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Jay Simmer “Criminal Justice”

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    Criminal justice can be a difficult career to keep ethics involved; especially when ethical behavior is supposed to be the root of the organization. This profession has the ability to change the life of the accused as well at their family’s life. This responsibility should not be taken lightly. Some employees take this responsibility more seriously than others; even still, most of these employees are human. Police dogs are not humans, but they are trained by humans to follow orders.

    So even though police dogs generally have an unselfish and bias instinct, their handler’s feelings will persuade how they respond to certain people. Ethics and Professional Behavior When defining ethical behavior, often the relationship between police officers and minorities comes to mind. There have been many incidents that have led to minorities feeling there is a lack of ethics being upheld in the police department (Glover, 2007). Recently Michael Brown lost his life as well as Tartan martin; in both cases, the people taking the lives of these young men were white males.

    No wrong doing has been found in the case of Zimmerman who shot Martin, and Wilson who shot Brown will likely not see the inside of a cell. When citizens commit crimes, they can expect that they will usually be brought to justice and serve some form of a sentence. Citizens generally expect when a police officer commits a crime, the officer most likely will not see the inside of a cell unless the crime was against another officer. Citizens have come to expect a different standard of ethical behavior for police officers than the average citizen (CNN U. S. , Fear).

    Racial realities are not easily discussed in America; white Americans generally attempt to downplay the existence of racism while minorities live with racism on a daily basis. Police officers are mainly white males; some of these officers are member of white supremacy groups during their off time (Lewis, July). Being a part of a group that spreads hate against another group should not be allowed by any member of any police department no matter what race they are from. Being a police officer means the officer is sworn to protect and serve the people they come into contact with on a daily basis.

    Most white officers come into contact with black citizens on a daily basis; being a part of a supremacy group should be viewed as a conflict of interest and should also not be tolerated by the department. Police officers are supposed to act in an ethical and honest manner which is supposed to make them trustworthy to the public. When acting in an ethical manner is a part of the job description, many would assume that being a part of a group that is against any part of a group of people one is sworn to protect, this would be an unethical behavior (Lewis, July).

    Once an officer is mound to have a membership into one of these groups, they either have to be let go or the department has to pretend to not know. If others find out about the involvement of the officer, many of their cases could be called into question. This type of publicity could be bad for the department; knowing this the police chief has to decide to acknowledge the membership and fire the officer or to ignore the membership and risk the officer’s judgment being clouded (Lewis, July).

    In the case of Zimmerman, this was a very unfortunate judgment call on behalf of the jury; however Zimmerman was not a law enforcement officer ND his judgment was flawed like many other citizens may have been in that area. Although disregarding an order to not engage Martin; Zimmerman did not swear an oath to protect and serve. Police officers should be held to higher ethical standards because they have chosen this profession and ethics is a part of the position they have chosen to be a part of (CNN U. S. , Fear).

    Although some officers may not know they are involved in profiling, some identify profiling as targeting an individual based on race (Glover, 2007). This in not always the case, profiling does not only focus around race, some profiling includes whatever asses an individual to be focused on what is different from the norm. Humans make mistakes; these flaws are sometimes what make an officer a good officer, using their intuition when needed. These human intuitions can be misleading as well as misunderstood.

    Racial profiling cannot be effectively dealt with when officers deny their views; they also cannot personally deal with the root cause of the issue if they deny their feelings to themselves and those there to help them. Profiling happens on many levels; generally the profiling centers on minorities though they are not always the only component of the profiling (Glover, 2007). Critical Thinking and Professional Behavior Although police officers constantly deal with citizens and their personal issues, they usually do not get to see the end result (Glover, 2007).

    Police officers receive many calls each day, they do not know what will happen when they arrive at each call they respond to. Some calls may seem like a huge threat is waiting and turn out to be a simple arrest. While others may sound harmless, when they respond there may be a hidden factor that could lead to an officer losing their lives. Critical thinking is needed by the officers to keep their lives safe and moieties save the lives of the citizens. There are situations that may come up UN-expectantly; each officer is put into a place that allows them to exercise their judgment as they feel needed.

    Personal feelings can cloud an officers judgment to do the ethical thing when involving a criminal they personally may not feel deserves the benefit of the doubt (Glover, 2007). Seminar Proposal Creating a seminar for law enforcement can be a challenging task; these individuals are given the responsibility of keeping their city safe. Having someone that does not understand the daily activities and stresses beat officers routinely experience usually will not receive the best response. This seminar will be presented by former law enforcement officers from different areas; they have also held multiple positions.

    Included in this seminar are five objectives discussed. These five topics will include Profiling, Honor/Trust, Training, Harassment, as well as Community Policing. These topics are current and relevant to what officers currently deal with as well as the complaints departments’ experience. Profiling Profiling can be a heated issue to discuss, mainly when profiling is the topic, racial accompanies the accusation. There are good officers and there are poor officers, some of these agents truly believe profiling assist their jobs. This is where training comes in handy; some training actually can lead a person to profile.

    This can be a harmful practice; many Americans commit small crimes on a daily basis; however some are targeted because of looks (Glover, 2007). When a white male enters into a minority neighborhood, suspicion from officers that patrol this area can come into play. Officers need another way to explain reasonable doubt other than the accused was in the wrong area at the wrong time. Honor/Trust A Police officer’s word is meant to be honored and unquestioned. Many citizens do not trust police officers anymore, their words no longer have the same effect they once had. Social media has had a large effect on the way people now see police officers.

    Children are taught at a very young age to trust their local police officers. They are taught to seek out a police officer if they are lost. This trust continues for some as adults; however with more and more footage surfacing of police officers taking advantage of their positions and even taking the lives of innocent people, this trust is diminishing. What happens on and off camera would not differ; officers should always act in a manner they would not mind being recorded. Training Continuous training is very important to keep officers relevant to what is happening in the world today.

    Critical thinking is a very important tool; however this is not the only tool that will keep the officer safe. Weapons training is critical to making sure officers feel confident using their weapons when faces with a life and death situation. Law enforcement officers also need to know when their lives are in danger and when they are not. Lethal force should only be used as a last resort, not because an officer feels uncomfortable. Minorities tend to make non minorities uncomfortable, and minority’s tend to make minorities just as uncomfortable.

    This feeling of being uncomfortable should not result in the loss of life. Hand to hand combat should also be taught to officers along with training on how to disarm a dangerous person. Proof Some officers find themselves in the place to be the onsite judge; this is actually not the case. Having absolute power can be intoxicating for those not trained to use their common sense well enough to refrain from wrong. Police officers are trained to make stops, and bring in the accused for sentencing. Some officers eve been accused of being judge, jury, and executioner on site.

    These officers need to learn to collect information for later processing while bringing in the accused alive for trial tat later date. Conclusion Ethical behavior does not come easily most people. Even those individuals that have led their lives totally ethical through most of their lives have hardships at times. It is important for law enforcement officers to actually love what they do. These people hold the lives of free citizens in their hands and some of them take this power for granted. Being a police officer should not be just a job for a check when this is such a powerful position.

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