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The Oath Of Office And Code Of Ethics

1488 words - 6 pages

Abstract In today’s world there are many issues facing the criminal justice system. Some of these issues include police corruption, use of excessive and deadly force, pursuits, and deviance. The media influences public opinion and there is concern over the morality, and ethics of our public leaders. (DeShon, 2000) The criminal justice system has two neglected and important issues of integrity and truth; the oath of office and the code of ethics. (DeShon, 2000) In many agencies the impact these two issues have on our communities are not fully understood. Public distrust for many criminal justice professions is prevalent. (DeShon, 2000) Perhaps, the problem of public cynicism can be corrected if criminal justice professionals received continuing education and training regarding their oath of office and the code of ethics they are to live up to. (DeShon, 2000) Oath of Office Many members of our government and criminal justice system must take a sworn oath before they are authorized to perform the duties of the office they are about to step into. (DeShon, 2000) Not all individuals working in the criminal justice system are required to take an oath, For example; attorneys in Michigan must take an oath, (State Bar of, 2011) yet in the state of Texas all that is needed is a notarized statement of recommendation from another attorney. (United States District, 2011) Meaning of an Oath The oath taken by those working in the criminal justice field holds obligations and responsibilities the average businessperson or citizen does not have to abide by. (DeShon 2000) It is a promise in the making and on its solemn pledge stands the collateral of an individual’s reputation. (Conley, 2011) It is a solemn declaration or affirmation that is made with an appeal to God for truth of what is affirmed. By appealing to God the person taking the oath execrates vengeance and rejects his favor if the declaration is false, the individual appeals to the vengeance of God if he fails to fulfill it. An oath that is false is also known as perjury. (DeShon, 2000) When taking an oath, the right hand is raised and the left hand is usually placed upon a copy of the Bible or Gospels. (DeShon 2000)Ethics Ethics have been defined in many ways by many individuals. (DeShon 2000) The issue of police ethics is behavior. The oath is taken as a sworn commitment to act in a manner that is ethical. When one is affected so is the other. (Deshon, 2000) It is the requirement of a professional to adhere to a code of ethics. Many professions adopt these, including lawyers and doctors. Law enforcement officers and other individuals working in the criminal justice system must also follow a code of ethics. (Deshon, 2000) These ethics are usually taught during academic training and certification of office. Often once the code of ethics is brought forth and read it is not reviewed again throughout their careers. (Deshon, 2000) A signed copy is simply placed in the...

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