Police Ethics and Accountability
Dr. Rick Parent
Police officers are granted with special powers to enable them to provide citizens with a safe and secure environment. With these special powers are expectations of professionalism, ethical conduct, and police accountability. Unlike many other occupations, police are expected to maintain high ethical standards. Whether on duty, off duty, at work or at home, the public is watching.
Though actual or deliberate acts of unethical police conduct are rare, police misconduct can occur in a variety of forms, including use of excessive force, improper conduct, acceptance of gratuities, and in some instances a criminal act. Education that emphasizes what is appropriate and what is inappropriate is key to avoiding ethical pitfalls.
Police Ethics and Accountability explores the complexities surrounding ethical decisions and dilemmas in policing. Focusing on ways to avoid improper and unethical conduct, this course helps officers ensure their behaviour, judgement, and decisions are appropriate in their day to day duties.
When you have completed this course you will be able:
- Differentiate between morals, ethics, and values
- Explain why it is important to be aware of and open to ethical issues as a police officer in contemporary society
- Differentiate between an ethical and unethical individual
- Explain how to properly respond to an ethical dilemma
- Describe the development of ethical and professional policing
- Explain how police misconduct happens and provide examples
- Discuss the ethical issues and dilemmas surrounding gratuities and noble cause policing
- Explain how to foster ethics and professionalism in the workplace