Ethics is about how we live our life, including our professional life, by deciding and doing what is right and good in our interactions with other people. Police officers are given powers and responsibilities that have significant consequences for others, making high ethical standards and ethical conduct fundamental to policing.
In making ethical decisions, police officers should consider their duties, the consequences of actions they might take, and their own character or the person they want to be.
Understand influences on ethical behaviour, identify negative influences on ethical behaviour and develop strategies for countering negative influences and promoting moral awareness
Police officers must consider their ethical, legal and policy duties when determining what to do, including when exercising discretion.
Police officers need to identify and evaluate the potential consequences of their actions, when determining the right thing to do. Orienting decision-making to the best interests of the community is important to police trustworthiness and community confidence in policing.
Obstacles and biases can impact ethical decision-making. Thankfully we are not doomed, as there are strategies to counter them.
Police officers need to expect and be ready to identify, understand and respond to the ethical issues they are likely to encounter, on and off duty.
Ethics requires us to not only know what is right, but also to do what is right. Police officers should draw upon their own life experience and personal strengths to identify empowering conditions that will enable them to do what is right. They can prepare strategies, scripts and action plans to be ready to respond when ethical issues arise.
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