Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ethical Leadership Can Be Strengthened, Finds Cross-Country Policing Survey: Survey Suggests More Ethics in Policing

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ethical Leadership Can Be Strengthened, Finds Cross-Country Policing Survey: Survey Suggests More Ethics in Policing

Article excerpt

VANCOUVER - A key indicator of whether police will call out their fellow officers for bad behaviour scored low in Canada's first-ever study of policing ethics across the country.

The indicator, which also predicts whether officers are committed to their force and if supervisors and colleagues behave with integrity, stood out for Ottawa-based researchers studying ethics and professionalism among police.

"This study provided all Canadian police agencies with valuable insights," Chief Dale McFee, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said in a news release.

He said it underscores a need among police forces to strengthen ethical leadership.

"(It) showed us we need to do a better job of communicating that commitment internally to our front line police officers."

Results of the study were released Tuesday in New Westminster, B.C. by two Carleton University researchers and funded by the police chiefs association.

Officers across 31 police services were surveyed, amounting to more than 10,000 people -- though representing only 24 per cent of potential respondents.

While many questions pertaining to issues around work environment, supervision, decision-making and community engagement were ranked highly, several red flags were raised.

Officers' evaluations of "procedural justice" by their managers -- which looks at their views about the fairness and openness of procedures and decision -- garnered the poorest ratings.

For example, the study found a majority of officers didn't agree decisions are unbiased or consistently applied. They also believe decisions are made by managers who don't talk to the people involved, and that information used to make those decisions is sometimes inadequate.

When such situations do occur, one-third of officers said that they are allowed to challenge the decision. …

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