Police face ethical questions everyday – many of which only they will ever know about. It may be as simple as letting a person out of a traffic ticket with only a warning or as complex as not secretly pocketing drug money from a recent bust. Serious or not, the ethical standards police live by must not conflict with the morally and legally right thing to do. “Police officers shall not compromise their integrity or that of their Department or profession, by taking or attempting to influence actions when a conflict of interest exists, (FDOE, n.d., www.fdle.state.fl.us). Community policing is, according to the United States Department of Justice, “a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime (cited in www.cops.usdog.gov). As citizens sworn to uphold the law, police are required to not only follow their internal moral standards, but they have an ethical business code of conduct to follow as well – one that is written on legal paper. For example, a police officer’s “fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men” (FDOE, n.d., www.fdle.state.fl.us). Another ethical standard police are sworn to is that they will provide not only truthful information under testimony, but that any information gathered on a person (suspect or not) is not to go beyond those with a legal right to know. This means nothing sinister should be used against someone to benefit a police officer (such as blackmailing someone).
From an internal community perspective, it means that there are numerous collaborative partnerships between people and organizations...
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