Law Enforcement

Characters and Cops by Edwin J. Delattre PDF

By Edwin J. Delattre

The 5th version of this enduring paintings gains new fabric on how brand new law enforcement officials can meet the moral demanding situations of policing whereas residing as much as heightened calls for for greater safety. Professor Delattre addresses the necessity for cautious number of legislation enforcement recruits by utilizing 4 examples of highbrow competence and ethical probity in policing and legislation enforcement: the research of mass homicide at Columbine highschool, which used to be performed less than FBI management; the potent transformation of the police strength within the Rampart zone of l. a. following the catastrophic police misconduct of the Nineties and the reforms of the l. a. police division as a complete; the winning anti-gang paintings carried out through the Fairfax County police in Virginia; and the layout and growth, because the September eleven terrorist assaults, of the recent York country place of work of place of origin defense.

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Such experience at behaving well cannot be replaced by less intimate methods of instruction, and certainly not by holier-than-thou moralizing that implies a person of excellent character must shun every enjoyment of life. Practice and encouragement are necessary to moral wisdom because the proof of the quality of moral life is in living it. The mission of policing can safely be entrusted only to those who grasp what is morally important and who respect integrity. Without this kind of personal character in police, no set of codes, rules, or laws can safeguard that mission from the ravages of police misconduct.

But they have no right to behave illegally to accomplish this purpose. The police officer must abide by the laws guaranteeing citizen rights to the fullest extent of his training and understanding of them. Beyond these requirements, the officer must bring personal qualities to his work that the badge cannot provide for him. The most important qualities are common sense and common decency. He should never expose himself needlessly to danger, he should maintain his physical fitness and his skillfulness in the use of the tools of his work, and he should pay attention to the needs of the people he serves.

A police officer’s fitness to wear the badge depends on the acquisition of habits of just behavior. A just officer will see that providing special—even if legal—services in return for gratuities takes time and unjustly deprives other members of the public of the attention they deserve. Officers who respect justice will have nothing to do with racial prejudices, will not exceed their authority in the exercise of discretion, abuse the powers of their office, falsify reports, or give perjured testimony.

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