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Peer Reporting of Unethical Police Behavior

NCJ Number
Vedat Kargin
Date Published
181 pages
This book develops a theoretical ethical decisionmaking model for the investigation of police officers' peer reporting decisions, and the model is tested regarding its ability to identify the factors that influence police officers' peer reporting decision.
The ethical decisionmaking model developed for the decision to report a fellow officer's ethical violation integrates three theoretical decisionmaking models: Rest's (1984) "four component model," Trevino's (1986) "person-situation interactionist" model, and Jones' (1991) "issue-contingent model." This led to the development of an ethical decisionmaking model that incorporates individual-level variables, organizational-level variables, and issue-related variables. By knowing both the factors and the extent of their influence on police officers' peer reporting decisions, police managers will have information that enables them to improve conditions (i.e., individual or organizational) that might stimulate unethical behaviors; in turn, this will enhance efforts to reduce future unethical behaviors by the members of the organization. The findings of this study indicate that the main predictors of police officers' peer reporting intentions were individual attitudinal factors (ethical attitudes toward processional ethics codes and cynicism); organization factors (peer association and reinforcement); and issue-related factors (seriousness of the ethical issue). The study found that one of the strongest predictors of police officers' peer reporting decisions was their perceptions of the seriousness of consequences of the unethical behaviors. This suggests the need to increase police officers' awareness of the seriousness of consequences of ethical violations. The data used in this study came from a random sample of Philadelphia police officers. Thus, the findings can be generalized and applied to all Philadelphia patrol officers. The study examined the influence of 12 factors on police officers' ethical decisionmaking regarding reporting another police officer's unethical activities. Approximately 272 references and appended IACP national law enforcement standards for the scenarios in the study