Ethics FINAL PAPER - Ethics i Personal Code of Ethics David...

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Ethics i Personal Code of Ethics David Goldstein ADJ 235 Professor William Jackson, III February 10 th , 2008
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Ethics ii Abstract This paper will show what a formal code of ethics is as it relates to law enforcement, and then recognize the informal unwritten code commonly known as “cop code”. Further, this paper will demonstrate a new code that has been created with issues such as ethical dilemmas and possible break downs in the unwritten code.
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Ethics 1 From the moment you are brought in to the world, you are told to do the right thing. The problem with this is that sometimes it is hard to figure out what the right thing really is. The dictionary defines ethics as “ that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions .”  (Dictionary.com, 2008) To know the real definition of ethics, you would have to identify and create your own code of ethics in your life. A good example of this is the law enforcement code of ethics, known commonly as “cop code”. A code of ethics that is specific to your job is essential to maintain stability with the people you work with. With getting in to law enforcement on my mind, I have created my own code of ethics. However, first we have to look at what a formal code of ethics actually is before we can start making up our own renditions of an unwritten code. According to former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief of internal investigation, John Conditt: “ The informal code of conduct is an organization’s unwritten, generally accepted, standard of conduct. This standard represents the level of acceptable conduct that employees demand of themselves and their fellow employees. Because of its strong impact on institutional integrity, every department should strive to keep the informal code of conduct in line with the official code of conduct.” (Conditt, 2001) This suggests that every action a police officer takes should be in compliance with the formal code of law enforcement ethics. Active police officers do not share the same opinions with Agent Conditt because they feel as if they should be looking out for their own, before they look out for the general public.
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Ethics 2 New York City police officer Jeff Regan from the Bronx’s 48 th precinct has been on the job for almost 10 years. A telephone interview was given to officer Regan on February 9 th , 2008 and his responses to questions about the unwritten police code of ethics are very interesting. “We do not work in a great area of New York. You have to look out for your partners, because they
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Ethics FINAL PAPER - Ethics i Personal Code of Ethics David...

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