Unit 4: Essay
Theories Related To Ethics
Instructor: Kevin Stoehr
June 14, 2011
The law enforcement officer, representing government, bears the heavy responsibility of maintaining, in his own conduct, the honor and integrity of all government institutions. He shall, therefore, guard against placing himself in a position in which any person can expect special consideration or in which the public can reasonably assume that special consideration is being given. Thus, he should be firm in refusing gifts, favors, or gratuities, large or small, which can, in the public mind, be interpreted as capable of influencing his judgment in the discharge of his duties. The issue of police acceptance of gratuities has long been a source of contention. Many writers on police corruption see the acceptance of even the smallest gift or benefit as the beginning of the end of an honest officer's career. Others suggest that the acceptance of gratuities does little harm, and that there may in fact be positive benefits in the practice, not just for the officer involved, but for society as a whole. In this paper will explain the practice of accepting gratuities in order to highlight some particular situations in which their acceptance will always cause problems, and thus to draw attention to those situations in which police ought to say no! In order to clarify the issues and problems involved, let’s begin with an overview of the main theoretical positions on the acceptance of gratuities canvassing the main arguments opposing the acceptance of gratuities, and the arguments in favor of their acceptance. It should be noted though that wherever gratuities are spoken of this term can also be taken to include other discounts, gifts, and benefits offered to police. The slippery slope to corruption - Police corruption is undeniably a serious problem. Some police departments have become so riddled with corruption that the public comes to see...
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