Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics on the IACP web page serves the same purpose as the comparable code of ethics for many other public servant agencies. Chiefly and principally I believe they are a set of values that are not just the stated policy of conduct expected of law enforcement officials. They are a set of values that the officers who swear their allegiance to not only abide by but should believe in out of respect for their predecessors as well as their profession. The main points I drew from the code of ethics follow a few general points.

Firstly, and most obvious, is the duty of the law enforcement officer is service to the community as well as its safety and improvement. Secondly is duty to the constitution and rights of the ones they protect. This includes not just the innocent or the victims but the perpetrators with an emphasis on liberty, equality, and justice. The third main point I observed is the responsibility of a law enforcement officer to conduct him/herself, both on and off duty, in a respectable manner. Maintained within this are the values of courage, respect, courtesy, and honesty.

The fourth main point is embodied throughout the code and that is the respect of the law in an honorable manner as well as cooperation with other law enforcement agencies. As far as whether or not the personal life of an officer should be included in such a code I believe it should completely. Those who enter into this profession do so voluntarily and should be doing so with the intention of serving in an honorable manner. It is completely fair in the aspect that you are a government employee and therefore represent that organization everyday.

Just as with a soldier, a law enforcement officer is not seen as John Doe. If he or she acts maliciously those who pass judgment, the public, see first and foremost a law enforcement officer. When their conduct is unbecoming of an officer the image resonates throughout the organization reflecting negatively on the entire unit. Law enforcement officers are seen not only as public servants but role models and should act accordingly. If you look at professions that are most idolized by American youth law enforcement officers are high on the list.

Role models that hold such a high level of admiration with individuals as easily influenced as our youth should always act in a manner fitting such admiration. The other reason I feel that this is completely warranted is the fact of public confidence. If the public sees the men and women entrusted with the safety of the population acting in a malicious manner the confidence and trust between the two will be greatly damaged. Efforts by a law enforcement agency to work in unison with the community for its safety would suffer greatly from a negative image.

On the other hand if a law enforcement agency is held in high regard by the population they protect the possibilities for advancement and cooperation are endless. On the other hand, and it’s a very small hand, it is never desirable to have your entire life scrutinized but that is a burden you have to accept to become a law enforcement officer. Realistically I believe that there shouldn’t even be a need for such guidelines. I feel that if you are entering into such a time honored profession the pride of our position would provide sufficient self control over your actions.

I do not at all thing the code of ethics is unreasonable. I come from a military family and was raised on a set of 7 core values known as the Army Values. They are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Self-less Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage. These values are, to me, a guideline to living your life. Just as in the military if you accept the challenge of being a law enforcement officer you must also accept and believe in the core values and ethics that accompany your position.

When you are placed and entrusted in a position that deals so closely with the safety and security of a community that trusts you your actions absolutely must be of high standards as you are a representative and a role model. I also feel that in such a position, just as with the military, you owe it to your fellow officers (soldiers) to act with the utmost honor, integrity, and whatever other values are put forward. I personally do feel that most law enforcement officers do live up to the standards as best as can be expected.

It is, of course, hard to live up to everything that is expected of you but I’m sure that the majority that takes the oath do so quite well. Miami-Dade County Sheriffs Office Code of Conduct As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty,

equality, and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my Department.

Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions, With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession … law enforcement. As you can see the code of conduct I found online is pretty much identical to the one at IACP. Probably because the IACP developed a high standing code of ethics that other police organizations admired and therefore adopted.