Utilitarian And Deontology Theories

1640 Words7 Pages
Analyzing Utilitarian and Deontology Theories in Police Behavior Utilitarianism and deontological theories have been known to be critical the organizational transformation of law enforcement. These theories or ethical perspectives help law enforcement officers to; identify and define problems, forces them to think systematically, encourages them to view issues through many different points or positions, and provides them white decision-making guidelines. Therefore, utilitarian and deontological ideological theories help guide law enforcement’s behavior and practices by making morally and ethical decisions, particularly when officers are being faced with ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas can occur when an officer does not have an…show more content…
For instance, an officer who is assigned with policing a large pro-marijuana protest group, observes a person within the group selling marijuana. The officer has the legal duty to charge that individual with the traffic of a controlled substance under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act, which is a serious indictable offense. However, from a utilitarian position, the officer may choose not to arrest and charge the suspect for two main reasons. One, not arresting the suspect would make a pro-marijuana group more happy in comparison to the number of individuals who would not be happy with the officer’s decision. Two, if the officer decides to arrest the offender, the consequences of the officer would probably lead to a serious and violent confrontation with the larger pro-marijuana group. The arrest by the officer in this case, would not make the majority of these individuals happy. Consequently, while arresting the trafficker is the duty of the officer, the officer may decide that the consequences of arresting the suspect are more likely to be negative. Gains and Kappeler (2015) stated that adopting utilitarian ethical principles will limit the consideration of the ends and not the means by which something is accomplished (p. 753). Thus by using discretion, the officer is effectively using the principles of utilitarianism in his or her decision-making. Dilemma Using Deontology Police officers are required to fulfill
Get Access