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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73585 Find in a Library
Title: Police Ethics - Training Key Number 295
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Bureau of Operations and Research
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Arlington, VA 22201
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This training key for police officers on police ethics covers duties under the law, relations with the public, and conflicts arising from a multilevel professional commitment; a canon of police ethics is included.
Abstract: All police officers are obliged to understand, uphold, and protect the law. Although performing this duty is generally routine, certain laws and practices cause conflict, (e.g., laws pertaining to victimless crimes -- such as prostitution and marihuana possession, and use of police discretion). Police discretion is necessary where laws, are extremely broad, as are gambling laws, or where perfect enforcement would overtax manpower. However, police officers must develop ethical sensitivity and police departments must carefully regulate and supervise enforcement policies if discretion is to be used properly. Moreover, police officers have three levels of responsibilities and commitments: to the policies and regulation of their departments, to their fellow officers, and to the law and their profession. Conflicts arising among these commitments place officers in dilemmas. Since ethical conflicts often occur in the line of action, with little time for reflection, a police code of ethics was developed in 1954. Articles of the code, reproduced herein, cover the primary responsibility and limitation of police authority; duty to know the law; proper means for achieving ends; conduct in private life, toward the public, and toward offenders. A discussion guide, questions and answers, and one reference are provided.
Index Term(s): Code of ethics; Police discretion; Police legal limitations; Police responsibilities; Professional conduct and ethics
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