How the game is played

The brilliant fictional detective has no time for the higher ups and their preoccupation with budgets, performance targets and the media. They get the job done despite the system, they have no career ambitions, they hate the politics and they think the service isn't what it use to be. They don't play the game, they don't get the promotions their experience  and ability warrant, they end up sidelined or forced out. What makes you think this is fiction or just restricted to the police force? 

To succeed you need to know how the game is played. 

Questions of justice and fairness are only relevant between those with an equal power to enforce them.
The only question of relevance is self preservation and that involves not openly resisting those who are far stronger than you.

Do not rock the boat
Loyalty to your boss is expected to your organisation required 
The reputation of the organisation must be protected

It is not the done thing to criticise a fellow officer to members.
This rule does not apply to private conversations.
Gossip is useful, gossiping isn't gossiping if it is putting your boss in the picture.
Tell the boss what they want to here let some one else tell the boss what they don't want to hear. 
Always present the service/department/organisation in the best possible light.
Be confident and certain even when you're not.
Of course their is a blame culture so cover your back .
People like and promote people who are like them, be like them.

Be agreeable 
Do favours 
Dress appropriately 

This is not intend to be cynical but experience and ability on their own are not enough. You can get away with the occasional transgression but if you can 't be " trusted" you won't go far.
You can of course be a maverick and not play by their rules as long as you are very good at what you do and have no career ambitions.

Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger