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NCJ Number: 166503 Find in a Library
Title: Ethics, Ethos and Law Enforcement
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:63  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1996)  Pages:24-37
Author(s): C Dobbs; M W Field
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 14
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article seeks to determine whether there is a character or ethos of law enforcement, what the rules are that govern law enforcement conduct and whether they are closely defined and universally espoused as they are in other professions.
Abstract: The ethos of law enforcement is the ethos or character of its leaders and of its officers collectively engaged in the practice of law enforcement, which is inherently tied to a variety of values delineated in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and case law. Persistence, courage, and unflappability in the face of setbacks are desirable instrumental virtues, and tolerance and tact are desirable diplomatic virtues. Many of those virtues fall under the broad heading of objectivity and care. Objectivity in the context of law enforcement connotes disinterest not lack of interest and care involves challenging people to be the best they can be, telling them what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear. By making objectivity and care very explicit in its code of ethics, the law enforcement profession can more clearly recognize its ethical dimension, and more vigorously and unambiguously address the ethical issues that the increasingly diverse future holds in store. Endnotes
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Behavior; Code of ethics; Criminology; Future of policing; Police attitudes; Police command and control; Police internal affairs; Police professionalism; Police work attitudes; Professional conduct and ethics; Psychology of law enforcement
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