Ethical Considerations in Law Enforcement
Ethical Considerations in Law Enforcement

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Ethical Considerations in Law Enforcement

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TOPIC: When Does Law Enforcement Cross Boundaries Between Ethical And Unethical Behaviour Towards Citizens.

1: Include background, development of rationale and justification of the position on the topic.

2: Incorporate the definition of Integrity: (pledge to be honest, just and consistent in word and deed.)

3: in the References please include U.S. Authors and two Internet Research. 

4: Please make sure the cover page and the reference page is not part of the 7 page word count.

Ethical Considerations in Law Enforcement

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Ethical Considerations in Law Enforcement

When does law enforcement cross boundaries between ethical and unethical behavior towards citizens


The duty of the state is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. This is done by the enforcement of the law through various means. In order to fulfill this mandate, the state has established several arms of the government to ensure that the detection, deterrence, rehabilitation and the correction of the said offenders are dealt with. Due to the delicate nature of ensuring that the laws of the land are adhered to, these agencies have strict codes of conduct that seek to guide and direct the manner in which their officers should conduct themselves.

The constitution, as the supreme law of the land sets out certain liberties that accrue to the citizens and which should not be violated at any given point for whatever reason by the government. These are found in the various amendments of the constitution. The case of the United States v Jones, 132S.Ct. 945 (2012) is one of the cases where the court had to step in to protect the rights of s citizen that were being violated in an effort to enforce the law (Iyengar, 2013).

In this case, the Supreme Court made a pronouncement to the effect that despite the zeal exhibited by the law enforcement agencies in the fulfillment of their mandate, the same should be done in such a way that the rights and freedoms of the ordinary citizens are preserved. It was found that the fourth amendment rights of privacy of the defendant had been violated by the installation of a Global Positioning System device in their motor vehicle. Although it was done in an effort to obtain information, the extension of the monitoring period ended up being construed as an intrusion in to the right of privacy of the defendant.

The importance of considering the ethical and unethical boundaries that have to be respected by law enforcement agencies in their quest to carry out their mandated task is that more often than not they infringe on the basic rights of the citizens they are supposed to be protecting. These officers are held in higher regard than the other professionals in the state because of the level of trust entrusted in them. As such their conduct both in the profession and in their lives are scrutinized to ensure that they are indeed capable of carrying out their duties to the satisfaction of the citizens.

Ethical considerations in law enforcement

In the determination of a balance between performing their task in law enforcement and respecting the principles that guide the same, law enforcement agencies are faced with an uphill task. This is due to various reasons, the main one being the resistance they face. In an effort to ensure that the law id adhered to, the non-cooperation of the citizens is normally a hindrance since the former view the latter as a group who are out to get them. In such a case, they employ certain tactics that tend to deter the law enforcement agents from carrying out their work.

A comparison is between the earlier mentioned case of United States v Jones with an earlier case of Katz v the United States where the right of privacy was held to have not been infringed because of an earlier consent that could be implied was proved. In the Jones case, the extension of the surveillance of the defendant was deemed as a violation of their rights to privacy despite the effort of the law enforcement agent to rid the streets of the alleged drug the defendant was smuggling.

During the training of law enforcement officers, certain values are sought to be instilled in them while still in the respective academies. Some of these values include the observance of the basic rights of the citizens. The understanding of the law is also part of the course they undergo as their mandate is to protect the same. However, more often than not, the officers are caught breaking the same laws in their zeal to ensure that their mandate is fully fulfilled. Instances include the conduct of arrest, mode of conducting investigations and the handling of the alleged law breakers.

This blurs the boundary between ethical and unethical behaviors towards citizens. Others also include the soliciting and acceptance of bribe as well as colluding with known criminal elements to aid them in their criminal endeavors. In their training, the officers are taught how to handle sensitive issues such as profiling in addition to being brought up to date with the latest technique in conducting their duties but without infringing on the rights of the citizens (Hess, Orthmann and LaDue, 2015).

Additionally the officers take oaths of honor before embarking on their profession is a requirement. This oath of honor pledges the observance of integrity and the honor to betray neither the badge nor the community trust. This symbolizes the officer’s commitment to ethical conduct during his service. However, there are cases where the said officers have been witnessed to use excessive force in discharging their mandate.

On such occasions, the levels of confidence in these agencies tend to be lower in the eyes of the public as their mandate was to protect the public and not brutalize them (Doherty, 2016). At such instances, the law enforcement agents cross the border between their ethical duty to protect and serve and instead become unethical by causing both physical and emotional harm to the citizens they vowed to protect.

The techniques employed by the law enforcement agencies in certain instances to contain situations sometimes surpass the reasonable force threshold and end up bringing violence instead of curing the same. It is at these instances when the officers cross the boundaries between ethical and unethical in their conduct towards citizens……

Ethical Considerations in Law Enforcement

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