29 terms

03 - Professionalism and Ethics

Varying definitions of Professionalism
• Comes from vows of religious order
• 1675 the term was secularized
• A vocation in which professed knowledge of some branch of learning
• Applied specifically to the three learned professions of divinity, law, and medicine. Also included military.
• Usually involving mental rather than manual work
• Professionals know what is best for their client
• Measure the occupation on certain key characteristics
What causes a person to act; an inner drive, impulse, or intention.
Characteristics of Professionalism:
• Service to others
• Assessment of client needs
• Theoretical body of knowledge obtained through extended pre-service education - Military, Higher education
• Standards for entry, practice, and ethical conduct
• Professional association to maintain standards
• Continuing education and life long learning
Advantages of Professional Model for Law Enforcement
• Public or Client better served
• Quality of peace officers is improved
• Ethical conduct
• More effective problem solving
• Stronger community support and respect
• Stronger role in the criminal justice system
• More effective innovations
• Financial rewards
Disadvantages of Professional Model for Law Enforcement
• Cost of training and development
• Higher salaries or remuneration for job occupant
• Limited entry into work force from poor because of limited opportunity for educational attainment
Comprehensive and fundamental laws, doctrines, or assumptions. They are fundamental or permanent in value; unarguable; and self evident
Description of Ethical Role
The ethical role is performed by being objective and ethical in personal behavior and in functioning as a representative of the criminal justice system.
Elements of the Ethical Role:
• To act in a manner that reflects belief in the fundamental value of ethical behavior and in application of this value to your job
• To conduct daily activities in an objective manner striving to be uninfluenced by emotion, personal prejudice, or insufficient evidence
• To provide objective and constructive assistance or information to all persons, regardless of personal feelings
• To assist the public to understand how they can help in achieving objective and ethical behavior
Benefits from Role Performance:
• Individual or agency-oriented
• Short-term or long-term
• Prime beneficiary of the criminal justice system is the public served
Ethical Behavior:
Ethics involves the definition and achievement of what is good or bad, right or wrong, in relation to moral duty and obligation. It also includes the need to act in accordance with the principles of right and wrong governing the conduct of a particular group, such as doctors and lawyers.

Suggested police ethics have been spelled out in the Code of Ethics of the International Association of the Chiefs of Police
Consideration of the Ethical Role
Motive is as important as the act

• Consider all relevant sides of an ethical problem
• Consider basic ethical values
• Act in accordance with the code of your profession
Representing the Criminal Justice System
• "everybody's doing it"
• "made, not born"
Ethics in Client Relationships
• The relationships with people who are clients can be either positive or negative
• Officers hold themselves accountable in the same ways that suspects or offenders are held
Ethics in Community Relations and Education Programs
• Maintain the highest standards or personal and professional behavior
• Serve the entire community
Working Ethically with Other Criminal Justice Personnel
• Mutual respect and trust among criminal justice personnel
• Perform in accordance with basic ethics, the law, and departmental regulations
• Reinforces feelings of respect and trust
• Helps reach desired goals
Objective Behavior
• Objectivity involves the expression or use of facts without distortion by personal feelings or prejudices.
• The ability to be objective is learned and improved with practice
• Establish the validity of the information
• Reliability of an informant
• If you become aware of your personal feelings, prejudices, "blind spots," and other elements of personality, you have taken a giant step toward introducing objectivity into your behavior
• Proper perspective
Objectivity in Personal Behavior
• Higher standards
• Personal associations
• Biases
• Prejudices
the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery; valor.
Two Types of Courage:
1) Physical courage
a. Facing barricaded, armed suspect
b. Traffic stops
d. Suspect under influence
2) Moral courage
a. Refusing gratuities
b. Refusing to participate in cover-up
c. Refusing to participate in ethnic or gender based humor or practical joking, etc.
Civil and Criminal Laws Related to Unethical Behavior of Peace Officers
• Title 8 of Texas Penal Code
• USC 241
• USC 242
List Chapters and Offenses in Title 8 of Texas Penal Code Related to Ethical Behavior of Peace Officer
Chapter 36: Bribery and Corrupt Influence
o Bribery
o Coercion of Public Servant or Voter
o Improper Influence
o Tampering with Witness
o Obstruction or Retaliation
o Acceptance of Honorarium
o Gifts to Public Servants
Chapter 37: Perjury and Other Falsification
o Perjury
o Aggravated Perjury
o False Report to Peace Officer or Law Enforcement Employee
o Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence
o Tempering with Governmental Record
Chapter 39
o Abuse of Official Capacity
o Official Oppression
o Violation of Civil Rights of Person in Custody
o Failure to Report Death of Prisoner
o Misuse of Official Information
Criminal Law Relating to Officer Behavior:
• Unethical conduct on the part of peace officers can result in federal prosecution
• Statutes aimed at peace officers to prevent violations of civil rights
• FBI has a special role to investigate those accusations
• Controlled out of Washington, DC
Bribery and Corruption Influence
A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another
Perjury and other Falsifications
A person commits an offense if, with intent to deceive and with knowledge of the statement's meaning:

• He makes a false statement under oath or swears to the truth of a false statement previously made and the statement is required or authorized by law to be made under oath; or
• He makes a false unsworn declaration under Chapter 132, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
• Class A misdemeanor.
USC 241 Conspiracy Against Rights
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured -

They shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both; and it death results, they shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years or for life.
USC 242 Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any inhabitant of any State, Territory, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such inhabitant being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both; and if death results shall be subject to imprisonment for any term of years for life.
Civil Penalties for Inappropriate Conduct:
• Sexual Harassment - EEOC definitions USCA 1983 Violation of Civil Rights
• Sexual Harassment - Penal Code 39.03
• Texas Commission on Human Rights - Sexual Harassment
• Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Sexual Harassment
• The definition of harassment as opposed to sexual harassment - EEOC
City of Ontario v. Quon
Search of police pager text messages was reasonable, so no 4th Amendment violation.
Law Enforcement Canons of Ethics
• Primary Responsibility of Job
• Limitations of Authority
• Duty to be Familiar with the Law and With Responsibilities of Self And Other Public Officials
• Utilization of Proper means to Gain Proper Ends
• Cooperation with Public Officials in the Discharge of their Duties
• Private Conduct
• Conduct Toward the Public
• Conduct in Arresting and Dealing With Law Violators
• Gifts and Favors
• Presentation of Evidence
• Attitude Toward Profession