Police Officer Code of Ethics
In 1989 The International Association of Chiefs of Police Committee on Ethics adopted a revision to its 1957 police officer code of ethics.
This standard is the benchmark by which police officers in the United States and around the world are judged.
Some of the primary features of the Code include:
All police officers are to live up to the highest standards of policing.
Duties shall be performed without regard to “status, sex, race, religion, political belief or aspiration” of anyone with whom the officer comes in contact. Everyone will be treated politely and with dignity and respect.
The officer will not allow personal feelings, beliefs and friendships to interfere with duty.
Discretion is to be used in determining whether an arrest is the best solution to a given incident. The officer is to consider surrounding circumstances in making that arrest decision.
Use of force should be reserved for the last option when negotiation and other efforts have been tried and have failed. Under no circumstances will the officer employ cruel or inhumane treatment.
All police activity is confidential unless required to be revealed for legal reasons or in the performance of duty.
The police officer’s behavior will be above reproach; he or she will not engage in illegal activities, and will not condone illegal behavior in others.
Police officers will cooperate fully with other duly authorized agencies.
The police office will engage in continuing education to keep skills well honed and up to date.
The police officer’s private life will be conducted in a way that will bring honor and respect. His or her character will always be exemplary.
It is clear that the Police Officer Code of Ethics is designed to highlight what is expected in the demeanor and actions of an officer. The public clearly requires trustworthiness, discretion, good judgment in using force and the powers of arrest that are given to sworn officers.
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