More often organizations demand that their employees carry out their duties in very professional manner so as to meet the demands and the expectations of the customers. The same expectations are laid on the law enforcement officers who are expected to be ethical and professional in their daily lives.
The definition of ethics can be given as the set of values either written or unwritten that are used to act as guidelines for an individual’s conduct of life. Once one becomes ethical in their daily lives then it means that such individuals can easily distinguish between what is wrong and right. Moreover, one can easily lead a good life once they have the good ethics with them because they will always be in a position to make rational decisions. For one to be able to make the rational decisions then he or she must a critical thinker who can easily identify and distinguish between issues of varied degree of importance.
Ethics and professionalism is an important part of the law enforcement officers because in the current society everyone looks for some inspiration from the officers (Roufa, 2012). On the contrary, there are those who strive to get the officers into mistakes so that they can use them as examples. Friends, relatives and even strangers do monitor almost every move that the officers make irrespective of whether they are on duty on not. It is for a fact that the officers get the highest percentage of scrutiny from the public more than any other profession in America. One of the reasons is because the public expects that officer to falter at some point so as to use them as bad examples. On the other hand, it could also be argued that the officers are under such radar because the society holds them in high esteem and as such view them as leaders. The police officers therefore have a great responsibility of ensuring that they remain above reproach at all times irrespective of whether they are at work or otherwise (Delattre, 1994).
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Ethics as has been defined earlier is basically doing the correct or right thing. What is right in one society may however not necessarily be right in another society, so it all depends on the values that the society holds. However, ethics is glued on the principle of right being always right irrespective of where it is committed and a wrong thing will always remain to be wrong. Law officers have the moral responsibility of acting the most professional manner as described in their code of ethics. Once the officers do the wrong thing then they easily lose the trust of the public and the whole society at large and that might just be dangerous. Losing the trust of the society is considered dangerous because such officers may find it difficult in working in such communities because of the suspicions and non-trust from the residents (Kelly, 1997). It goes without saying that the officers have a legal duty to adhere to their code of ethics so as to be able to achieve their goals of modern policing within the communities where they carry out their daily mandates. The unit might as well employ other tactics and techniques when carrying out their duties but the ultimate goal remains being professional and ethical in their work (Roufa, 2012).
Critical thinking is equally importance for the success of the police officers in their careers because they get faced with a myriad of situations on a daily basis and the only way out is to think critically. For instance, officers face a lot of risks when carrying out their duties along the streets especially during night hours. In such a situation, one needs to know and critically think about the best options that are available to them. Once that is known then the officers should weigh out and determine whether the risks are manageable or otherwise. If the risk is low enough then the officers should embark on the mission and complete it successfully.
Another important aspect to consider when determining whether to go for a mission or not is the need for an officer to make such a move for the mission. For instance an officer can move to a given location with a need of arresting criminals or even conducting a drug raid. It is possible that officers can get to certain locations with the sole aim of conducting safety operations or prisoner snatch. Before an officer decides to make such moves he needs to think critically about such needs so as to make his mission successful. Similarly, officers need to know that critical decisions are made based on the time factor. Every mission that is carried out by the law enforcers have to be planned in advance and a time frame given for such a mission to be complete. One thing that is important in such cases is the timeframes available for the missions to be carried out. The shorter the time frame, the more risky the mission is and vice versa (Kelly, 1997). Finally officers need to make critical decisions based on the resources that they have within their disposal. For instance a decision is made based on the time available and the ability of the resources to help in completing the mission at hand. If the resources that they have cannot help them complete their mission then the best option is to drop such a mission before it backfires.
Based on the dynamics that faces the law enforcement unit on a daily basis, there is a proposal to conduct a training seminar on ethics and professionalism for the law enforcement officers. In that seminar one of the topics of discussion will be on the service to mankind and its relation to ethics. An officer’s mission is to safeguard the lives of every citizen that lives within their areas of jurisdiction. The missions should be carried out without any fear or favor to any party irrespective of their relation to the officers. At times nepotism might come to play in situations where the relatives of the officers are found in criminal activities and the officers might feel obliged to cover them up. Such a cover of criminals based on blood relations should never be tolerated within the police force. Apart from that, protection of the humanity will entail protecting the peaceful residents from the violent residents. Officers should move swiftly in such cases and ensure that the peaceful citizens do not get harmed by the violent citizens. The officers should ensure that they do not use excessive force when trying to liberate the peaceful citizens from the violent rioters otherwise their ethics will be questioned.
Secondly, the seminar will touch on keeping the lives of the officers in public limelight and ensuring that the officers remain good examples to the rest of the society members. At times the officers might just be faced with a lot of ridicule or scorn from the public but the officers must learn to remain sober and calm during such times. The main mission here is to remain as good examples to the rest of the society. Similarly, the officers must be in the forefront in ensuring that they obey the law to the latter so that the rest of the community can emulate them (Delattre, 2006). There is no way that law enforcers can be arresting law breakers on a daily basis while they (law enforcers) keep breaking the same laws with impunity.
The third point of discussion in the seminar will be about honesty that will always be expected from the law enforcers irrespective of their positions within the unit. Honesty demands that one becomes truthful to whatever they speak and also through their deeds. Officers will be taught on the importance of issuing true statements especially on cases that are under investigations (Kelly, 1997). The officers will not be expected to issue false statement that might compromise investigations conducted on criminals or even fellow officers. The fourth and fifth areas that will be touched are: use of excessive force when on duty and accepting bribes so as to cover up cases for some criminals.
The above areas have been chosen for the seminar because they act as the backbone for the success of the operations of the law enforcement unit. Without the above mentioned factors then the law enforcement unit might as well be headed in the wrong direction. Both the law enforcers and the community are expected to benefit because the community members will have confidence in the police officers and vice versa.
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