Ethics and Professional Code of Conduct
John E. Brown
CRJ 220 – Ethics and Leadership in Criminal Justice
Dr. Gregory Smith
July 14, 2014
Ethics and Code of Conduct
In explaining three reasons ethics and integrity are important for a police chief, one needs to look no further than in a famous speech given at West Point, 12 May 1962, World War Two hero General Douglas MacArthur explained the obligation of soldiers with three words: ‘Duty, honor, country.’ Nothing could be closer to the American ideals of our fighting forces. To law enforcement officers, those three words also apply, but so do Integrity, courage, and allegiance. Integrity: this is a strong unyielding adherence to a code of moral uprightness. Non- police personnel transactions might be honest and moral within their vocation while straying from their ethics in private life. Also, professionals such as lawyers and doctors may hold to high standards of ethics while dealing within their trade, but involve themselves in questionable behavior in their private lives and still be acceptable to their colleagues. Not so for police officers. Police officers must have integrity and embrace ethical and moral conduct in all their private as well as public comings and goings. Conduct unbecoming an officer applies to on duty as well as off duty comportment. Courage: It may take a lot of courage for a lawyer to face a jury or for an iron worker to scale buildings, but to act when other lives are in sudden and immediate life- threatening danger is an obligation that only applies to police officers. Not only must the man or woman with the badge be courageous, but they must also remain ethical while facing duty- bound lethal risks. Engaging in a firefight where the bad guy is shooting at you takes courage. But , racing to the scene where the shooting is occurring involves a much higher level of valor.
Ethics and Code of...
References: Jacocks Jr., A. M., Bowman, M. D. (2014) The Police Chief. Developing and Sustaining A Culture of Integrity. Retrieved on July 14, 2014 at www.policechiefmagazine.org
Klein, C. (2012) Police Ethics: The Creed. Integrity, courage and allegiance define a LEO.
Retrieved on July 14, 2014 at www.lawofficer.com/article/leadership/police-ethics-creed.
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