Professional Courtesy In Policing

2566 Words11 Pages
“Professional Courtesy in Policing" Ethics, or moral conduct, are of major importance in the Criminal Justice Field. If the police force condoned unethical behavior, there would be very little, if any, justice being served. But what is unethical behavior and how do we judge moral conduct? Just as we all see this world through different eyes, we come to decisions through different life experiences. Due to the uniquely stressful work environment, Law Enforcement have created an occupational subculture with its own informal code of ethics. The “group think” formed from the homogenous social group of Policing has supported a line of thinking and behaving, that is usually at odds with the formal ethics and values of the organization. One of these informal codes is that of “professional courtesy.” In its simplest sense this is the idea that cops don’t write other cops. Through this paper I will discuss why ethics are important, some of the ethical systems that form the framework for making decisions, and weigh the idea of professional courtesy against those systems. Is it ethical or unethical…that is the question. First off, what is “professional courtesy?” In law enforcement professional courtesy is when an on-duty officer pulls over an off-duty or retired officer for some traffic violation and lets him go, by not issuing a ticket or arresting him. The central ideal behind this behavior is that cops have to stick together, to look out for each other. In a profession that yields little respect from the general public officers should support other officers, not try to bring them down. This subject has many perspectives however, and each officer, depending on his life experiences and personal values, feels differently about this ethical dilemma. When we talk about ethics and moral conduct, we are referencing the discipline of determining right and wrong and how people
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