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Character And Cops: Ethics In Policing

1553 words - 6 pages

Deliberation and Moral Problems in TrainingI. INTRODUCTIONFirst part of the chapter the author discusses situations that might need deliberation..or the situation has options of how it should be handled - the author asks practical questions and offers some suggestions on how to handle themHe states that the action to take in a given situation sometimes does not require much thought - it is natural if the person has morals. (Standards of behavior - principals of right and wrong)Not every situation requires deliberation - some situations require quick fast decisions which should be guided by ones everyday conduct -Example: the author equates this as you don't have to think about whether you will behave honestly towards your family and friends - just as you don't have to think about brushing your teethII. MORAL DELIBERATIONSAuthor tries to make the distinction between the "truth" and being "honest"▸ Questions arise sometimes for officers because they don't want to lie about the truth, but sometimes telling the truth might divulge confidential information.Situations often arise where there might have to be exceptions to where a police officer does not tell the truthExample: A murder asks you which way a man has gone, and you tell him something that is not true, because you are under a previous obligation not to betray a man to a murderThe author presents eight situations as problematic where some type of conclusion should be reached using a form of moral deliberations. I will discuss three of them:Question: News reporters ask in an interview for information about an investigation that is confidential. Should police lie to protect confidentiality? (Lying to the media)Reporter asking for sensitive information about an investigation or victim, has no right to it; the police have a duty to safeguard confidentiality. The author advises when pressed by the media, a reply of "No comment" is acceptable. The author further states that according to most high administrative officers, the answer of whether to lie to the media, is "never".Author advises it is a good idea for the police to cooperate with the mediaExample: 1988 a magazine in West Virginia ran an article about drug sales in a county with the emphasis on a Jamaican crack connection.* ABC news sent a film crew to film the sale of crack on the street* Law enforcement officials feared this would compromise their investigation, so they allowed the crew to tape from inside their unmarked police vehicles* They asked the officials to hold off airing it until after the arrests* ABC refused but they needed the footage to incorporate an already scheduled national broadcast on narcotics in America* The police department had to move the raid up several weeks* They didn't get all their targets however, cooperation between the police and the media about each others plans avoided compromising the entire investigation.Question: A suspect confesses to a number of crimes in addition to the one he is charged...

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