Police ethics and values pdf

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police ethics and values pdf

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Police Ethics and Integrity

Frederic G. The topic of ethics has always been a central feature in police academy training. Recruits throughout the ages have been introduced to core values of the law enforcement profession, including duty, honor, loyalty, public order, justice, protection, and integrity.

Also, in , community leaders, police chiefs, and officers met in Washington, DC, at the National Symposium on Police Integrity to address ethics issues. The symposium recommended a national workshop facilitated by representatives from law enforcement leadership programs develop an ethics curriculum for training programs for both pre-service recruits and in-service officers.

Over time, ethics trainings in some, but not all, police academies have become more sophisticated and nuanced, reflecting the remarkable growth of the broader discipline of what has become known as professional ethics, applied ethics, or practical ethics.

The field of professional ethics, which has transformed ethics education in all professions, emerged as a distinct entity in the s and has matured significantly since then. It is essential for ethics training in police academies to keep pace with this rapidly expanding knowledge and pedagogy. In the early s, the Hastings Center embarked on the first comprehensive effort to promote ethics education throughout the professions. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a group of 20 ethics experts including one of the authors met for two years — to identify compelling ethical issues in various professions and design curricula to be taught in professional education programs.

Since then, ethics education in the professions has burgeoned and matured. Ethics education has moved far beyond abstract discourse about luminaries such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Bentham, Mill, and Kant to include fine-grained, conceptually rich and rigorous analysis of ethical challenges that professionals encounter in the proverbial trenches.

Beginning with these early efforts, considerable consensus has emerged among ethics educators about the principal goals of ethics education. Stimulate the moral imagination. Policing requires strict adherence to complex rules and protocols related to core elements of the profession including patrol procedures, investigations, report writing, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, firearm skills, use of force, stress management, human behavior, cultural diversity, and legal guidelines, among others.

In regard to ethics, typical curriculum content on ethics and professional conduct must include straightforward guidelines on what to do and not do e. However, to be deeply meaningful, ethics education must move far beyond obvious black-and-white issues to explore complex moral challenges that include gray areas. The academy is the ideal place for future officers to awaken their moral imagination as they anticipate complex, and quite possibly controversial, choices they might need to make.

As bioethics pioneer Daniel Callahan observes,. Recognize ethical issues. In other instances, officers simply failed to recognize the ethical issues involved. Ample empirical research demonstrates that people who are otherwise astute and perceptive, including police officers, sometimes overlook seemingly obvious phenomena.

The best-known research has been conducted by psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. In a remarkable series of imaginative, precedent-setting studies, Chabris and Simons demonstrated how easy it is to look right past compelling evidence and how important it is to cultivate keen awareness. In the middle of the video, a woman wearing a gorilla costume walks into the scene, stops, faces the camera, thumps her chest, and walks off.

Remarkably, half the subjects watching the video did not see the gorilla. Some subjects accused the experimenters of switching the videos. These results have been replicated many times. Develop analytical skills. Ethical analysis does not come naturally to everyone, and police recruits are no exception.

For many, it is an acquired skill that can be enhanced through rigorous, conceptually oriented, and in-depth instruction. One of the fruitful byproducts of the emergence of the professional ethics field has been the impressive evolution of pedagogical tools to teach ethics-related analysis. Instead, skilled ethics instruction in the academy includes a wide range of engaging pedagogical approaches designed for adult learners. Also, instructors can present the class with videos that enact realistic simulations requiring ethical decisions and facilitate discussion of various options at various points in the scenarios.

Such case studies and videos might focus on difficult moral choices related to lying to suspects, falsifying reports, intervening with an impaired officer, and reporting corruption, among others. Elicit a sense of moral obligation and personal responsibility. If ethics training in the police academy is to be effective, it must move beyond abstruse concepts that have little direct application to policing.

Rather, a key goal of training must be to make ethics deeply personal and relevant. Develop the ability to respond to ethical controversy and ambiguity.

Inevitably, police officers find themselves facing morally ambiguous dilemmas. When, if ever, is it permissible for police officers to lie to suspects during an investigation in order to acquire much needed evidence? How should a conscientious officer respond when he or she encounters blatant corruption in the ranks? Toward these ends, ethics training in the police academy should include three major components.

The nature of ethical dilemmas in law enforcement. Ethical dilemmas occur when professionals encounter conflicting duties and obligations. Each option came with potential peril. Common ethical dilemmas in policing are well known. Ethical analysis and decision-making. Ethical decision-making protocols and frameworks have matured significantly since the advent of the professional ethics field in the s.

For example, classic ethical theory distinguishes between what is known as deontological and teleological perspectives. Thus, a deontologist might argue that telling the truth is inherently right, in a moral sense, and that a police officer should never lie or use deception during an investigation, even if it appears that lying might yield valuable results. For deontologists, rules, rights, and principles are sacred and inviolable. The ends do not necessarily justify the means, particularly if they require violating some important rule, regulation, right, principle, or law.

From this point of view, the rightness of any action is determined by the goodness of its consequences. Therefore, from this perspective, police officers should weigh the potential benefits and costs of, for example, using deception during investigations and complying with questionable rules, regulations, and orders.

According to the classic teleological school of thought known as utilitarianism, when faced with conflicting moral duties, one should do that which will produce the greatest good. In principle, then, a police officer who considers lying to suspects, for example, should engage in a careful calculus to determine whether such deception will produce the greatest good.

Thus, when faced with ethical decisions, police officers who embrace a deontological view may reach a very different conclusion than police officers who adopt a teleological or utilitarian view. In addition to acquainting police academy recruits with the implications of core ethical theories, it is important to teach them about other critically important components of ethical decision-making.

These include consulting with colleagues and superior officers; relevant police department regulations; federal and state laws; and, when appropriate, legal counsel. Some law enforcement agencies have developed relationships with trained ethicists for consultation purposes.

The concept of ethics consultation was introduced initially in the health care field in the s, when the bioethics field began to flourish. An ethics consultant is a trained expert who provides case-specific ethics consultations and may also consult on ethics-related policy development and provide ethics education.

Law enforcement agencies can use ethics consultants to sort through ethical challenges—both case-specific and broader policy issues—that are unique to policing. Ethics risk management. Comprehensive ethics instruction should include discussion of negligence theory, including concepts of standard of care related to ethics, misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance.

Recruits should understand how their ethical judgments will be measured against prevailing standards of care in law enforcement, defined as the degree of attentiveness, caution, and prudence that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would exercise. Failure to meet the standard is negligence, and the person who fails to meet the standard can be found liable for any damages caused by such negligence. Police professionals can violate the standard of care in several ways with regard to their ethical conduct and judgments.

Examples include flawed informed consent to search procedures or inadvertent disclosure of confidential information. Malfeasance occurs when police personnel commit a wrongful or unlawful act. Examples include accepting a bribe, stealing evidence for example, money or drugs from a suspect for personal use, lying under oath, fabricating evidence for self-serving purposes, or knowingly including false details in a police report.

In contrast, acts of nonfeasance or omission occur when police personnel fail to carry out a duty that they are ordinarily expected to carry out in accordance with law enforcement standards of care. Impairment can be defined as. Extensive research on impaired police officers and other professionals suggests that impairment often manifests itself in the form of poor moral judgment, misconduct, mental illness, and addiction.

Research evidence suggests that common causes of impairment in law enforcement include job stress both acute and chronic ; illness or death of a family member; marital and relationship conflict; parenting stress; addiction substance, gambling, sex ; financial problems; mental illness; physical illness; legal problems; workplace disputes; low morale; burnout; and media scrutiny. It is important for recruits to hear real-life vignettes of officers whose ethical misconduct had dire consequences.

Acquainting recruits with ways to seek assistance with significant stressors in their lives is essential to preventing moral lapses. Typical EAP services include stress management, individual and family counseling, addiction counseling, peer support, and anger management counseling. To enhance its effectiveness, comprehensive ethics training in the academy should draw on state-of-the-art teaching protocols.

Ideally, ethics training includes ample opportunities for lively discussion; this, however, can be a challenge in training academies where the norm is for recruits to listen carefully to lectures, take notes, and perhaps ask occasional questions.

In sharp contrast, discussion of complex ethical dilemmas and challenges requires a vibrant exchange of ideas and a willingness for recruits to express opinions. Understandably, some recruits may be reluctant to express candid views on controversial ethical issues. Thus, instructors must do their best to encourage frankness. Often this is more likely to occur in small-group discussions, where recruits may feel safer. In addition to presenting key ethics concepts, ethics instruction should include challenging case studies that raise complex moral questions and choices.

It is vitally important that ethics instructors be trained in professional ethics and familiar with law enforcement culture. This can be a challenging combination to find. Only some academy instructors have received formal ethics education, and few ethics experts have been immersed in law enforcement. This collaboration requires considerable effort and discipline, but it is an approach that has been used successfully when teaching ethics in a wide range of professional schools for example, schools of medicine, law, nursing, business, dentistry, journalism, and social work.

The instruction of police ethics has come of age. What was once a relatively superficial component of police training has developed into a conceptually rich and complex subject that requires in-depth coverage in the academy and beyond. It is now well known that modern policing poses both acute and chronic ethical challenges and daunting circumstances that require sound moral judgment.

Such efforts can go a long way toward strengthening the integrity of law enforcement agencies and officers and bending the arc of policing toward the kind of justice to which this honorable profession aspires.

Gaffigan and Phyllis P. Thousand Oaks, CA. Delattre, Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing, 6th ed. Perez and J. Boston, MA: Cengage,

Ethics in Law Enforcement

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PDF | The paper deals with the importance of police ethics and integrity there is a subculture which nurture values different from the ideals of.


Core Values

It could be said that police work touches more lives than any other profession, whether directly or indirectly. Certainly, it remains as the cornerstone of virtually all government functions. Yet with almost a century of formalized policing in Philippine history, police work is one of the least understood professions in the country.

Quickly exit this site by pressing the Escape key Escape key not available with JavaScript disabled Leave this site. The capital is changing and we must change with it. We want to be a Met that looks and feels like London. And we want all of our communities to value our work and the difference it makes. There are tough budget and crime cutting targets to meet too — in an increasingly complex, connected world that's full of new risks and threats.

Police Ethics and Values

Police Ethics and Values

Attribution CC BY. The textbook was very comprehensive on the subject matter of ethics and law enforcement. Students can expect the content to be thoroughly researched by the authors with excellent and appropriate examples that are critical for understanding the Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less. Students can expect the content to be thoroughly researched by the authors with excellent and appropriate examples that are critical for understanding the concepts.

Criminal justice ethics also police ethics is the academic study of ethics as it is applied in the area of law enforcement. Usually, a course in ethics is required of candidates for hiring as law enforcement officials. These courses focus on subject matter which is primarily guided by the needs of social institutions and societal values. Law enforcement agencies operate according to established police practices and ethical guidelines consistent with community standards in order to maintain public trust while performing their responsibilities. Police ethics and integrity are essential aspects of the law enforcement system that facilitate effective crime control practices.


You will look at the standards of professional behaviour expected of officers, the regulations surrounding your conduct and the role of the Independent. Police.


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