Ethics and Integrity in Law Enforcement
Explain three (3) reasons ethics and integrity will be important in your future career choice in law enforcement.
The demonstration of ethics and integrity are not only essential characteristics in the career of law enforcement but the society in upholding morality. There could be a myriad of reasons to uphold these values. However, making society a better place is of the significant reasons why law enforcement officers need to exercise ethics and integrity in their careers. Coupled with academic excellence, ethical values, and integrity, help in the pursuit of truth, which is very important in building honesty and trust in the community you serve as law enforcers. These values motivate and empower the law enforcer to prepare for a worthwhile achievement, which are the fundamentals of my future career in law enforcement.
Additionally, ethics and integrity are fundamental in achieving and maintaining a high level of impartiality and fairness in the exercise of my duty. An excellent non-judgmental character is very important to prevent crime that other members of society cannot uphold and achieve high professionalism while handling issues. A good law enforcer should be impartial and authentic in handling matters that require their attention (Carter, 2007). Therefore, a high ethical standard and integrity are critical to service delivery.
Finally, with the current divisions in the police department about the fair treatment of ethnic minorities and the racial prejudices that associate specific communities with criminal behavior, making the right decisions and reasonably treating people requires ethics and integrity. Police officers have often been accused of using excessive force when handling given members of the community on racial grounds in different states (Carter, 2007). To gain the confidence of the public and the community that I serve, ethics and integrity will help in my career to ensure I gain the community’s trust irrespective of the region’s racial composition.
Determine at least two (2) aspects in which ethics, morality, and law differ in regards to affecting the decisions of your local law enforcement officers.
Values often constitute the actions, behaviors, and ideas that we consider the most important. In our professional and personal lives, we uphold morality as a value because we consider it to help us identify where the most emphasis lies. Every individual has unique values depending on different factors, including experiences, culture, and family background or upbringing, which mainly governs private life, but not much of professional ethics. On the other hand, ethics entails the conduct that society deems right. However, the law refers to a set of rules and guidelines upon which a binding legal force is built. It also recognizes the activities of members of society (Carter, 2007). It provides the rules and regulations for applying penalties to govern society.
Secondly, the law provides legal principles that incorporate a specific degree of certainty. When people go against the law, sanctions are invariably imposed on them because every individual bears a legal obligation in society. However, morality and ethical standards are set based on different religious and cultural variations. Even though society creates censorship for immoral behavior, official sanctions do not exist in this case. What is morally right for a Christian could be wrong for a Muslim. However, what is legally right or wrong for both of them is the same.
Recommend at least two (2) ways law enforcement officers should use ethics, morality, and a code of conduct in both their professional and personal lives.
Ethics is critical in building trust in professional life. To effectively build policies governing the communities aimed at combating the legal challenges faced therein, ethical conduct is very important. From the perspective of the community, law enforcers should represent bias reduction and procedural justice in the exercise of their duties (Carter, 2007). Through the practice of ethical behavior in professionalism, law enforcers can build such trust with the communities they work with them.
Making the right decisions depends on identifying the morally accepted behavior in the communities that the law enforcers serve. Making an arrest requires that the police officers have the proper education and the correct training to avoid bias in the delivery of their services to the community. Therefore, high moral standards are required in the professionalism of law enforcement (Carter, 2007). Making wise judgments reduces impartiality and immorality. Additionally, understanding the moral standards of the community helps in blending with the members of the society that the officer is assigned to work with.
Finally, law enforcement officers have the duty to serve the communities, protect the innocent members of society, safeguard property, defend the weak, and respect the constitutional rights of all members of the society. The code of conduct not only requires that they enforce, but also follow the law. While demonstrating the code of behavior in society, law enforcers should provide a good example to the citizens. While understanding that your role as a professional is to enforce and exercise public trust as a symbol of the badge, bias can easily be avoided.
Using the Law enforcement code of conduct for the state of your choosing, identify and discuss the two (2) most important aspects of the code as they relate to law enforcement activities in your state.
Metropolitan Police Department, St Louis (SLMPD) Code of Conduct
The code of conduct of SLMPD outlines several guidelines that are aimed at providing the essential role that intelligence plays in contemporary law enforcement as well as how it applies to the state of Missouri. While outlining the primary responsibilities of a law enforcement officer to include the representation of the government while working within the law, the code of conduct requires that a police officer will remain reasonable in his determinations while deciding whether they should take any legal action (St. Louis Police Department). Therefore, the police officer must exercise discretion that is consistent with professional policing competence.
Additionally, the code of conduct outlines the use of force. The application of unnecessary force by the police has always been a concern of racial minorities in the United States. However, the code of conduct requires that in the discharge of their duties, law enforcement officers should be reasonable while using force in all circumstances and with the greatest restraint in cases where negotiations, discussions, and persuasion efforts have remained futile. Nevertheless, engaging in degrading treatment or inflicting pain is prohibited.
In conclusion, ethics, morality, and law enforcement are interrelated aspects of a law enforcement career’s personal and professional life. While ethical conduct is responsible for building and maintaining trust within the community, morality ensures the law enforcer remains non-judgmental and impartial. However, the law provides the general guiding principles that ensure the people behave in a manner consistent with the provisions of the constitution. Nevertheless, law enforcement personnel must understand that as much as they are charged with enforcing the law, they are also bound by the same law and should serve as good examples to the citizens.
David L. Carter. 2007. Law enforcement Intelligence. A guide for state, local and tribal law enforcement Agencies. Michigan University.
David L. Carter. 2000. The police and community. Upper Sadie River.
St. Louis County Police Department. Our mission, statement and codes of ethics.
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Ethics and Integrity in Law enforcement
Review Chapters 1 through 5 in the textbook. Then, research the Code of Conduct / Ethics for your city and state, as well as one to two (1-2) relevant articles that discuss codes of conduct for law enforcement officers.
Write a two to four (2-4) page paper in which you:
- Explain three (3) reasons ethics and integrity will be important in your future career choice in law enforcement.
- Determine at least two (2) aspects in which ethics, morality, and law differ in regards to affecting the decisions of your local law enforcement officers.
- Recommend at least two (2) ways law enforcement officers should use ethics, morality, and a code of conduct in both their professional and personal lives.
- Using the Law enforcement code of conduct for the state of your choosing, identify and discuss the two (2) most important aspects of the code as they relate to law enforcement activities in your state.
- Support your position with two (2) relevant and credible references, documented according to SWS. (Note: Do not use open source sites such as Ask.com, eHow.com, Answers.com, and Wikipedia.)
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
This course requires use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). The format is different than other Strayer University courses. Please take a moment to review the SWS documentation for details.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Explain the role of ethics and integrity in the criminal justice profession, and the higher standard expected of criminal justice professionals.
- Explain the difference between ethics, morality, and the law.
- Analyze the issues pertinent to codes of conduct and / or the ethics of duty.
- Explain key elements of choice, values, and ethics.
- Recommend ways to use ethics to improve decision making in the criminal justice system.
- Use technology and information resources to research issues in ethics and leadership in criminal justice.
- Write clearly and concisely about ethics and leadership in criminal justice using proper writing mechanics.
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