The Ethical Dilemma of a Police Officer
Professions are guided by codes of ethics to aid them in performance of their duties and to ensure maintenance of high standards of conduct. Police officers are faced with a maze of obligations in the performance of their official duties. The “Law Enforcement Code of Ethics” and “Canons of Police Ethics” were created to make explicit the conduct considered appropriate for police officers and to guide them in the performance of their duties. Although police have these guides, many are faced with ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemmas. This mean the officer is challenged to make a decision which sometimes conflicts with societal and personal ethical morals and values and provide no satisfactory outcome. In ethical dilemmas it is assumed the individual who abide by societal norms, such as codes of law or religious teachings will make a good ethical decision but that is not always the result. The ethical framework from which an officer performs his duties and meets his obligations to the profession and to society is of considerable importance to the well-being of the community in which he works. It is imperative; therefore, that a strong code of ethics is established as a guide within the law enforcement agency, that this code be well understood by all officers, that it be made second nature through training, and that it is faithfully enforced through example by the departmental chain of command. The department must establish rigorous controls and apply appropriate disciplinary measures when required to make certain that the code of ethics is taken seriously by all officers. The need for diligent enforcement of such a code is made all the more critical by the changing dynamics of our society, by the complexities of its ethnic and racial fiber, and by the difficult that officers face in attempting to enforce often unpopular laws. Ethics play an important role in police officers being successful. Ethics are set of...
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