Ethics in Law Enforcement
Abstract The analysis of the ethical decision making process in law enforcement agencies has been the subject of numerous research articles in the past several decades. The following research project uses a non-experimental design to collect and analyze the responses of police officers in a suburban agency, to survey items that attempt to measure officer perceptions of the seriousness of specific ethically problematic behaviors.
Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Introduction The ethical behavior of police officers is a fundamental issue in the creation of trust within a community. Police officers are given an enormous amount of power; this power has been granted to police officers by consent of citizens in the form of a social contract.
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This social contract transfers citizens rights to the police, and includes such rights as the right to use force to defend their property, to apprehend law breakers with forceful action, and other rights of self-protection. Therefore, citizens must be able to trust that police officers will use this power that has been ceded to them, with a great deal of moral and ethical restraint. Unfortunately, the history of policing has been plagued by abuses of police power, which have led to many social problems, including the erosion of the trust of citizens.
One of the issues that seems to contribute to this problem is that police officers are not xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx This research project will explore xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.. Review of Literature There have been numerous research initiatives that have been developed to investigate the relationship between ethical behavior and law enforcement tasks.
Several have looked specifically at the problem behaviors that have resulted in disciplinary action against police officers (Del Pozo, 2005; Ivkovic, 2003; Klockars, Ivkovich, Harver, & Haberfeld, 2000). In these studies the authors were primarily concerned with identifying the specific behaviors, rather than the attitudes and perceptions that led to the behaviors. This research project is interested in investigating whether the attitudes and perceptions of police officers is related to the decision to engage in problematic behaviors.
In his research, Newham (2002) looked closely at the perceptions and attitudes of officers who appeared to have made unethical decisions. Newham’s research is important for this project as he has identified several characteristics that seem to be correlated with unethical behavior; this researcher will use several of Newham’s characteristics in developing the survey instrument to be used in the research project. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx..
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. In his review of the problems found at the Hillbrow, Wisconsin police department, one researcher suggested that “promoting police integrity at the station level cannot be achieved without the support of the entire organization, from the chief executive to the line officer, to include civilian employees” (Newham, 2002, p. 35). This observation is extremely important because xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Discussion
There are several possible research methods that could be used to investigate the current perception and attitudes of police officers to specific ethical issues. For the purposes of this research project, the author will use a non-experimental methodology that will use surveys to measure specific perceptions of officers. A series of ethical issues or scenarios will be identified and rated by respondents using a five-point Likert scale. Several examples of survey items would be xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. The Likert scale would allow respondents to indicate responses that range from strongly agree to strongly disagree, to each of the scaled items. In addition to survey items, the researcher will collect respondents demographic data that will be used as variables, to include information such as number of years as an officer, current officer rank, current assignment, gender, age, ethnicity and current educational level. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
The researcher has chosen a Minnesota suburban police agency as the population for the research project. This agency was chosen because xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. The agency chosen has xx sworn police officers. Because this is a population that is not extremely large, the research will survey all officers of the agency. The surveys will be distributed xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Completed surveys will be collected xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. There are two hypotheses that the will be observed or tested using the research findings. The first hypothesis is that if the officer respondent xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, then he or she would be more likely xxxxxxxxxxxxx. The second hypothesis is that if the officer respondent xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx then he or she would be less likely to xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
To examine the first hypothesis, the dependent variable will be xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. The independents variables will include xxxx,xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,xx Summary and Conclusions This paper has examined and described problems associated with ethical issues as they relate to a suburban police agency. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Finally, it should be noted that the findings and observations of this research project cannot be generalized to all police agencies, since the research focused specifically on a suburban law enforcement agency in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. . References Brooklyn Park Police Department. (2005, May 1).
Use of deadly force policy and procedure (No. 230-1). In Brooklyn Park Police Department policy and procedure manual. Brooklyn Park, MN: Author. Del Pozo, B. (2005). One dogma of police ethics: Gratuities and the “Democratic Ethos” of policing. Criminal Justice Ethics, 24(2), 25-46. Retrieved from Ebscohost data base. Ivkovic, K. J. (2003). To serve and collect: Measuring police corruption. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology,43, 593-649. Kleinig, J. (1996). The ethics of policing. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Klockars, C. B. Ivkovich, S. K. , Harver, W. E. , & Haberfeld, M. R. (2000, May). Measurement of police integrity (NCJ 181465). Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. Newham, G. (2002). Promoting police integrity at the station level: The case of the Hillbrow police station. Urban Forum, 13(3), 20-53. U. S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service. (2003, September). Police use of force: Addressing community racial tensions. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved November 2, 2006 from http://www. usdoj. gov/crs/pubs/policeuseofforce092003. pdf