1st Edition

Police Funding, Dark Money, and the Greedy Institution

By Randy K. Lippert, Kevin Walby Copyright 2022
    246 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Police Funding, Dark Money, and the Greedy Institution is about a pervasive but little-studied phenomenon. Private funding of public police entails private entities sending resources to police through unconventional or hidden channels, sometimes for suspect reasons. The book argues police acquisition of this "dark money" befits the notion of a "greedy institution" that pursues resources beyond ample public funding and needs, and seeks ever more loyal members beyond its traditional boundaries to reproduce itself. The book focuses on private police foundations, corporate sponsorships, and paid detail arrangements primarily in North America, how these funding networks operate and are framed for audiences, and the forms and volumes of capital they generate.

    Based on interviews with police representatives, sponsors, funders, and foundation representatives as well as records from over 100 police departments, this book examines key issues in private funding of public police, including corporatization, accountability, corruption, and the rule of law. It documents and analyzes the troubling explosion of police foundations and sponsors and corporate paid detail brokers unknown to the public as a social and policy issue and a hidden response to the global police defunding movement. The book also considers potential policy responses and community safety alternatives in a more generous society.

    An accessible and compelling read, students and scholars in criminology, criminal justice, law, sociology, political science, anthropology, geography, as well as policymakers, will find this timely book revealing of a neglected, growing area of police practice spanning multiple themes and jurisdictions.

    Introduction: Public Policing’s Greed and Dark Money: Private Sponsorship and Funding of Police in North America  1.Theorizing the Flow of Dark Money in Policing: From Gifts to the Greedy Institution  2.Mapping the Police Funding Terrain: Donors, Sponsors, Foundations, Paid Detail, Forfeiture, and Beyond  3.Glossing Over the Greedy Institution: Views from Inside Police Foundations  4.Corporate-Police Partnerships and the Extension of Greed  5.Shadow Figures: Paid Detail Policing as Private Funding and the New Brokers  6.Framing Dark Money as Community Benefit  7.Controversies and Holes in Private Police Funding Policy  Conclusion: The Future of Private Sponsorship and Funding of Police: Greed to Generosity, Dark Money to Defunding, and Beyond



    Randy K. Lippert is Professor of Criminology at the University of Windsor, Canada.

    Kevin Walby is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Winnipeg, Canada.

    "The private funding of police has been a peripheral issue in criminological scholarship. Lippert and Walby’s fine book shows this to be a mistake. Using a rich dataset born of meticulous investigation, they shine much needed critical light on the dark money animating police operations across North America. It is a highly illuminating and often unsettling read."

    Adam White, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Sheffield

    "In Police Funding, Dark Money, and the Greedy Institution, Lippert and Walby continue their exceptional efforts to push policing scholarship into uncharted research terrain. With all eyes drawn to the public financing of police organizations through the 'defunding' debate, the surreptitious and contaminating expansion of private sponsorship of public policing has been worryingly neglected. Built upon robust investigation that breaches the blue wall and illuminates the dark money flowing into police coffers, this book spotlights the worrying implications of this disreputable public-private exchange within policing. Empirically-rich; methodologically-robust; conceptually-nuanced: this book will be of immense benefit to policing scholars, and indeed many more besides."

    Conor O'Reilly, Professor in Transnational Crime and Security, University of Leeds

    "This meticulous study reveals the pervasive influences of private funding in North American policing. Lippert and Walby are to be commended for uncovering many complex and potentially troubling networks of financial exchange that raise important questions about transparency, neutrality, accountability, and private influence in contemporary public administration."  

    Ian Warren, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Deakin University

    "Lippert and Walby have written a path-breaking book that exposes and makes sense of a deeply consequential trend: dark private money feeding the mass-policing beast. They balance rigorous research findings with incisive theoretical concepts making for an eye-opening and disquieting analysis." 

    Pete Kraska, Professor of Police and Justice Studies, Eastern Kentucky University