Ethics in Lawenforcement

Topics: Police, Ethics, Illegal drug trade Pages: 1 (313 words) Published: November 22, 2013
Ethics in law enforcement involves standards of fair and honest conduct, the ability to recognize right from wrong and actions that are good and proper. There are absolute ethics and relative ethics. Ethical issues in policing have been affected by three critical factors 1) growing level of temptation stemming from illicit drug trade, 2) potentially compromising nature of the organization – a culture that can exalt loyalty over integrity, with “code of silence” that protects unethical employees, and 3) challenges posed by decentralization through the advent of community-oriented policing and problem solving. The different ethical problems in law enforcement including behaviors are: 1) deviant lying refers to officers committing perjury to convict suspects or being deceptive about some activity that is illegal or unacceptable to the department or the public in general, 2) gratuities are commonly accepted by police officers as part of their job, but some departments prohibit such gifts and discounts but seldom attempt to enforce any relevant policy, 3) greed and temptation excepting and accepting larger gratuities and bribes or “shakedowns” are about greed (perhaps viewed as entitlement). When police officers act in unethical ways, it reduces the amount of trust that the public has for the police and the law enforcement system in general. Officers who lie and engage in other unethical behaviors endanger themselves and their agencies, exposing themselves and others to criminal and civil liability, as well as community ridicule and outrage. Police attorneys and police managers alike must continue to educate from within concerning the legal and practical consequences of failing to aggressively address officers with integrity issues. Every effort must be made to assist with the education of outside boards, preparation and presentation of discipline cases and appeals, and drafting of legislation to strengthen state disciplinary boards to act as needed. Proper agency...
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