Ethical leadership in today’s law enforcement agency is everybody’s responsibility. From line level officer to the chief each play an important part in assuring that police officers serve the communities they are in using ethical standards that are practiced everyday in every situation.
Leadership is showing the way and helping or inducing others to pursue it. This entails envisioning a desirable future, promoting a clear purpose or mission, supportive values and intelligent strategies, and empowering and engaging all those concerned. (Cordner 2014). This quote from …show more content…
In law enforcement we are taught for the most part that the law is the law and people who break it are to be punished. Many departments have gone through large scandals in their history showing that even though officers are taught a standard of ethics and codes when they first are in training they can still be led astray by a variety of influences. In my opinion it has been a breakdown in the roles and responsibilities within organizations that has allowed this to happen. Each segment of a police department is responsible for this in their own way from patrol officer to chief.
Patrol Officer’s Role Many officers do not realize how vital of a role they play in the ethical dynamics of a police department. One of the most common moral dilemmas faced by officers is whether or not to bend some of the rules limiting their behavior in order to deal with people they believe are criminals or troublemakers. (Caldero, 2004) This feeling of “noble cause” or bending the rules for the greater good can be a difficult thing to overcome. Most officers that I have talked to at the beginning of their careers have told me that they got into the profession to “make a difference”. Now as their career progresses it becomes apparent that sometimes there are