Corrupt, arrogance, liars and murderous escapades could very well abound in the law enforcement forces where the low ranking officer lacks the oversight or motivation from the senior management. A management that has no regard for the rights of the citizens they are meant to serve could pass on this disregard and disrespect to the officers working under them (Schwiesow, 2007). Individual officers working under such a management would have to make difficult ethical choices each time they are faced with ethical choices.
The federal agencies and other law enforcing government agencies have also been blamed for bureaucracy and corrupting influence among the law enforcers. Meddling politicians and the government of the day also carries blame for the demands they place on the law enforcers (Schwiesow, 2007). An insatiable demand for money from the people has cast demands to the law enforcers to use existing laws.
Once the people start breaching laws, usually unknowingly, the law enforcers are assigned with the responsibility of ensuring that they pay huge fines, which go a long way to compliment budgets belonging to state legislatures, city councils or county boards (Schwiesow, 2007). Does this contravene the code of ethics? In many ways, it does. This is especially because law enforcers are subjected to pressure in order to earn the administrative bodies as much revenue as possible and therefore have no choice to choose between ethics and orders from the administrative bodies.
Ethical dilemmas also arise when an officer feels that he/she is entitled to particular treatment from his/her colleagues (Gilmartin & Harris, 1998). This is especially the case when the low ranking officers form a group, because of resentment against their seniors who are charged with assigning them roles in the work place. They also believe they deserve special treatment, which if not awarded and end up causing them to cover for each other. An officer could for example break the traffic rules knowing that a fellow officer is on patrol. To this effect, the officer thinks that he/she is entitled to special treatment from the fellow officer.
As such, he/she forfeits accountability and thus is guilty of contravening the code of ethics. Aggression among law enforcers has always been a contentious issue. While the law enforcers think that violence by the perpetrators justify aggression from the officers, the public seems to disagree with this approach most of the times. Whether an officer is aggressive towards a particular incident depends on various factors. This includes the violence involved, the level of resistance by the perpetrator and whether the officer was acting alone against several opponents. Excessive force by the officers is a matter of personal explanation.
Whether this is ethically acceptable depends on the circumstances that the officers acted from. Explanations to why officer face so much ethical dilemmas have alluded to the lack of proper training. To this end, the allegations claim that law enforcers should be well informed about the code of ethics. Accordingly, the law enforcers should also get a proper explanation of what is expected (Klockars, Et al, 2003). The management is also advised to take up a more active role in ensuring that the assistance is offered to the low ranked officers in order to encourage them to take up behaviors that are more ethical.
Some suggested training includes behavioral science training, stress management, violence reduction and anger management. Human nature dictates that a person reacts to circumstances in a particular way. Seeing that law enforcers do not have the privilege of always letting nature take its course, training would go along way in ensuring that the code of ethics is deeply ingrained in their minds. Below are main ethical dilemmas that face the officers.