Counseling Chapter 8 Agencies Need Communicate Zero Tolerance And Have Policy For Reporting Documenting And

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
An Introduction to Policing 9th Edition
John S. Dempsey, Linda S. Forst, Steven B. Carter
Chapter 8
Police Ethics and Police Deviance
Learning Objectives
LO1 Define and describe ethics.
LO2 Discuss the ethical dilemma that is present in the law enforcement profession due to the
necessary use of discretion.
LO3 Discuss the ways police actions are reviewed.
LO4 Identify the various definitions, types, and extent of police corruption and explain the
reasons for police corruption.
Lesson Plan
Correlated to PowerPoints
I. Ethics and the Police
Learning Objective 1: Define and describe ethics.
A. Ethics Defined
1. Ethics is defined as the study of what constitutes good or bad conduct.
2. The term is often used interchangeably with morals, which is understandable
3. Basic ethics are the rather broad moral principles that govern all conduct, whereas
applied ethics focuses these broad principles upon specific applications.
B. Police Ethical Standards
What If Scenario
You are tasked with writing an ethics statement for your department. What would the statement
2. An oath of office, which can be considered a shorthand version of the value
system or code of ethics
C. Informal Code of Conduct
2. Includes doing the right amount of work, keeping a cool head, backing up fellow
officers, not giving up another cop, not volunteering information, not making
waves, covering their butts, and not trusting administration to look out for their
best interests
II. The Dilemma of Law Versus Order
Learning Objective 2: Discuss the ethical dilemma that is present in the law enforcement
profession due to the necessary use of discretion.
A. There has always been an inherent conflict in the role of the police in maintaining law
and order in U.S. society.
B. Officers have to weigh many variables and sometimes contemplate accomplishing the
most good for the greatest number of people.
C. Slippery slope to corruption
1. When people begin to deviate, they do it in small ways.
3. There is no such thing as “minor” unethical behavior.
What If Scenario
You are an officer in a medium-sized agency. Your department has been the subject of a media
investigation of ethical standards in the department. You are asked by the Chief to prepare a
statement for the media regarding the department ethical standards. What do you say?
4. Police deviance, which has a long tradition in U.S. police departments, appears to
be intractable.
III. Review of the Police
Learning Objective 3: Discuss the ways police actions are reviewed.
A. Numerous Commissions
1. Commission on Law Observance and Enforcementthe Wickersham
Commission (1931)
4. National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals (1973)
6. Knapp Commission to Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption (1970)
B. Judicial Review
1. Process by which the actions of the police in such areas as arrests, search and
3. Police are under constant review by the media and citizens.
IV. Police Corruption
Learning Objective 4: Identify the various definitions, types, and extent of police corruption
and explain the reasons for police corruption.
Class Discussion/Activity:
Define police corruption. Identify some of the forms it takes.
Media Tool
“Dirty Cops and Police Misconduct”
Interview with Modesto, CA Police Chief Mike Harden
o Discussion: Discuss what you see in the video. Do you agree or disagree with the statements
made by Chief Harden? How should police handle misconduct and corruption?
A. Definitions
B. Examples of Police Corruption
2. The Danziger Bridge case
4. Federal law enforcement agents
C. Reasons for Police Corruption
Class Discussion/Activity:
Discuss whether there is something about police work that makes police corruption and other
police deviance more likely than in other professions.
1. Individual officer explanations
3. Neighborhood explanations
5. The police organization
6. The police subculture
D. Types and Forms of Corruption
1. Two primary types of corrupt police officers:
2. Four general types of police corruption:
a. Taking gratuities
4. Stages of moral decline of police officers:
a. The first stage involves the acceptance of minor gratuities, such as free
Class Discussion/Activity:
Do you feel the acceptance of gratuities is corruption? Should it be allowed? Explain or defend
your answer.
b. The second and third stages involve accepting gratuities to overlook
regulatory offenses, such as accepting money to allow bars to remain
See Assignment 1
E. Noble Cause Corruption
Class Discussion/Activity:
Define and discuss noble cause corruption and give some examples.
1. Refers to situations where a police officer bends the rules to attain the “right”
3. Noble cause corruption then becomes a gateway for material reward or financial
F. Effects of Police Corruption
1. Gives a black eye to officers who have never, and would never, consider any type
of misconduct, as well as to agencies with similar standards
3. Morale within the department will suffer as the officers may feel they are “painted
with the same wide brush.
4. Can result in an organization writing a policy or implementing training that might
Class Discussion/Activity:
In policing, the phrase “professional courtesy” refers to officers letting other officers off with a
warning on traffic violations. Is it a perk of the job? How do you feel about this unwritten policy?
Is it fair? Why or why not?
V. Other Police Misconduct
Learning Objective 5: Describe other forms of police misconduct including drug-related
corruption, sleeping on duty, police deception, sex-related corruption, and domestic violence.
A. Drug-Related Misconduct
2. Profit is most frequent motive.
B. Sleeping on Duty
2. Sleeping on duty intentionally or unintentionally is an issue.
C. Police Deception
1. Perjury while testifying in court
3. Falsifying police reports
D. Sex-Related Misconduct
1. Situations in which a citizen experiences a sexually degrading, humiliating,
2. Administrators need to look for warning signs.
What If Scenario
You are an officer who becomes aware of a fellow officer who is having an affair with another
officer’s wife. The liaisons occur while the officer is on duty. What should you do, and do you tell
the other officer about what you know?
E. Domestic Violence in Police Families
2. Many departments handle reports of domestic violence internally to protect the
3. IACP has developed a model policy for police-involved domestic violence, but
only 25 percent of the largest police departments have a policy.
See Assignment 2
VI. Biased-Based Policing
Learning Objective 6: Define and discuss bias-based policing.
See Assignment 3
A. Racial Profiling
2. Generally defined as any police-initiated activity that relies on a person’s race or
3. Creates animosity toward the police and makes it less likely for community
VII. Police Brutality
Learning Objective 7: Discuss the definition and extent of police brutality.
A. Use of Force
See Assignment 4
1. The use of force must be reasonable and it must be appropriate.
3. Police brutality is more severe and represents a significant disparity between the
level of compliance by the citizen and the level of police force used.
5. Implicit bias may lead a police officer to misinterpret an incident as threatening
when interacting with a non-white individual.
VIII. Responses to Police Corruption
Learning Objective 8: Describe various responses to police corruption.
A. Investigations
1. Many police departments have established internal affairs divisions as their major
department resource to combat corruption.
2. Internal affairs divisions can attack corruption in two ways: reactively and
a. In a reactive investigation, the investigator waits for a complaint of
corruption from the public and then investigates that specific complaint
using traditional investigative techniques.
Media Tool
Internal Affairs: Protecting the Integrity of the Badge
o Video Discussion: Good internal affairs practices help protect the integrity of a police
department. Correct handling of internal affairs complaints protects both citizens and law
enforcement personnel.
o Discussion: Discuss what you see in the video. How should internal affairs investigations be
handled? Do you agree with what is presented? Why or why not?
B. Discipline and Termination
2. Typically, anyone who could have or should have known there was a problem
3. Departments often choose to put the officers on administrative leave, in
4. Agencies may also allow the officer to resign rather than be fired to save the costs
of going through expensive litigation.
5. Decertification is also an option for law enforcement agencies.
C. Preventive Administrative Actions
1. The hiring and screening process is the first step in preventing police corruption
and misconduct.
3. Citizens should also be informed of the procedure for making a complaint against
a department employee.
5. Adequate supervision can help prevent misconduct that may occur during slow
6. If a department takes a proactive stance toward promoting integrity throughout
7. Preventive actions used to minimize the occurrences of corruption and
5. Decertification is also an option for law enforcement agencies.
D. Citizen Oversight (also referred to as civilian review, citizen complaint boards,
or external review)
Class Discussion/Activity:
Police officers often claim that a citizen review board is not needed, and citizens do not understand
the police role and therefore cannot be objective when investigating the police. Citizens often claim
that there should be a citizen review board to investigate allegations of police misconduct. Citizens’
groups even allege that internal affairs officers cover up for their own. Should the police be allowed
to police themselves? Does your local community have a citizen review board? If not, should they,
and why? Are these claims justified? Do the police do a good job of “policing” themselves in your
1. A method designed to allow for independent citizen review of complaints filed
against the police through a board or committee that independently reviews
See Assignment 5
2. Has generally been implemented when the community was unhappy with its
3. Four basic models of oversight systems:
a. Citizens investigate allegations of misconduct and make
recommendations to the head of the agency.
4. Citizen oversight is often demanded by the community when citizens believe the
5. Many departments are taking a proactive approach and putting a system in place
before a crisis erupts.
Media Tool
City of Key West Citizen Review Board (CRB) Overview 2011
o Citizen Review Boards
o Discussion: Discuss what this video says Civilian Review Boards. What is the function of the
Civilian Review Boards? Do you believe that Civilian Review Boards are a good idea? Why
or why not?
IX. Police Civil and Criminal Liability
Learning Objective 9: Discuss the issue of liability and the effects of lawsuits on police officers
and police agencies.
A. Civil Liability
1. Means that a police officer may be sued in civil court for improper behavior,
2. Is a relatively new approach to correcting improper actions by the police through
B. State Liability
2. Many states have provisions in their penal codes that make certain actions by
3. Police officers, like everyone else, are subject to being charged with violations of
C. Federal Liability
D. Reasons for Suing Police Officers
1. Failure to render proper emergency medical assistance
3. False arrest
See Assignment 6
5. Malicious prosecution
7. Negligence in the care of suspects in police custody
9. Lack of due regard for the safety of others
11. Violations of constitutional rights
12. Racial profiling
E. Effects of Lawsuits on Police Departments and Officers
2. Settling cases angers police officers who think they did nothing wrong and that
the government should defend them.
3. Increased litigation may make officers reluctant to take action; it also promotes
better police training and more responsible police practices.
What If Scenario
You are the Patrol Captain and your department has been the subject of a federal lawsuit and federal
consent decree. The morale of the department is low. How would you address the morale issue to the
F. The Emotional Toll of Police Lawsuits
2. Officer may feel abandoned and alone.
X. Summary
Lecture Notes
1. How extensive is police corruption?
Police officers face ethical dilemmas every day. Every situation is different, and the
circumstances surrounding each call determine whether an arrest will be made. A police officer
2. What are the leading explanations for police corruption?
Numerous theories have attempted to explain corruption in law enforcement agencies. The
3. What are the various forms of police misconduct other than corruption?
Police corruption and police brutality are the most serious forms of police deviance. Other forms
4. What effect, if any, have civil liabilities had on police departments?
Police civil liability means that a police officer may be sued in civil court for improper behavior,
using such civil law concepts as negligence and torts. Civil liability is a relatively new approach
Key Terms
biased-based policing Any police-initiated activity that relies on a person’s race or ethnic
background rather than on behavior as a basis for identifying that individual as being involved in
bribe Payment of money or other contribution to a police officer with the intent to subvert the
citizen oversight Also referred to as civilian review or external review. A method that allows for
the independent citizen review of complaints filed against the police through a board or
corruption Acts involving misuse of authority by a police officer in a manner designed to
produce personal gain for the officer or others. (p. 231)
ethics The study of what constitutes good or bad conduct. (p. 231)
grass-eaters Police officers who participate in the more passive type of police corruption by
gratuities Items of value received by someone because of his or her role or job rather than
because of a personal relationship. (p. 238)
implicit bias The bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes
such as implicit attitudes and stereotypes that operate often at a subconscious level and
internal affairs division The unit of a police agency that is charged with investigating police
judicial review Process by which the actions of the police in areas such as arrests, search and
seizure, and custodial interrogation are reviewed by the court system to ensure their
Knapp Commission Commission created in 1970 to investigate allegations of widespread,
meat-eaters Officers who participate in a more aggressive type of corruption by seeking out and
taking advantage of opportunities of corruption. (p. 238)
Mollen Commission A commission created in the 1990s to investigate corruption allegations in
noble cause corruption Stems from ends-oriented policing and involves police officers bending
the rules to achieve the “right” goal of putting a criminal in jail. (p. 239)
police deception Form of misconduct that includes perjury and falsifying police reports. (p. 242)
“rotten apple” theory Theory of corruption in which it is believed that individual officers
1. Discuss the ethics of extending professional courtesy to fellow police officers’ family
members. Should you avoid writing a speeding ticket for a fellow officer’s teenage son?
What should you do if you think the teenager has been drinking? [LO 4]
2. Research the issue of fatigue in people who work the night shift. What strategies do
professionals recommend to alleviate fatigue and help these workers avoid sleeping on
3. A community that trusts its police department is more likely to work with the police to
make the community safe. Interview a local police officer about community outreach
efforts in his or her department. Could the department be doing more to improve
community relations? [LO 6]
4. Review the Rodney King incident in detail. Debate the use-of-force policy that was in
5. You have the task of establishing a citizen review board in your community. What must
you do to establish a board that will be accepted by both the community and the police?
6. You are the police chief of the Anytown Police Department. Your department has been
the subject of State investigations regarding false arrests of subjects. You do not have a
policy in place that deals with this. Write a new policy regarding officers making false

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