Police Ethics Definition

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Ethics refers to moral principles and conduct as it applies to the rights and wrongs of social values and rules that encompass the virtuous elements of honesty, integrity, compassion, equality, and accountability. These elements are of considerable importance in the law enforcement field to promote professional and ethical integrity within the agency and to inspire respect and trust at the community level to support healthy community policing partnerships. However, ethics can be difficult to define under some circumstance. In light of this, Immanuel Kant tried to explain the nature of ethics as a deontological theoretical basis of one’s duty and responsibility to always do what is right regardless of the outcome.
According to Ortmeier and Meese
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78). Kant’s theory implies that universal ethical behavior and virtues apply when viewing a moral dilemma that the act will have as is applies to societal expectations (McCartney & Parent, 2015). Society expects the police to inhabit virtuous qualities and portray moral and lawful conduct by treating others equally, fair, honest, empathetic, kind, show self-restraint, and have integrity to name a few. When officers portray behavior outside of societal expectations and the rule of law in both their professional and personal life such as theft, abuse of authority, and force at the community level, it erodes public trust and reflects poorly on the entire agency. Thus, the idea initiates that it is an internalized decision of good will because treating one citizen differently or with forces for the greater good would be unethical means (Braswell and McCarthy et al., …show more content…
While it is true that the police should always act under an oath and duty of law while contemplating the moral value and reasoning of the behavior as it conforms to the categorical imperative, the Kantian theory conflict with some duties. Under the Kantian theory, it is unethical to lie, but it is sometimes necessary for the police to use dishonest means in an interrogation to solicit a confession in a criminal case which results in trying to do the right thing over the good thing (Ortmeier & Meese, 2010, p. 64). Also, the Kantian theory implies that an officer has the duty under certain conditions to write a driver a traffic ticket regardless of the notation that a conflict of interest exists that might otherwise warrant leniency over absolute command of

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