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NCJ Number: 78299 Find in a Library
Title: Higher Education, Ethics, and the Police
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:131-134
Author(s): L W Potts
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the responsibility of police educators to develop an ethical code of conduct for police officers.
Abstract: Higher education for police has expanded significantly in recent years. Despite this impressive growth, colleges and universities have failed to help individual officers contend with the ethical and moral dilemmas that confront them. Police in a pluralistic society have many diverse demands on their loyalty. Ethical education is supposed to smooth out the disjunctions between idiosyncratic/group precepts and the overarching values of society. Police malpractice is inevitable if there is neither explicit statement of the police mission nor careful articulation of the values which attend that mission. Police educators must determine whether a police code will be rationally developed and logically formulated. A code of conduct is most likely to be successful if it proceeds from systematic inquiry into the ethical and moral values of the society. However, higher education for the police has been devoted almost entirely to value-neutral subjects. Ample evidence exists that college education positively affects various attitudes held by police officers and reduces dogmatism and punitiveness, but universities have not affected the ability of police officers to contend with ethical and moral questions. Thus, the criminal justice curricula of universities must be broadened to include ethical and moral inquiry. A code of conduct built on personal rectitude and integrity combined with professional commitment to social responsibility is vital for police to follow. Six references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Curriculum; Police effectiveness; Police higher education; Professional conduct and ethics; Professionalization
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