Police Ethics Essay

867 Words Jun 27th, 2006 4 Pages
Police Ethics
Law Enforcement has been around since the beginning of man. The Code of Hammurabi, a book of 282 different codes, which specifically spelled out punishments for crimes, was followed back as early as 1700 B.C. (Geo Quest, Current Events, 00113492, 10/28/2005, Vol. 105, Issue 8) In the Bible's story of Adam and Eve, God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden as a punishment for breaking the rules. (The Holy Bible: Genesis Ch.3) These types of historical records display the fact that law enforcers have always existed. Just as law enforcers have always existed, so have ethical issues surrounding the authority exercised by these individuals. Police corruption is a problem that has always existed.
There are several
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Law Enforcement officers are broken down into 3 categories: Law Enforcer, Therapeutic Agent, and Time Server. The Law Enforcer is the strict letter of the law enforcer who does not deviate from the path. This type of officer is can get caught up in the belief that what he is doing is right, no matter how wrong it may be. This type of corruption is described as "noble cause corruption." Seumas Miller, a professor of social philosophy described it: "The paradox whereby police necessarily use methods which are normally morally wrong to secure morally worthy ends sets up a dangerous moral dynamic. The danger is that the police will come to think that the ends always justify the means; to come to accept the inevitability and desirability of so-called ‘noble cause corruption'. From noble cause corruption, they can graduate to straightforward corruption, in normal circumstances; corruption motivated by greed and personal gain." (Miller, Seumas. 1996. "Corruption for a Cause." IPA Review 49, no. 1:17-20.)
The subject of ethics is not easy to define. The discretion provided to police officers is what makes the system work so great, but as previously mentioned, it comes with struggles and challenges. Although the screening process for hiring new officers insures that people with bad ethics will not be hired, the…