****For this discussion, imagine that you are a police officer assigned to traffic enforcement on a busy street in a small neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon. The neighborhood is located directly across the street from a park.
You observe a motorist speeding through a crosswalk at the same time several small children are about to enter it. After making a traffic stop and issuing a citation, you continue patrolling the neighborhood when you are flagged down by the mother of one of the children. She thanks you for all the hard work you are doing to reduce speeding in the area and offers you $50 as a token of her appreciation.
Using the process described in the reading for resolving ethical dilemmas, detail how you would have acted in this situation.
Is it ethical or unethical for you to accept the gift based upon the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor? Explain your response in detail.
****Respond to the discussion thread of at least two peers. Review the comments offered by fellow students and share your thoughts on why you believe that their assessment of this situation is correct or incorrect. If you disagree with their assessment, use outside resources to support your opinion.
Peer post 1
The mother is just showing gratuity with her gesture, but it is still unethical to receive any types of gifts including coffee as an officer. This for most may seem silly until we look deeper as to why these standards were set in place. The first is to avoid the theory of (reciprocity) which is, “the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit” (D, 2019). As an officer in this situation I would calmly thank the mother and advise her that although it’s a kind gesture I cannot accept the money. The gesture was thoughtful but it’s unethical and against my morals to receive any gifts. If she would like to donate to one of the many beneficial programs such as MAAD, Dare or to the town it would be rewarding.
Law enforcement leader’s must remain alert to the presence of rationalization in their agency’s culture because rationalization alters the definition of unethical conduct to make immoral behavior seem socially acceptable (Fitch, 2011, pg. 22). Typically, things seem not like a big deal like receiving a cup of coffee on a cold day. Than it turns into something else small and may become a normal thing. Also, for the person being so willing may have alternative motives, and in a moment of doing something illegal may expect to get off easy. Yes, it’s wrong for the oath of honor and police standards all around to accept anything for free, along with many other standards that serve an important purpose. The thing I find important is that they try to recite the oath as much as possible and at various events. For the officer’s drawn into corruption, maybe if they were reminded more frequently of ethics and moral standards it could have been avoided. Especially how difficult it is to be an officer today it’s vital to be reminded of how important their role is and that it does matter.
D. (2019). Reciprocity. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/reciprocity
Fitch, B. D. (2011). Rethinking ethics in law enforcement. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 80(10), 18-24. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fs…
Peer post 2
When reading the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor this really doesn’t answer the question on what to do in this type of situation. But, I would believe that it would be unethical to take the money from this woman because this is a part of my job to protect and serve. So technically taking the money is not part of the job. Protecting the community is part of the oath and the job.
The Law Enforcement Oath of Honor says this: “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold my self and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution, my community, and the agency I serve.” ( Source #1 Chron.com >work>cops-oath-22507)