Police Ethics

Topics: Police, Ethics, Constable Pages: 3 (865 words) Published: April 18, 2006
Police Ethics
Law Enforcement has been around since the beginning of man. The Code of Hammurabi, a book of 282 different codes, which specifically spelled out punishments for crimes, was followed back as early as 1700 B.C. (Geo Quest, Current Events, 00113492, 10/28/2005, Vol. 105, Issue 8) In the Bible's story of Adam and Eve, God cast Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden as a punishment for breaking the rules. (The Holy Bible: Genesis Ch.3) These types of historical records display the fact that law enforcers have always existed. Just as law enforcers have always existed, so have ethical issues surrounding the authority exercised by these individuals. Police corruption is a problem that has always existed.

There are several factors that can explain the reason for police corruption. First, law enforcement officers work in a somewhat unsupervised work environment. Although police officers do have supervisors, when they are in the field, they are left somewhat unmonitored. Police discretion is commonly considered one of the greatest powers, if not the greatest power in the criminal justice system. Even greater than the discretion of a judge, police officers can literally forgive people for certain crimes by simply ignoring them. Of course, police are required to pursue certain crimes, but this is where some of the problems with police corruption can surface. Having to issue citations or arrests for every little thing you see would not give you the time to investigate bigger problems. Because police work in such an unmonitored environment, nobody is there to make sure they do their job a certain way. The trust that is provided to law enforcement officers is tremendous. The temptations associated with working in an unmonitored environment are endless. Officers accepting bribes is a popular problem police administrators are challenged with combating. It is no secret that police salaries are very low and that public respect could be better....
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