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Ethics Training In Policing

            During the past few years, law enforcement behavior has been the subject of increased scrutiny across the country. Rodney King, Waco, Mark Furhman's testimony, and evidence planting in Philadelphia are just a few of the incidents that have captured the nations attention. With each new testimony, mistrust for law enforcement increases, police/community relations suffer, and the reputations of good, hardworking and ethical law enforcement professionals and organizations are tainted (2). Is the concern over inappropriate police behavior just sensationalized media coverage; have a relatively few number of incidents been used to taint an entire profession or is this a real problem that needs close attention and immediate action? Unfortunately, the incidents that have made the headlines have tainted the reputation and called into question the behavior of the entire law enforcement community. Recent, well-publicized incidents of police misconduct, use of excessive force, and large-scale corruption have increased public concern over ethical police behavior and the accountability of police agencies (1). However, these highly publicized incidents do not address the more subtle ethical dilemmas that law enforcement agencies and their communities face every day (2). Law enforcement agencies across the country face issues of integrity, accountability, compromise, and personal morale. .
             Law Enforcement is a public service profession. Public servants typically have authority to make decisions over others and/or make decision which influence the "public good," but in return, have the responsibility to make those decisions without prejudice or bias, with appropriate objectives and values guiding their decision making. For this reason, public servants are held at a higher standard than other occupations. Citizens expect politicians, judges, and police officers to be honest, possess integrity, be fair, and have the interest of the common good at heart.

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