Ethical Dilemmas in Law Enforcement
“Law enforcement has a duty to serve and protect the people; to never use their abilities or knowledge to obtain power over others.” –Interpol Group of Experts on Corruption (IGEC)
When most people think of law enforcement I don’t think unethical is the first thing that comes to mind. Everyone has a definition of law enforcement; from my experiences it usually entitles a group of people appointed to maintain the rules and standards of society. Despite the expectations and obligations of law enforcement we as a people must see that they too are human, and they too face ethical conflicts that could endanger their lives and others: Acts of Omission and Acts of Commission are prevalent ethical dilemmas within law enforcement.
IGEC (2010) believes that these two acts occur to officers that feel victimized and make an attempt to justify actions they may not normally engage in (pp. 16). I think this happens to officers who have been in the law enforcement field for many years - they’ve been subjected to many dangers and situations that are infrequent in nature to regular human beings, but are necessary for officers. When this happens officers feel like they lost a piece of innocence or meaning of humanity, in doing so it creates a perception of being victimized.
The acts of Omission by standards occur when, “officers rationalize and justify not doing things they are responsible for doing. When this transpire officers feel quite vindicated in not doing things that from their own perspective, appear to even the score.” Officers may feel like no one cares about them and in turn rationalized by saying “why should they care about them (i.e. civilians, superiors, etc.). An officer may see acts of violation such as civilians running traffic lights and turning a blind eye. Officers also may lack in paper work and doing customary tasks on the job, but complete enough to get by (Gilmartin, Harris, 1998, pp. 9-11).
The Acts of Commission is usually the...