Importance of Ethics and Values in Law Enforcement

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Updated: Aug 29, 2023
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Category: Ethics
Date added
2023/06/19
Pages:  3
Words:  951
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Research shows that it is evident that police use of force in the United States is still a continuous issue regardless of an individual race, gender, and social class. This shows that there is a need to develop programs and policies that will reduce such conflicting incidents regarding the police force.

Training Practices and Community Involvement

One of these remedies is the need to create appropriate training practices. According to Smith, B., and Holmes (2014), police training during the academy and outside tends to focus more on technical and tactical aspects of policing.

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Less attention is often emphasized on the importance of delivering excellent services to the people. There is, therefore, the need to develop training that focuses broadly on the importance of the community as partners in promoting safety. Research by Schanzer et al. (2015) shows that police officers often regard community members as enemies when it comes to preventing crime. Change in this aspect is likely to promote a positive relationship that will later help in the prevention of force.

Addressing Anti-Racism and Understanding Biological Factors in Policing

Training should also focus more on anti-racism, diversity, and culture. Police officers should be imparted skills that delve mostly into how to interact with people regardless of their social status, race, and gender. These skills will help them abstain from or de-escalate certain situations that are known to flare up violence. For instance, teenagers are known to use force even if it’s not appropriate because of various factors related to biological and psychological factors. Teaching the police about these factors will help them understand them as well as adopt the best strategies for obtaining compliance without necessarily using force.

The Need for Transparent Reporting Systems

Police departments do not have established protocols for reporting, maintenance, and regular analysis of data. According to Sumner et al. (2015), police departments are also unable to cognitively estimate the rate of the number of complaints reported on police forces, investigations tracking number, and evidence given in support of the filed cases. As shown in the literature review, individuals who have filed complaints about police brutality have reported being intimidated by the police officers and also threatened. To reduce these incidents and to promote public trust when it comes to such issues, there should be a transparent system that ensures the reporting of these incidents. Besides, the system should also compile this data regarding age, race, and type of disciplinary or physical measures used.

Building Trust through Transparency: The Las Vegas Example

The Las Vegas Police Department, for instance, has a running website that gives a statistical analysis of all types of criminal incidents that happen every year. The information is often detailed regarding the settings, shots involved, the police involved, gender, and race of the victims. Apart from the statistical analysis, it is the role of the police departments to communicate with the community involved. The police departments should inform the community how the process of the investigation is going through and the actions that have been taken with the involved officer. In most instances, the police department often refuses to release information as soon as possible. The lack of information has to be seen to increase tension in a community that is already grieving the loss of an unarmed young man. A different approach, such as bi-weekly meetings with the various leaders in the community on various hot spots involved in murder and indiscriminate shooting, can help in monitoring the police officers involved in the use of force. Similarly, various resources will be diverted to address the problems.

Sumner et al. (2015) assert that police still hold a culture that is characterized by certain norms, values, and behaviors. This kind of culture was first studied by Thompson and Hudson (2017) in their research on police norms and values. Thompson and Hudson (2017) characterized police as individuals who placed much emphasis on loyalty and secrecy. Any officer who broke these rules would face numerous consequences, including losing their job. Other values included the ability to outperform individuals whom they encounter, command respect and dominate every situation they are in. The renowned police culture has led to the nourishment of deep misconducts such as the use of police force.

Promoting a Culture of Accountability

To end this culture, police departments should implement policies that focus on misconduct and merit among police officers. This entails having an anonymous system so that other police, as well as the community, can report any misconduct by a police officer, especially the use of excessive force. Also, allowing the same system to report gallant behavior, as witnessed by coworkers, peers, and the community, to provide checks and balances. The New York City Police Department has a code of conduct that states that officers have an absolute duty to report any serious misconduct or corruption. Similarly, there are pieces of training that focus on educating police officers on the importance of reporting misconduct and the facts relevant to the misconduct. This kind of training should be instituted in various police departments in the United States. The change of behavior and culture can also be possible if the top leadership takes an active role by also ensuring that such policies are enforced, and the community prevents retaliatory actions.

Works Cited

  1. Smith, B., & Holmes, R. (2014). Focus on police academy training: Technical vs. community service. Journal of Policing Studies.
  2. Schanzer, D., et al. (2015). Community perceptions and police policy: An analysis of trust and force. Journal of Crime and Community Safety.
  3. Sumner, C., et al. (2015). Protocols and perceptions: Reporting and analysis of use of force in U.S. police departments.
  4. Thompson, L., & Hudson, M. (2017). Police culture: Values, norms, and conduct in law enforcement agencies. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.
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Importance of Ethics and Values in Law Enforcement. (2023, Jun 19). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/importance-of-ethics-and-values-in-law-enforcement/