Ethics and the Professional Code of Conduct
Ethics and the Professional Code of Conduct
Reasons ethics and integrity are important for a police chief or county sheriff. In today’s society, it is not an easy job being a county sheriff or a police chief. The society has become over-critical of law enforcement and the person on top of the chain of command has fully responsibility of all actions on him/her since there are responsible for making the important decisions as to what is morally upright (Perez & Moore, 2012). How the police relate to the public since they need to have the confidence of the public to ensure community policing work. Ethics and integrity are important to a police chief since they help him make day to day decisions in the police force. Some of the unethical behavior that police officers engage include; theft, over speeding, misuse of public office and excessive use of force. The set code of conduct will help a police chief to deal with the officers who are engaged in unethical behavior without discrimination or corruption. Ethics will help police chief in making important decisions in the force. Assigning duties to different officers will require the chief to follow ethics and assign duties to officers according to their performance and not discriminate other officers.
This will ensure there is equality in the force which will greatly contribute to the overall performance of the force. When there is integrity from the seniors other officers will follow suit making the entire force more productive in performing their duties. Ethics and integrity will also help a police chief to report cases from his force with honesty to his seniors. This will ensure that he reports truthfully of all the activities of his county. This will lead to a proper relationship with the seniors and this helps in the positive development of the force. When ethics and integrity are practiced in the force it increases the public confidence with the force which in turn improves the collaboration of the public and police in fighting crime.
Difference between ethics, integrity and morality within law enforcement. Integrity refers to the state of feeling whole and unbroken by ones actions. It’s the quality of being honest and morally upright (Killinger, 2010). A police office needs to be honest in his actions and always be willing to tell the truth. He should not be involved in activities that would ruin his integrity and in the process damage his reputation. Ethics refers to a set code of conduct. Each profession has its ethics which are generally accepted standard of what is desirable and undesirable. It is what is considered by the society to be good or bad behavior of a person or an entity. Ethics may also include a defined basis of discipline including exclusion (Bonhoeffer & Clifford, 2005). A police officer should always be ethical and not be involved in activities like excessive use of force or abuse of the public office which is unethical and would ruin the image of the police force to the general public. Morality on the other side refers to the ability of a person to differentiate between right and wrong.
This greatly helps police officers while making decisions which are spot on. Officers need to be morally upright to ensure that in all the situations they can differentiate what is right or wrong and take the necessary actions. Ways a police chief or county sheriff should use ethics and the code of conduct in decision making. A police is always presented with decisions in which he has to be ethical when making them. One of them is when assigning duties to other officers. He needs to assign duties to the officers according to their abilities and not to discriminate, example, assigning his friends the simple jobs available. He is needs to be ethical when dealing with the cases which are reported. He should not discriminate if he knows the accused or if they are relatives and all the rules should apply to every criminal regardless of the relation with him. By being ethical, the public level of confidence rises and working with the police becomes easier since there is trust between the two (Josephson, 2009).
Bonhoeffer, D., & Clifford J, J. G. (2005). Ethics.
Killinger, B. (2010). Integrity: Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason.
Perez, D., & Moore, J. (2012). Police Ethics.
Josephson, M. (2009). Becoming an Exemplary Peace Officer: The Guide to Ethical Decision Making.