Police process officers go through or is it

Police Departments Ethical
Policing Dilemma 

            Today police departments
at all levels have to monitor and be aware of today’s climate. It seems we are
at a point where the local populist has a distrust of police departments
today.  There are too many cases where
the public observes a video of an officer violating civil rights or planting
evidence. This produces a negative climate to communities that depend on
policing. Police must ensure safety and laws are followed. There are many
examples of police departments failing on ethics.  We should also note that there are many that
are producing officers that are great for our communities.  Generally our society and media tends to
focus on the bad rather than show the good.  Identifying the problem is a key factor in
solving the ethical issues we see today. 
Is it training the officers receive at the academy, the applicant
screening process officers go through or is it policy when rules are broken.  Either way this problem has a multitude of
concerns that must be addressed. 
Currently police departments by states have different types of training
requirements. The Military Police for example trains differently as well,
however there is a movement for universal training model to mirror local police
training. This gives a military member training that he or she can take to the
civilian sector. 

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            There are other concerns
that police departments must be aware of, ethical bias when they hire.  There has to be a screening criteria that
identifies officers prior to hiring them. 
If you can weed them out prior to hire them, you avoid ethical problems
in all ranks.  Social media plays an
important role in how police are perceived. 
Everyone has a phone or device that can record police interactions.  Since the media tends to report on the bad
actions of officers, it’s easy to submit a video with that agenda.  Most observations of police failure on video
clearly does not benefit any police department. 
It’s important to understand the media can positively or negatively
impact the community’s perception of departments using technology. Police can
benefit for example using dash cams and individual cameras.   Police Departments must focus on training
and screening; embrace technology to show their training and actions are
trustworthy.            

   

The Current
Police Ethical Climate

            It’s
important that police departments understand that they are facing a huge
ethical dilemma.  Local and State Police
departments must revise their training platforms to ensure issues don’t arise
in their departments.  There has to be a
huge education on bias as well. Bias is defined as a prejudice against a group
and usually is unfair prejudice.  It seems
that most police departments don’t look to change their training philosophy to
capture current climates.  If your model
is the same as it was 10-20 years ago then you’re more than likely in trouble.  You have to train officers in today’s ethical
climate to deter ethical policing problems. 
Police departments should put in place systems to test officer’s ethics
in the field.  An example would be if you
have an officer that’s patrolling and he accepts gifts on his patrol, he should
be flagged and retrained.  Some of the
climate issues are fostered because officers don’t divulge the issues at
hand.  Generally
commanders don’t see or observe the issues until it’s too late.  Currently the ethical climate is not well in
most civilian eyes.  We continuously observe
questionable behavior by officers in the field dealing with our community.  There are numerous examples of officers
failing to uphold ethical standards.  Public confidence in policing has received much attention
in recent years, but few studies outside of the United States have examined the
sociological and social-psychological processes that underpin trust and
support. This study, conducted in a rural English location, finds that trust
and confidence in the police are shaped not by sentiments about risk and crime,
but by evaluations of the values and morals that underpin community life.
Furthermore, to garner public confidence, the police must be seen first to
typify group morals and values and second to treat the public with dignity and
fairness. All these findings are consistent with the perspective that people
are Durkheimian in their attitudes towards crime, policing and punishment
(Jackson, 2007).          

             

The Negative
and Positive Ethical Footprint

            The
negative ethical officers in police departments are hired there.  We must understand through screening we
approved these officers to serve.  To
ensure police departments move towards the positive side we must improve
testing and screening procedures to weed out bad officers.  It doesn’t matter
the size of the departments out there, they all can be effected by negative
ethical issues.  Law Enforcement ranks
must consider integrity as a key role in ethical behaviors.  If you don’t have the moral strength or the
ability to be an honest person, then you may find it difficult to police the
society you swore to protect and defend. 
To combat the negative ethical problems departments deal with,
commanders focus on characteristics. 
There are a few that are key to community success; prudence, trust,
courage, honesty, justice, and overall good responsibility.  Additionally focus need to be on
leadership.  Leaders in police
organizations must be the example for other officers to follow.  Leaders can focus on providing guidance on
ethical training and promoting doing the right thing at the right time.  Commanders should also focus on the current
police environment, the footprint can change if the environment is positive and
officers have the ability to support their community. There are supporting
articles that discuss police recruits and changing how they are screened.  The data for this paper were collected in Belgium, where
police training for street-level police officers is organized in provincial
police academies and takes one year. The training starts with theoretical
courses at the academy, and after approximately eight months, recruits
participate in a six-to-ten-week field training with a local police force.
Afterwards they return to the academy for evaluation. Once graduated, they can
apply for positions with local and federal police units. The police academies
are legally required to teach a strictly imposed curriculum with a well-defined
list of subjects. Police integrity is one of them, and must be taught in the
first five months. The regulations also define the objectives of this course:
recruits should become familiar with police integrity, the code of ethics,
police misconduct, police organizational values and their discretionary power.
Remarkably, the development of moral reasoning skills is not a specific
objective. Within this formal framework, police academies decide autonomously
how to organize the course. They can, for example, add objectives like the
development of moral reasoning. These differences across police academies might
in turn lead to different developmental processes of their recruits’ knowledge
of the code of ethics and moral reasoning skills. This study reports the
results of a qualitative observation of integrity training sessions at five
police academies, and a quantitative analysis of the development of recruits’
knowledge of the code of ethics and their moral reasoning skills (De Schrijver,
2015).    
        

             

The Police Ethical Problem 

            Currently
police departments have two major concerns that must be addressed at all
levels.  The current media climate and
technology.  News and social media ignite
when negative ethical actions are observed by the public. There are numerous
examples of ethical situations that have been posted, reported and viewed on
social media and the news media.  In
Texas there was an officer who showed very bad judgement, he allowed a person
at a party to wear his duty belt.  As we
know your service belt has your service weapon, taster and handcuffs.  Then allowed the photo to be posted online, a
very ethical problem for not only the officer but his department.  We can take a look at a police chief who was
removed because one of his officers ethical behavior. This assigned officer
saved a 17 year old prostitute from being rapped.  He then started a sexual relationship with
her, additionally she had sex with other officers for money.  This depressed the officer and he ended up
taking his life.  Police conduct on the
ethical side can be addressed with many issues. 
Dallas police department notice this issue as well.  Officers were fired for running over a suspect
and moving the body before investigators arrived on scene.  You don’t need a scholar to know this
is a severe ethical dilemma.  In my own
state of Connecticut you have officers in East Haven that violated rights of
Hispanics in that town.  Roughing them up
and arresting them for no reasonable cause. 
Policing in this country has its history. An example is the eerosions to the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and to
the Posse Comitatus Act set the foundations for two War on Drugs policing
strategies: stop and frisk and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. These
strategies have created specific conditions conducive to police brutality
targeting Black communities. Conclusions/ Importance :War on Drugs policing
strategies appear to increase police brutality targeting Black communities,
even as they make little progress in reducing street-level drug activity.
Several jurisdictions are retreating from the War on Drugs; this retreat should
include restoring rights originally protected by the 4th Amendment and Posse
Comitatus. While these legal changes occur, police chiefs should discontinue
the use of SWAT teams to deal with low-level nonviolent drug offenses and should
direct officers to cease engaging in stop and frisk (Cooper, 2015).

               

                                                           

Conclusion

         Police abuse is the purposeful practice of
unwarranted coercion, frequently physical, but potentially in the form of
verbal assaults and psychological intimidation, by police which, constitutes
abuse and official misconduct. Police brutality is a grievous form of crime
done by the police hired to be prevent the crime itself, approximately 50
percent of the 14,800 police agencies do not report police involved homicide
statistics to the FBI – UCR. This is quite distributing considering that 175
Black males were shot and killed by police since January, 2015. Black’s males
represent six percent of the population and 40 percent of victims of police
shooting incidents (Lyle, 2016).  Today
police departments at all levels have to monitor and be aware of today’s epical
climate. It seems we are at a point where the local populist has a distrust of
police departments today.  There are too
many cases where the public observes a video of an officer violating civil
rights or planting evidence. This produces a negative climate to communities
that depend on policing to ensure safety and laws are followed. There are many
examples of police departs failing on ethics. 
We should also note that there are many that are producing officers that
are great for our communities.  Generally
our society and media tends to focus on the bad rather than show the good.
Identifying what the problem is a key factor in solving the ethical issues we
see today.  Is it training the officers
receive at the academy, the applicant screening process officers go through or
is it policy when rules are broken.  Either
way this problem has a multitude of concerns that must be addressed.  Currently police departments by states have
different types of training requirements. The Military Police trains
differently as well, however there is a movement for universal training model
to mirror local police training. This gives a military member training that he
or she can take to the civilian sector. Woman may help deter some ethical
issues in today’s department.  Women in policing make a difference — a
big difference — they make for a better police department. Haven’t you
wondered why women police are not the ones involved in recent officer involved
shootings? After all, they are usually smaller, somewhat weaker in physical
strength, and yet they don’t appear to shoot suspects as often. In fact, over
the last 40 years, studies have shown that female officers are less
authoritarian in their approach to policing, less reliant on physical force and
are more effective communicators. Most importantly, female officers are better
at defusing potentially violent confrontations before those encounters turn deadly.
This research was prompted by widespread speculation that women, who began
joining police departments in larger numbers in the early 1970s, would fail as
patrol officers. One of the earliest studies, sponsored by the Police
Foundation in 1974, found that women encountered many of the same kinds of
situations (involving angry, drunk or violent individuals) and were as capable
as men. The study’s most important finding, though, was that “women act
less aggressively and they believe in less aggression.” The researchers
predicted “the presence of women may stimulate increased attention to the
ways of avoiding violence and cooling violent situations without resorting to
the use of force (Spillar, 2015).

  There are other concerns that police
departments must be aware of is ethical bias when they hire.  There has to be a screening criteria that
identifies officers prior to hiring them. 
If you can weed them out prior to hire them, you avoid ethical problems in
all ranks.  Social media plays an
important role in how police are perceived. 
Everyone has a phone or device that can record police interactions.  Since the media tends report on the bad
actions of officers, it’s easy to submit a video.  Most observations of police failure on video
clearly does not benefit any police departments.  It’s important to understand the media can
positively or negatively impact the community’s perception of departments using
technology. Police can benefit for example using dash cams and individual
cameras.   Police Departments must focus
on training and screening; embrace technology to show their trainee.     

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