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Professional Ethics: Police Department

The science of ethics attempts to give humanity the answers to the existential question of what is moral and what is not. With the development of science, technology, and the human rights movement, the definition of morality started to blur like never before. Nowadays, ethics serves as a standing pillar for numerous organizations that try to live up to the established standards in the working process. This is particularly important in the case of a police department whose staff is bestowed with the legal rights to carry out a search or use physical force. Abuse of such rights presents a real threat to the life quality of society and might reflect negatively on the reputation of the entire profession. This paper aims to shed light on the ethical principles that might be adopted by internal affairs staff in order to help their colleagues to deal with moral dilemmas.

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Adoption of the New Ethical Strategy

The functions of law enforcement should extend beyond mere crime-fighting: policemen are also public servants whose actions set particular standards for citizens. If it is not the case, then the police end up giving a bad example inviting the public to act accordingly. To prevent such practice, Pollock (2016) offers to begin with the “ethical climate of the organization” (p. 100). According to him, ethical workers tend to keep their manner only if they are working in companies or organizations with the strict ethical code (Pollack, 2016). In other words, staff that receives fair treatment from its higher-ranking officials is most likely to act morally in general. To ensure that the low-ranking members of the police department do not experience abuse or humiliation from the side of their senior colleagues, I would introduce a reward system for any reports that will help to discover such cases. Thus, morally corrupt people will soon be removed from their office, and undermining of a moral image of a policeman will stop.

After the internal problems are solved, it is time to address external issues. It is not a secret that many police officers abuse their power while exercising their duty. Many also believe that police staff is notorious for the discrimination of racial minorities, especially Afro-Americans (Pollack, 2016). To fight that problem, I would like to propose the introduction of instructional meet-ups and seminars that will play an essential role in embracing new ethical strategies. In the course of the meetings, police officers will be taught about law-related racism problems in the country. They will also be encouraged to view different situations from a citizen’s point of view. It would also be effective to bring up moral controversies and to ask officers to solve them. Despite ethics classes being a theory, this experience might influence the staff’s decision-making in real-life conditions. Overall, these activities will aim at the development of ethical behavior among police officers.


The work of policeman demands special attention to morality and ethics. The diversity and complexity of social interaction forms officers have to deal with often puts them in the position of moral choice making. It is crucial to understand that ethical behavior is not always the result of a good upbringing and, thus, can be nurtured. If the internal moral climate within the organization is maintained, and ethics classes for policemen are provided, significant changes in ethical culture will not be long in coming.


Pollock, J. M. (2016). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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