Ethics and Public Safety

Topics: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Police, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 4 (1578 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Ethics and Public Safety
Contemporary Public Safety Leadership
USA Patriot Act
I believe that ethics is very important in the public safety and should be considered heavily when planning operation, but I think that some polices that are established in the public safety sector, allows and promotes unethical behavior; for example the USA Patriot Act. The USA Patriot Act was passed by Congress as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Act allows federal officials greater authority in tracking and intercepting communications, both for purposes of law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering. It gives the Secretary of the Treasury regulatory powers to combat corruption of US financial institutions for foreign money-laundering purposes; it more actively works to close our borders to foreign terrorists and to detain and remove those within our borders; it establishes new crimes, new penalties and new procedural techniques for use against domestic and international terrorists (2001) The USA Patriot Act has become a vital part in the intelligence gathering and criminal investigation process. But due to the offensive mindset that our nation is in, I believe that the USA Patriot Act has helped law enforcement agencies resort to using unethical practices such as racial profiling and harassment in order to seek out and eliminate the threat of terrorism. As stated by the ACLU, “Many parts of this sweeping legislation take away checks on law enforcement and threaten the very rights and freedoms that we are struggling to protect. For example, without a warrant and without probable cause, the FBI now has the power to access your most private medical records, your library records, and your student records... and can prevent anyone from telling you it was done” (2003). This legislation gives law enforcement the power to violate a person’s civil right which has been afforded to us by the 4th Amendment which states; “The right of the people...

References: American Civil Liberties Union. (2003). FOIA Lawsuit on How the FBI Is Using the USA PATRIOT Act. Retrieved from
American Civil Liberties Union. (2004). ACLU Warns of Resurrecting 'Voluntary ' Interview Program; Arab and Muslim Communities Should Not be Targets of Racial Profiling. Retrieved from
Fenske, D. (2008). All enemies, foreign and domestic: erasing the distinction between foreign and domestic intelligence gathering under the fourth amendment. Northwestern University Law Review. pp. 343-381. Retrieved from EBSCOhost
Graves, L. (2010). The Right to Privacy in Light of Presidents ' Programs: What Project MINARET 's Admissions Reveal about Modern Surveillance of Americans. Texas Law Review, 88(7), 1855-1904. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Library of Congress. (2001). Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001. H.R.3162
Newman, D.W., & Brown, N.D. (2009). Historical Overview and Perceptions of Racial and Terrorist Profiling in an Era of Homeland Security : A Research Note. Criminal Justice Policy Review 2009 (20), 359. Retrieved from
Oliver, W. M. (2009). Policing for Homeland Security. Criminal Justice Police Review 2009 (20), 253. Retrieved from
The Constitution of the United States. (n.d). Fourth Amendment--Search and Seizure. Retrieved from
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