Police Gratuity Essay

1817 words - 8 pages

Particularry in the law enforcement division, gratuities has received a vast amount of attention. Whether or not the acceptance of gratuities is considered appropriate has highly been debated and discussed. The general consensus derived from these articles is that the aceeptance of gratuities by law enofrmceent officers is considered to be more unsettling than valued. The article, At What Price a "Freebie"? The Real Cost of Police Gratuities co-written by Jim Ruiz and Christine Bono examines the close ties between the police widespread acceptance of gratuities and the harmful effects that it could have not only on the individual law enforcement personnel but on the policing. Written by ...view middle of the document...

Others advocate that police officers accepting the kindness of gratuities can do insignificant damage and it could be a benefit to society. The literature provides an overview of the ethical dilemma of accepting or politely declining a gratuity, the consequences or such, and the discretionary choices when the gratuity are presented to them weither they are on duty or off.

In the eye of the public, particulary in the area of law enforcement and it’s policy, the bestowment and receiveing of gratuities used to be a customary practice. Currently, this custom has decreased as more law enforcement offices are adopting strict policies regarding gratuities. Kanie suggests that in The ethical acceptability of gratuities: Still saying “yes” after all these years, that according the “Law Enforcement Code of Ethics” there be an overall ban of the acceptance of gratuities. Argueing that what might start as something small and insignificant can often lead into further, bigger temptation and become the opeing for corruption and unethical behavior (Kania, 2004). Kania stated that police officers are intelligent in nature and can be trusted to make good judgement calls.The author points out that it is offensive to the judgement of the law enforcement official that they are unable to make a simple decisions shuch as whethere or not they should accept a cup of coffee. He proposes that the acceptance of small gratuities should not open the door in order to receive higher valued gifts nor offer special treatment to those that give it. Kania claims that it is not a starting place for corruption to imerge, but that immoral individuals are the cause of corruption. He futher expresses that officers having already obtained being deemed trustworthy shoud accept minor gratuities shuch as free coffe as long as they do not take advantage of the gesture as supervisors should recocognize that their officers has good ethics. The article states that theorist reason that small gratuities could have a positive impact on the social structure (Kania, 2004). The article, One dogma of police ethics: Gratuities and the “democratic ethos” of policing found that there is not a written code on grautioty policy but are rather informed verbally that free meals are considered to be a privilege and not to take advantage of it. Del Pozo remarks that although gratuities can be allowable, from an outsider perspective the exchange of such cannot be perceived one way or another from dishonorable comportment (del Pozo, 2005). Given the nature of the topic, police gratuity is not a policy that is strictly black and white, there is a lot of gray area that is left up to interpretation. In At what price a “freebie"? The real cost of police gratuities, Ruiz and Bono remark that regarding the acceptance of gratuities, not every police department or agency has a precise policy on it. They further state that a lot of trust is placed on their police officers and are proactive at making sure that their...

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