Moral Issues in Law Enforcement

At the same time, intervention must take into account risks that increase the likelihood of misconduct by public servants. The document describes the means by which authorities can review oversight and discipline [2,24,25] to intervene at the first indication of ethical misconduct on the part of public servants. In view of the obstacles that this approach faces vis-à-vis police unions and collective agreements, some solutions are proposed. These include the recruitment of trade union officials; negotiating certain “improvements” in future collective agreements that focus on the moral risks of police services; and extend attention beyond the organization to community members. The importance of satisfying compassion in alleviating the emotional and spiritual distress of public servants has already been described in detail. Compassionate satisfaction allows agents to continue to find meaning and meaning in their work despite all the pain, suffering, and antagonism they regularly encounter. So it shouldn`t be too hard for police chiefs to imagine how difficult it is for officers to maintain a sense of compassion and satisfaction when they don`t feel valued by their employer. Therefore, the first step for supervisors to minimize the emotional and spiritual distress of officers is to establish routine methods to show appreciation and boost morale. The organization can emphasize the positive by highlighting good deeds from officers, thank you letters from grateful citizens, and under-the-radar de-escalation incidents that prevented an incident from going awry. This should be an integral part of any call before the shift so that officers keep these positive memories when they take to the streets. Some chefs record a video message once a month or quarterly, which is broadcast before each shift. The message should highlight the positive actions of public servants and remind them of the good they do.

Best of all, the boss and/or assistant bosses should make regular visits to deliver these positive messages in person. Officers benefit from hearing their leaders speak explicitly about the satisfaction of compassion and having them highlight the good work they do. This should also be done on a more personal level by each officer`s direct superior. It will be easier for public servants to feel good about their jobs if their supervisor is adept at patting them on the back instead of simply pointing out mistakes or focusing on areas for improvement. All police officers are concerned about officer misconduct. However, many do not realize that certain organizational and operational practices actually lead to certain types of misconduct (see [2], for a discussion of organizational explanations of officers` unethical behaviour). Police moral hazards, which increase the likelihood of officer misconduct, are associated with these organizational and operational practices. In particular, certain types of misconduct are a byproduct of moral retirement [10], which prevents people from acting unethically. There are eight mechanisms by which moral retreat takes place, and all eight can be demonstrated through the prism of police training [2]. For example, moral retirement increases when training: underestimates a service orientation in favor of inculcating a warrior mentality; suggests that the end sometimes justifies the means; immortalizes a strong position “We (the cops) against them (all the others)”[45]; reinforces (even subtly) the code of silence between officers; and promotes the idea that some victims are sometimes responsible for their own misfortunes.

When public servants develop these beliefs, they are more likely to be morally disengaged, increasing the likelihood that they will engage in some form of unethical behavior. First, let`s assume that every officer has been trained by excellent FTO. The focus can then be on broader surveillance and advertising practices to mitigate the moral risks of police services. The first step in minimizing officer misconduct and emotional and spiritual distress is to redouble your efforts to detect warning signs of problems. This requires front-line supervisors to receive training on what to look out for, as well as the infrastructure that includes the steps they need to take when they see something. These sergeants must be supported by their lieutenants, who must be supported by their captains, and so on to the top. An organizational culture of well-being and ethics includes policies and procedures that all supervisors must follow for early detection and intervention, which are explained below.