Police Ethics and Deviance
Ethics and the police is a subject that most people are interested in. When people use the words ethics and police in the same sentence, people usually think of police deviance, police corruption, misconducts such as drug and alcohol abuse, sexual violence, domestic disputes, and violence within families. Most common subjects people most associate with police ethics is police brutality, police deception, and abuse of their authority. Police officers in the United States are given tremendous authority and wide latitude in using that authority. In addition, to the average citizen, the police are the most visible symbol of not only the United States criminal justice system but also the United States government. (Wadsworth, 2005)
Ethics is defined as the practical, normative study of the rightness and wrongness of human conduct. According to “Ethics in Crime and Justice: Dilemmas and Decisions”, by Joycelyn Pollock, some ethical standards of police are: organizational value systems or codes of ethics designed to educate and guide the behavior of those that work within the organization, an oath of office which can be considered a shorthand version of the value system or code of ethics, and The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics as publicized by the International Association Chief of Police. (Wadsworth, 2005) Ethical standards in policing are the following: to serve and protect the public, keep a clear mind and not allow their personal beliefs to keep them from helping someone, to not judge by race, religion, or sexual preferences. They also have to put aside any kind of prejudices no matter what they believe to be right or wrong, but most of all they have an oath that they take to assure that all the police ethics that are in place they follow to a tee. Some police do not have a clue what ethics mean. There are some officers that take a bribe to look the other way. There are some officers that keep drugs out on the street, or allow...
References: (2002, December) Police Corruption, http://www.iejs.com/policing word-slash-word police_corruption.htm
(2002, November) Addressing police misconduct, http://www.usdoj.gov
(2002, November) Police brutality: the cop crimes homepage for law enforcement and government corruption, http://www.copcrimes.comword-slashwordhomepage.htm
Introduction to Policing, pp.292-315. Wadsworth, 2005
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