Because the are custodians of the law, Police Officers have to be seen to be whiter then white and they are frequently judged by higher standards to other members of society. This is vital to maintain the trust of the public.
On a daily basis, police officers have to make decisions based on conflicting thought patterns whilst in high pressure and emotional circumstances, so it's important that each office develops a high moral code by interacting with other individuals and undergoing Ethics training.
When a police officer takes a Police Ethics Training course, it helps them identify an ethical problem, identify the potential solutions for the problem, and to make a sound decision on which solution to carry out. After the solution has been decided then the police officer will need to act swiftly and accept responsibility for their actions.
Police forces should look at ethics training as risk management, and therefore will lower the risk of injury to both officers and the public.
What is the Purpose of Ethics Training?
If an ethics training course is to succeed the police officers must understand its purpose.Ethics training provides the tools that assist the officer to think and act ethically in the line of duty. Those tools include the following:
• Increasing the officers awareness in identifying ethical issues.
• Developing a decision-making process for addressing ethical issues
• Devolving a will to act in an appropriate manner
• Creating an understanding of full accountability for the officers action.
Police Officers have to think and act ethically, and Ethics training provides the basic tool to support this.
Ethics training should not merely demand minimum performance; it should exhort the police professional to strive for excellence. Most organizational policies and procedures are directed toward compelling minimum performance and frequently result from some egregious conduct.
Complementary Accountability Training
Police officers should act in an ethical manner for several reasons. To accommodate the range of motivations, forces can use constraints and restraints to manage behaviour.
Training courses that promote accountability and encourage responsibility should go hand in hand with any ethics training effort.
Ethical decision making involves the evaluation of options, choices, and consequences. Police Officers facing situations that require an ethical decision, must consider all available options, decide upon the most appropriate option, implement the decision, and experience the outcome.
But most situations are anything but simple.
It is often difficult to recognize the ethical dilemma, or all the options are not identified, sometimes the officers choices are clouded by emotional or intellectual fog. Unfortunately, on rare occasions there are also times when malicious action is intentional.
Thinking ethically is much easier than acting ethically. It takes a brave officer to act ethically because choosing the correct action may be painful and come at cost, both professionally and personally.
An ethics training program can provide the tools so that an officer can make the right decision, and a force can create an environment in which ethical actions are possible. However, the individual must provide the courage to act on the decision.