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Peer-to-Peer Accountability

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 78 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2009 Pages: 12-19
Jennifer Bills; Ke Ching-Chung; Roy Heringer; Dave Mankin
Date Published
August 2009
8 pages
This article explores modeling ethical behavior and making ethical decisions regarding policy and police practice.
During the decisionmaking process, law enforcement officers consider applicable Federal, State, and local laws; department policy; and their morals which influence decisionmaking. Law enforcement officers must be able to distinguish ethical dilemmas from moral temptations. They have an obligation to confront peers they believe have committed a professional transgression. Such accountability clearly endures where perceived wrongdoing might question a fellow officer's integrity or tarnish the reputation of the respective agency, or worse, the entire profession. Supervisors at all levels of an organization should uniformly train, stress, and enforce clear comprehension of the law and departmental policies, rules of conduct, and memoranda of understanding. Agencies must aggressively confront misconduct issues and vigorously educate personnel to avoid future impropriety at all levels. Peers, as well as supervisors, should remain vigilant about malfeasance, or pending actions of it, and have the fortitude to sway the person in question away from such behavior. If the employee cannot be deterred from the misconduct, fellow officers should always report the situation. 14 endnotes