Ethics and Law Enforcement
Grant, J. Kevin, The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Many people consider the U.S. justice system, comprised of various organizations, such as the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the FBI, as one of the best criminal justice systems in the world. Nevertheless, the system still has concerns that it deals with on a regular basis, such as ethics and ethical conduct.
The topic of ethics and ethical behavior has existed for centuries. Many people believe that Socrates was the first philosopher to delve into the issue of ethics, specifically the ethical treatment of problems in government. (1) Plato documented Socrates' discussions concerning ethics in The Republic.
As society has evolved, the questions and concerns that involve ethics and ethical behavior have grown more difficult to address. Ethical standards have become both more complex and scrutinized by the public than at any other time in history. Therefore, law enforcement personnel must carry out tasks assigned to them while the rules and laws constantly change and their freedom to perform the necessary tasks becomes obstructed. Citizens expect law enforcement officials to operate in an efficient and professional manner without expressing personal views and emotions. To accomplish this, law enforcement personnel must have a strict and unwavering adherence to a code of ethics and a code of conduct.
Law enforcement officers are professionals; they work in a skilled occupational group whose prime consideration constitutes providing a service that benefits the public. Because law enforcement is a profession, ethics and ethical conduct play an important role. Ethics and ethical standards involve doing the right thing at the right time in the right way (2) for the right reason. (3) With this in mind, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) established a code of ethics to govern the …
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Publication information: Article title: Ethics and Law Enforcement. Contributors: Grant, J. Kevin - Author. Magazine title: The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Volume: 71. Issue: 12 Publication date: December 2002. Page number: 11+. © 1999 Federal Bureau of Investigation. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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