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POLICE ETHICS, INTEGRITY, AND OFF-DUTY BEHAVIOR: POLICY ISSUES OF OFFICER CONDUCT (FROM POLICE DEVIANCE, THIRD EDITION, P 29-44, 1994, THOMAS BARKER AND DAVID L CARTER, EDS. -- SEE NCJ-144538)

NCJ Number
144541
Author(s)
D W Stephens; D L Carter
Date Published
1994
Length
16 pages
Annotation
This paper discusses the rationale for and policies relevant to the expectation that police officers will manifest ethical and law-abiding behavior while off-duty.
Abstract
Because police officers are entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing society's laws and protecting citizens from harm, their credibility depends upon their own personal compliance with the law and with behaviors that promote public order and citizen safety. The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and the Canons of Police Ethics, as well as relevant court decisions indicate that expectations of personal responsibility extend to both on-duty and off-duty behavior. Given the validity of this rationale, police departments should articulate the position that a higher standard of conduct and integrity applies to sworn police officers than to nonsworn citizens. Behavioral expectations for off-duty officers should be specified in written policy and procedures. Policies should include the responsibility of all officers to report wrongdoing by other officers, whether or not the wrongdoing is observed while off-duty. Off-duty behavior should be encompassed in collective- bargaining negotiations and resulting contracts. 20 references and 5 study questions