalmann21 in Uncategorized

Chicago PD is a very famous show that has made its way to the top by showing a different side to policing the “dirty side”. The show is an action packed with suspense and emotions. From murders to sexual assaults it has everything. “Chicago P.D.” is a riveting police drama about the men and women of the Chicago Police Department’s elite Intelligence Unit, combating the city’s most heinous offenses – organized crime, drug trafficking, high-profile murders and beyond.(NBC) It may show that policing can be seen as a glamor job. But it doesn’t show that hardship police officers go through in their every day life. The effects of working 12 hours shifts, or the effects stress can take upon someone with a family. Constantly thinking of your family and work, and how the job may take over a police officer life and ruin his/her relationship with there family.

Under the Knapp Commission Typology, Sergeant Voight falls under the category of a meat eater:

‘Proactive carnivores’ in search of graft. Meat-Eaters sought out opportunities to exchange police authority for some form of benefit. “The meat-eaters are different. They’re out looking. They’re on a pad with gamblers, they deal in junk, or they’d compromise a homicide investigate for money”. Punch, M. (2009). This type of typology shows the viewers that police will do anything for there own mere ego. Also how a person can stray away from his values and responsibilities by making the wrong decisions.

Under Punch’s Classification of Officer Types Sergeant Hank Voight would fall under the “Dirty Harrys / Noble Causers:” Named after the classic Clint Eastwood character, these officers are committed to the ends of policing, but willing to employ unorthodox and deviant methods to ‘get results’ Punch, M. (2009). Voight and his team use techniques that are not very friendly to get results. They do what every is necessary to reach there end goal, which is to put criminal behind bars and make the streets of Chicago safer.

We are bombarded with crime all over social media. From newspapers, to novels, television, and the Internet all these sources of information involve crime and justice issues. The perception that television shows instill in society just further highlights the importance of studying crime, justice, and the media. It further elaborates on the forced marriage between media and criminal justice. This has an effect on the criminal justice policy as policies are named for individuals. They usually are for victims. An example would be Megan’s Law and Amber Alerts or the Three Strikes and You’re Out legislation. Secondary reasons for studying the media are related to copycat crimes, and then coverage of crime in the media. However, the most significant issue how we spend our taxes and who and what we criminalize. The exposure to media the public is exposed to is enormous and the information we receive is seen as ‘more entertaining and enjoyable’. This in turn corrodes our perception of reality as the media exploits this. In addition, the looping media content is important because events and information are recycled in the media and into culture and courtroom events. People no longer can distinguish between what events are real and what events are fictional. Yet people still turn to the media to reduce violence and drug use and give the criminal justice system a boost. Also, the image that police officers portray has a profound effect on what society thinks of police officers. All the negative aspects of policing; shift work, stress, and sometimes even PTSD is ignored. The car chases, bribes, and shootouts are portrayed.


Punch, M. (2009). What is Corruption? In Police Corruption: Deviance, Accountability and Reform in Policing (pp. 18–52).

Chicago PD. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://www.nbc.com/chicago-pd/about


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