Society Impacts Ethical Behavior Of Law Enforcement

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Introduction: Having strong morals and ethics are important for all law enforcement professionals. Decisions need to be made that can greatly impact the lives of others. For this reason there is a higher expectation from the public for law enforcement professionals to have strong morals and ethics (Gleason, 2015). It is important that all law enforcement agencies conduct ongoing education with realistic scenarios to help be ready to make the right decisions. When responding to a situation there are two issues that occur for the law enforcement professional, reaction and action. The reaction is the feelings and thoughts, and the action is what is actually done. The action is the one that must adhere to the law (Gleason, 2015). Body: Society impacts ethical behavior of law enforcement by holding them to a higher standard of expectation. Police officers act as protectors and liaisons in highly stressful situations with the power to make decisions over society. Holding this position requires trust and the ability to lead by example. Police officers may have to be able to recognize the ethical dilemmas, decide the option to handle a situation rationally and ethically, act on the decision, and be prepared to defend it. Police officers are always under scrutiny in the public court of opinion (Gleason, 2015). This is why it is important for society to have a say on ethical expectations within the law enforcement department that is servicing their area. If the public being served does not trust the police officers, then they will not be able to carry out their duties when all they face is hostility and a refusal to obey. This can also make it dangerous for a police officer if they have to spend their shift looking over ... ... middle of paper ... ...e to behave ethically. It is important to take into account society’s changing views when deciding ethical guidelines for law enforcement. This is necessary to make sure that the needs of society are actually being met. When police departments ignore the needs and wants of society and only focus on the technologies to do their job, they are missing the most important need, to serve the community. This could result in not putting enough emphasis in crime reduction or keeping up a strong relationship with the citizens. There is also a connection with police officers treating citizens the way citizens react towards them. If the citizens feel they are not being served and begin a negative treatment towards law enforcement, then law enforcement may return bad behavior. This could snowball into animosity that is out of control (U.S. Department of State, 2011).
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