Police officers are held at a higher form of ethical behavior and when they violate the trust bestowed upon them with the position they held, they entire department is viewed as a r corrupt agencies and all they service within that agency are bad people. Their professional responsibilities are driven by codes of ethics to assist them in executing their duties and to safeguard these higher standards of conduct. Everyday law enforcement officials are confronted with a maze of commitments in the implementation of their official duties. Papenfuhs 2011)
Even though law enforcement officials have these standards, they are still challenged with moral dilemmas. This mean the officer is challenged to make a decision which sometimes conflicts with societal and personal ethical morals and values and provide no satisfactory outcome. When police officer and any official representing the public is investigate for selling drugs or anything that stains the agency, that agencies ethical standards are bought into question. Papenfuhs 2011) Sometime in February of last year in Seattle Washington, a high ranking officer that investigate the illegal use and sell of drugs and a confidential detective were apprehended by Department of Justice agents on accusations that these men collaborated to peddle illegal substances. (Solanga 2011) They were charged with 25 alleged felony crimes that include possession, carrying, and selling illegal drugs amongst other charges as well.
These men were former police officers with the Antioch Police Department. This investigate took over a year to gather all evidence before these two individuals were arrested. Under cover informants purchased drugs from these two police officers ensuring what an informant had told them were actual facts and not just a rumor. (Solanga 2011) One of these police officers worked in the Department of Justice Narcotics division and oversaw hundreds of illegal drug inquiries.
Since these men are charged with possession and selling, their ethical decision calls into judgment every case they were involved in putting the entire agencies integrity into question. (Solanga 2011) The unethical decision that these officers involved themselves with was to engage in illegal activities for financial gain. By allowing financial wealth to cloud their judgment, these former police officers face up to 25 years in prison and a blemish reputation within the community and their perspective agency.
Trying to replace their position within the Department of Justice and within the police department is going to take some time since their decision calls into stricter background checks of replacement staff members. If the conduct by these two former police officers by the community will be perceived that police officers say one thing and completely conduct themselves totally different. Their action sends a message to drug dealers, that we are above the law and breaking rules truly doesn’t pertain to us but if you is caught.
We will deal with you swiftly and show no mercy on the punishment we hand down to you. Since the standards are higher for public officials, the exact same punishment everyone other criminal receives will be the same as public officials. (Solanga 2011) The alternative course of action is already in place with ethics training since ever police officer receives this training at police academy. This training I believe should never be a one and done but should be a revolving door throughout any police officers career.
This educational process should be both official and giving daily in their meeting and team sessions. Every agency should reinforce their policy on police conduct and ethical and moral standards laying out the consequences of violating these policies. (Papenfuhs 2011) In order to eliminate unethical conduct that police officers deal with, training must be centered on upholding the law. The power of individual influences upon people’s action shall correspond with suitable and equal punishment both in an encouraging and unconstructive intellect.
The outcome of the situation was that the officers were found guilty of possession, manufacturing, and selling illegal drugs. Under their plea agreement, they will serve 15 years to life in prison in a federal prison. Their agency is still trying to recover from the public embarrassment it received from their actions. (Papenfuhs 2011) In conclusion, if you are a public official and you wear a badge, reframe from doing anything that will land you in jail. When there is doubt about any situation that calls into your integrity and you are not sure what action to take? Talk to someone who may know.
Papenfuhs, Steve. (April 6, 2011). Ethical Dilemmas Cops Face Daily. Retrieved on June 12, 2013 from http://www.policeone.com/legal/articles/3467115-Ethical-dilemmas-cops-face-daily/ Salonga, R. (February 17, 2011). Contra Costa drug force commander arrested in Benicia. Retrieved on June 12, 2013 from http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_17411515?source=most_viewed