Codes of Ethics in Law Enforcement

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Codes of Conduct in Law Enforcement All law enforcement personnel are subject to codes of ethics/ethics laws. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) seems to be the primary entity that sets forth police ethics, minus in-house policing. From my research, I’ve seen that most departments across the country make their own codes of ethics, though they are all very similar, and also add the IACP codes of ethics to them, if they’ve been missed in the original, department-written, document. A code of ethics is thought of as a moral compass that helps one decide how to act in critical moments. They are important for those who are in positions of power, due to their influence on society. Ethics and integrity are imperative in the law enforcement industry because first and foremost, they can ruin lives. A misjudgment from a law enforcement officer can cost someone their freedom for a crime they’ve not committed, therefore, when determining what crime has been committed, the officer has a set of ethical standards and guidelines they need to follow to ensure the individual is not charged for a crime that is more than he or she has committed. Second, law enforcement officers are in a position of power. People in those positions, if not given set parameters, and even when so, sometimes abuse the power and authority that is given to them. They take for granted their badge and the gun, and sometimes do things that are outside of the normal parameters for a law enforcement officer. Having a code of ethics in place helps prevent some of this misuse/abuse of power. Just because you enforce the law does not mean that you’re above it. Finally, when an officer violates a code of ethics, it doesn’t just reflect poorly on the officer, but also on the department/unit as a whole. Therefore it’s important to have a code of ethics in place and to enforce this

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