Read each paragraph and give me your opinion do you agree do you disagree with those two paragraphs one for each para and if you agree or disagree he why or why not
1.Ethical and unethical are two opposite terms. Ethical is the accepted moral principle that governs ones good behavior and the ability to make good honest decisions. Unethical refers to the immoral principles and are morally considered disobedient. They typically do not follow accepted behavior patterns (admin, 2015).
Things have certainly changed over the last few decades. What was once thought to be a career that lacked the need for education and training has evolved into a field where a higher education level is a requirement. The good old boy systems still exists but is quickly being washed out by a new order of understanding and thinking. In the past 15 years, I have personally had a front row seat to the changes seen in public safety. I have witnessed a complete restructuring of my agency which supports new technology and the needs of the community. Our ability to make ethical decisions and how we reason when faced with unethical decisions will always remain a constant. In reality, we are all humans and we do at times make mistakes. Sometimes we must make decisions when we know the outcome of a situation is not good, but yet it is better than the worst. Personally, I have been there before. I do not feel that a few unethical choices or practices make an officer good or bad. The off duty officer that routinely speeds down a residential street because he or she believes he is entitled on his day off should not go unnoticed. He or she should be held accountable and those actions should be enforced.
When looking at someone’s unethical decision making, we should be looking at the entire picture and not have tunnel vison. The answer may not always be right in front of us. There may be an underlying issue that outsiders are unaware of. What led them to their decision? Is it a repetitive issue or were they surrounded by others who have similar problems.
The pattern of the choices we make more or less defines us as professionals. That is not to say we do not have law enforcement professionals that make unethical decisions. There are those that will bend the rules such as: flash the badge to get the upper hand and use excessive force when it is not needed. For the most part men and women enter this profession with the intent to serve their community. Those that get lost along the way may need a little redirection.Departments need ethics and training to keep professionals in check and help professionals from straying away from good ethical practices. In this professional we have to learn how to put personal biases aside so we can serve our communities and our fellow co-workers with good decision making. Letting personal bias can cause us to judge and make poor decisions or not the very best ones. As professionals, our communities hold us to a higher standard. Public safety will always be scrutinized. The good we do will often be overlooked and the bad will be harshly judged. If we are operating under the best ethical and moral practices, there won’t be much for the public or our peers to judge.
I believe that everyone in the criminal justice profession should put ethics in the forefront of their lives and careers and any and all decisions they make. To be ethically correct one has to sometimes put personal feelings aside and remember what the right thing is. Do the right thing, even if the right thing is not always a popular decision. As a police officer, for example, faced with a situation of a drug bust that and drug money that has to be logged as evidence. This drug money is this officer’s responsibility to be counted and logged correctly. The only people that know how much money is actually apart of this bust in the drug dealer and this officer. Does the officer skim some money off the top? Nobody would be the wiser if the officer logged a few thousand dollars less than what was actually there, the drug dealer would not have credibility. This is when an officer’s ethics step in, even though the officer and the drug dealer are the only ones who are privy to the amount, it is up to the officer to do the right thing and log every dollar of that money into evidence. If he lies and disregards his oath he took when entering into the force, who is to say this wouldn’t be a stepping-stone to other lies and crimes in the future. He has a responsibility to himself and the public to do the right thing and log all monies.An unethical officer, might just skim a few thousand dollars off the top of that drug money and try to justify it by saying he was using for his mother who has cancer or for his child or the kids in the neighborhood that don’t have a playground, they need to be able to be outside with fresh air, or to pay off his sister’s gambling debt, so she is not faced with bodily harm. These are all great reasons to help other’s but not with funds taken from a drug bust. Officers have to think about what is ethically correct and their future. O’Connor (2005) states, “The key element is misuse of official authority; the gain can be personal or for the common good. Corruption is bad because it undermines integrity, the state of policing being whole or undivided” (para. 5). Balko (2011) shares, “A former Texas district attorney, Joe Frank Garza, pleaded guilty in state court to misappropriating $200,000 in drug forfeiture funds” (para. 11).
To err is human, everyone makes mistakes at one time or another in life, and forgiveness is a virtue. Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard than the rest of society, yet they are human, and will at one point or another in their careers make a mistake or two. It depends on what the mistake or bad act is as to whether they are considered an ethical or unethical officer. An officer who covers and lies for his partner for a situation that did not go down the way it should have legally is being unethical by trying to have his partners back. He feels obligated, but he should be thinking of his own career and being ethical about the situation. It’s a tough call for some officers because it’s his partner and he is supposed to have his back at all times, but he has to consider his own career, also if his partner was smart and a good partner and friend, he would not want his partner to lie for him under those circumstances. Covering your partners back if he is running late or has some personal business to attend to, to me, is not being unethical. That situation is low on my totem pole for being unethical. Many good officers have found themselves in sticky situations, situations that would question their ethics; this does not always make them bad officers. Every officer should have a standard of ethics to live by and to do their job by, so they are able to do their job to the best of their ability everyday. Not everyone lives by the same standard of ethics but when an officer chooses to join the force they take on the job knowing that they may run into people that don’t believe the same as they do and don’t act with the same integrity. Having ethical values and integrity can make a leader out of any officer, standing up for what a person believes in and doing the right thing even when no one is watching can be considered a leader with a good moral compass and solid ethics. Officers have been taking a beating in the media lately and outside in the real world as well. When one officer makes a bad decision, it quite often affects the entire force. Officers know that and most try to counteract the bad publicity by going out and getting involved with the community to show their willingness to step up and protect, to reach out and relate with the people they try so hard to protect, to change the minds of those with scarred outlooks on the police force.
I believe that there are times in the criminal justice profession that one has to misrepresent themselves to get information that otherwise may not be gotten. I don’t feel that it is necessarily unethical to do so. An officer is not able to walk up to a well know drug dealer and flash his badge and get all the information he is looking for, but if he goes undercover and infiltrates this well known drug dealers business, he may have a better opportunity to get the information he needs to shut the drug dealer down and in the process, save many lives that could otherwise be lost to drug overdoses. Rutledge (2007) contributes, “In drug-related offenses law enforcement personnel have turned to one of the only practicable means of detection: the infiltration of drug rings and a limited participation in their unlawful practices. Such infiltration is a recognized and permissible means of investigation. The court ruled that since the suspects were “predisposed” to commit the crime and had not been pressured into doing so by coercive government influence, there was no entrapment”(para. 5 & 6).