CJ340: Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
Prof: Joseph (Joey) Reynolds
August 31, 2012
My interviewee was Commander Hamry, of the Milton police department in Washington. When interviewing Commander Hamry, I found the following to be his impressions of the police force in general:
Why are ethics and character so important in the field of law enforcement?
Because we represent everything we believe in, not only in local and state law, but the Constitution of the United States. We are part law enforcement, lawyer, priest, counselor, mother/father figure etc...at any given moment. We have a nano-second to decide whether or not to shoot whereas everyone else has months/years to decide if that action was proper or not. Due to an elevated level of training and discipline, we are held to a higher standard. This includes: morals, ethics, actions/decisions which the public has entrusted it's care to us which go back to the issues when the tea was first thrown into the harbor.
Do the interviewees feel that police are more ethical today, or were they more ethical ten years ago?
Due to immediate access of public information and technology, the magnification of the microscope has been increased. However, that is something that evolves with public perception, the legal system, etc... where something that was common place and ethical 100 years ago would not be considered today. People are basically good and the basic Judeo/Christian principle upon which our system is founded has remained, for the most part, unchanged.
Why do police officers become involved in misconduct?
To over simplify the answer, because they are human. They make mistakes like anyone else or experience temptations in which they cannot or choose not to handle. No different than the clerk who pockets a dollar when no one is looking.
Do the interviewees feel that there is enough training offered in ethics at the police academy...