Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect social order and abide by the law. However, it can sometimes happen that these individuals misbehave, and such cases typically face much public attention. The situation with Officer Jaired Dozier is a suitable example since the policeman was fired because of driving his car under the influence and causing a crash. Even though the accident occurred when Dozier was off duty, he violated the law and received justified punishment.
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To begin with, one should explain what exactly occurred to Jaired Dozier. According to Schmelzer (2020), the officer “drove his car into a tree while intoxicated and driving 55 mph in a residential neighborhood” (para. 1). This event resulted in some financial damages because Dozier struck another vehicle, fence, and other objects (Schmelzer, 2020). I can characterize the policeman’s behavior as a complete lack of responsibility, which resulted in essential damages and could lead to even more tragic consequences.
Even though Dozier committed that action while off-duty, this fact does not deprive him of responsibility. The United States Department of Justice (2020) stipulates that law enforcement officers should follow high moral and behavioral standards irrespective of the time of day or week. This fact denotes that these individuals are obliged to abide by the law all the time. The rationale behind this statement is that they personify the state and order. Consequently, if an officer violates the law, ordinary citizens can feel that their safety is jeopardized.
It seems that such close attention is devoted to every police member because the misbehavior of a single person can undermine the image of and trust to the department and even the whole profession. In particular, since Dozier drove his car under the influence of alcohol, citizens can believe that all the other police officers are capable of this behavior. If it occurs, safety will suffer because the community will not have confidence in the law enforcement agency.
It is possible to state that Dozier’s disciple was justified. On the one hand, his misconduct damaged the whole profession, which has been described above. That is why the police department should have demonstrated that such behavior would not be tolerated. That is why firing Jaired Dozier is a suitable decision. On the other hand, the fact that the officer tried to escape punishment by highlighting that he was a policeman demonstrates that he controlled his thoughts and actions (Schmelzer, 2020). Consequently, it is impossible to imagine how he would have behaved in the future if he had not been fired. That is why I would not have recommended any alternative punishment options.
Focusing on the law enforcement Code of Ethics reveals that Dozier committed a significant fault. Firstly, the Code of Ethics stipulates that officers should safeguard property and act against disorder. Secondly, this document obliges officers to be examples in obeying the laws and regulations. Finally, the Code mentions that representatives of the law enforcement department should be symbols of public faith. This information demonstrates that police officers should meet specific requirements to occupy such a significant role in society. However, Dozier managed to violate all these three aspects because he broke the law, damaged public and individual property, and undermined public trust.
In conclusion, it is necessary to mention that cases when law enforcement officers misbehave occur. Since such situations can have detrimental consequences for the police department and society, high-ranking officials should adequately respond to such incidents. The case of Jaired Dozier is an example of how single misconduct can lead to dramatic consequences for an officer. Since the policeman drove his car under the influence, which resulted in damages and violated the Code of Ethics, firing him was a justified decision.
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Schmelzer, E. (2020). “It’s okay, I know how to drive fast. I am a cop”: Aurora police officer fired after drunk driving crash. Denver Post.
United States Department of Justice. (2020). Law enforcement misconduct.