What is the political impact of police corruption and abuse? From the literature, we know that police misconduct destroys people's confidence in police forces and hampers public collaboration with the criminal-justice system; but, what about the political regime, especially in countries striving for democratic governance? Does police wrongdoing affect the legitimacy of the overall regime? Focusing on Central America, this article provides empirical evidence showing that corruption and abuse perpetrated by police officers erode public support for the political order. Results indicate that, under some circumstances, police transgressions can have a greater impact on the legitimacy of the political system than crime or insecurity. They also show that police misconduct not only affects democratising regimes, such as El Salvador and Guatemala, but also consolidated democracies, such as Costa Rica.