Ethical Dilemma Executive Summary
Any officer who joins a new department has to be faced with the ethical dilemma of what is right and wrong. An officer, who witnesses another officer accepting a bribe, is left with the burden of deliberating if they should report what they witnessed. The rules and regulations for any department come into question when an officer is faced with such situation. Criminal justice personnel are projected to up hold the code of ethics no matter what, but can often be broken up individually by others.
This can result in the chance of ethical questions regarding corruption and unethical behavior has become an escalating task in criminal justice” (Writing, 1999). “Police corruption is frequently seen as an isolated issue unique to officers in large cities or other departments. Denial and refusal to accept the possibility for ethical compromise and corruption at department level stops administrators and officers from developing an in-depth understanding and comprehension of the issues” (Gilmartin & Harris, 1998).
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An officer has to decide what measures he or she will take when faced with an ethical dilemma.
Any officer who joins a department is sworn in to serve and protect the public and uphold the law. The officer must first speak with the other officer in confidence about the out of place behavior and repeat to him that what he is doing is wrong and unethical. Let him know that in the case that others find out, it can hurt his profession, as well as humiliating the department. In the case that the officer does not care about the warnings he received and keeps accepting bribes, then it is time to let the superiors know about the situation and your worries.
Let the supervisor know that you do not want to be judged as a snitch, but are worried about the unethical behavior of an officer in the department. Explain that it is important to avoid any embarrassment upon the department. After the conference with the manager, he will make his own judgment about the officer’s unethical behavior and either open an investigation or take no notice of what was declared. The professional implications for the officer are remotely past the option of executive counsel or suspension.
The option left is the officer possibly ired or have criminal charges brought against him once the administration acknowledges the situation. Once the officer acknowledges the situation he will be in disbelief as he faces up to reality. Several officers who reach the last stage are meat with the hardship of what their actions has caused them. “A professional implication that can be concluded from the actions of this officer is that the police department is crooked, which will cause the community not to trust the department” (Gilmartin & Harris, 1998).
The liability issues surrounding the involvement of unethical behavior of not reporting the officer can have an upsetting response with other departments and the public. The view of the department will be seen as letting anyone break the law for the reason that one officer gets away with wrong doings and the administration does not do anything about it. “When society discovers that the local police department has crooked and unethical police officers, this will erode community trust and hurt the relationship between the police and the community” (Gilmartin & Harris, 1998).
The supervisory issue falls in the liability for conducting oneself in an ethical fashion cascades with that officer, although the administration still has part in the events. The administration must be familiar with the potential violations in ethics before major problems occur. In the moment that the administration makes a commitment and takes an active role in guarantying that his employees behavior must be in a professional manner, the department will not bother to investigating or penalize the employees in the department.
When administrators take a hands-on role with the officers, the department can recuperate the confidence of the community and build back the relationships. “Also it protects the reputations of the ethical law enforcement officers and helps stop officers from damaging his or her career and personal life” (Gilmartin & Harris, 1998). Ethics are very important in law enforcement, for the reason that all people think that a person will be given the justice he or she deserve. “On a more practical notion, ethics, and morals pertains to almost every criminal justice situation.
Law enforcement officers must behave according to and accept the moral principles including treating citizens without prejudice. The integrity of law enforcement is held to a higher standard” (Thompson, 1999). “The code of ethics is in place to serve society; to serve and protect lives and property; to protect the innocent, the weak against harassment or intimidation, and the nonviolent against violence and disorder, and to uphold the Constitutional rights of men to liberty, equality, and justice.
The code of ethics also state that an officer will enforce the law courageously and properly without fear or favor, malice, or ill will, never using unnecessary force or violence, and never accepting gratuities” (No Author, 2009). The code of ethics that police officers and other criminal justice employees are anticipated to hold up, can frequently be mistaken by the people, ending in the probability of ethical questions occurrence. “Ethical issues regarding corruption and unethical behavior has become an escalating task in criminal justice”.