The Ethics Of The Police Officer

1827 Words Feb 5th, 2015 8 Pages
Ethics may be defined as the, “principle of honor and morality; accepted rules of conduct; the principle of conduct governing an individual or group (Maine Criminal Justice Academy [MCJA], 2002, p. 3). Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain. They can thrive only on a foundation of respect for veracity (Bok, 1989). The need for ethical policing serves as a necessary foundation for the establishment of trust and respect between the community and those who have sworn to protect its citizens.
The process of improving police conduct and addressing educational needs has been slow with recommendations as far back as the early 1900s. Commissions, such as Wickersham and the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice suggested a link between education and ethical behavior. Recommendations were made to increase the learning of police officers through training and formal education. The common belief was education would reduce corruption and ethical abuses.
As policing continues to evolve, today’s police officer is expected to be a problem-solver, a role model, approachable, and most importantly, ethical. Basic high school education, minimum age requirements, and other minimal hiring standards may not meet these mandates. These mandates bring about several questions. Can ethics be taught and if so, when and where should it be taught. What role does higher education serve? Are policies and procedures in…
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