skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 201727 Find in a Library
Title: Street Cop Ethics
Journal: Law Enforcement Trainer  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2001  Pages:6-8
Author(s): John J. Fuller
Date Published: May 2001
Page Count: 3
Publisher: http://www.aslet.org 
Type: Guideline
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the ethics of the average street police officer.
Abstract: The average street police officer is expected to conduct his/her personal and professional life with more integrity and decorum than the average citizen does. But it is impossible to remain courteous and civil in some situations. Returning phone calls is important because it is a frequent source of citizen complaints against police officers. When dealing with a confrontational encounter, it is advisable for officers to keep quiet and ignore verbal attempts to be goaded into street-corner arguments. Police officers saying the wrong thing at the wrong time account for the majority of citizen complaints, whether justified or not. Officers' personal opinions and biases should not be expressed openly. They should never humiliate anyone in a devastating manner in front of his/her family or friends, no matter how obnoxious their behavior or attitude. officers should always leave room for some self-respect in any encounter, regardless of the circumstances; and at the same time, never walk or shy away from an obvious arrest or enforcement situation. Officers should remain calm and collected in the face of verbal abuse. This is one of the hallmarks of a professional police officer. Officers should not be provoked into an unnecessary use of force incident. When the resistance stops, the force should stop. If someone insists on bribery, the officer should suggest they write a commendatory letter to the Commanding Officer. Bribery can include money, gifts, or favors. “Kickbacks” for illegal services are probably the most prevalent from of contemporary police corruption. The officer should think about why an offer is being made. There is almost always an ulterior motive or hidden agenda. A quiz of 15 brief, ethically-challenging scenarios is offered. This quiz might be helpful in a police ethics class, either for entry level or in-service, as a written exercise or as the basis for a class or small group discussion.
Main Term(s): Patrol; Police misconduct
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Complaints against police; Gifts to police; On-duty offenses; Police Brutality; Police corruption
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=201727

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.