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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134474 Find in a Library
Title: Police Ethics Assessed as Law Enforcement Enters 21st Century
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly  Dated:(February-April 1992)  Pages:8-14
Author(s): P J Donohue Jr; B E Michaels; L E Boyle
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 7
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three articles that pertain to police ethics address factors that shape an officers conduct, competence as a key element in police professionalism, and ethics for police officers as witnesses in court.
Abstract: Three factors shape a police officer's conduct: personal values, professional ethics, and community standards. An officer's personal values have been carried from childhood and adolescence as they were forged by parents, other authority figures, and peers. Applicants must be screened for personal values that serve police ethical standards. Professional ethics are the established rules of conduct that govern the practices of the police profession. They should mold an officer's attitudes, competence, codes of honor, and specific behavioral requirements. Community standards also govern an officer's conduct. Police must be sensitive to community expectations for officer conduct; otherwise, public trust will be lost. Professional competence is a key element that guides a police officer's behavior. Competence requires that an officer be thoroughly familiar with the legal limitations and requirements that bear upon how an officer is to handle various situations so as to comply with the law and court interpretations of law. When serving as witnesses in court, police officers have no other obligation than to provide clear and truthful information on case-relevant matters about which they have personal knowledge and expertise.
Main Term(s): Police standards; Professional conduct and ethics
Index Term(s): Police as witnesses; Police professionalism
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