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State Police Department Memorandum Essay

1962 words - 8 pages

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with some information on the expected ethical conduct of all State police officers and employees with the State Police Department. It has been brought to my attention that there are several ethical violations that are being carried out on a regular routine by the police officers and staff of this department. This memo will explain the ethical dilemmas that are faced everyday by the officers of this department and what is expected of each and everyone. It is vital that the department maintain an ethical standard that is above reproach. ("Noble cause corruption," 2010)

We as a department must establish not only a minimal standard of conduct for our officers but also aspire to set high goals for all our employees. We as public employees must strive to be vigilant against corruption and remain ethically sound. The trust and confidence of the citizens of the state is an important matter that must be maintained. The Policing profession is a noble profession and attracts individuals who have certain characteristics such as being responsible and having an authoritative personality and one who acts on behalf of others without concern for their own safety and well being. Many of these officers have a preconceived notion of what the profession is about and how to make the world a safer place for all citizens. ("Noble cause corruption," 2010) (Martinelli, 2006)

We as police officers here in America are given a large degree of authority and responsibility to our citizens. Our powers are granted to us through the government and give us the powers and responsibilities to be assertive and authoritarian, we are expected to stop citizens as well as detain them if they are guilty of breaking the laws that have been established by our society. We even have the power to injure or kill citizens who are engaged in wrongful behavior. This is where our ethical standards are called into play and reflect who we are as a department. We are accountable to the public for our actions and therefore must police ourselves to ensure that the public trust is not violated. (Fitzpatrick, 2006)

Many, but not all officers have blurred the distinction between noble cause and the true ethical decisions that must be made. Noble cause corruption is defined on the Ethics in policing web site as “corruption committed in the name of good ends, corruption that happens when police officers care too much about their work. It is corruption that is committed in order to take the “bad person” off the streets. Police officers often believe that bending the rules is an acceptable behavior if it results in getting the criminal off the streets. According to Ethics in Policing, many officers rationalize this behavior as a way of doing their job, of accomplishing what the citizens are paying them to do. ("Noble cause corruption," 2010)

In an article written by Thomas Martinelli, J.D. he discusses the gray line between corruption and noble...

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