7 Jul 2022


Ethics and Code of Conduct

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1397

Pages: 4

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The study of ethics is critical since it aids criminal justice experts to identify ethical costs of action and the relevant moral principles. Both ethics and code of conduct have been argued to be intertwined at their cores and are specifically aimed at ensuring that the police officers do what is right for the good of the citizen (Barker, 2002). The public often calls the law enforcement officers to act in good faith and employ ethical standards when it comes to the fair application of the law. In Miami, all the law enforcement officers have been established to have the primary obligation to sufficient attempt to the needs of all humans; to protect the citizen’s lives and their properties and to defend the innocent members from dishonesty. In addition to this, the law enforcement has the duty protect the citizens from intimidation and repression and the nonviolent citizens from violence. Lastly, they are expected to protect the human rights of the citizens (Alpert & Dunham, 1988). The essay will critically analyze the law enforcement officers concerning ethics and code of conduct in Miami. 

Importance of ethics and integrity in my future career choice in law enforcement 

Ethics and integrity are critical for all law enforcement officers in Miami. My future career is to become a police officer; therefore; ethics and integrity will play a significant role in my dream career. In a more general view, police ethics is seen as a code of values that significantly affects conduct, decision making and behaviour of the police officers (Lu, 1999). It is imperative for the police officers to understand the importance of ethical behaviour to ensure that he does what is right for the majority of the citizens. Integrity, on the other hand, is simply a set of beliefs which tend to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the agency’s operation based on the personal and professional ethics. Integrity has been shown to be a critical aspect of a police officer since it entails honor, honesty, dedication to mission and morality. Further, integrity is precisely mirrored in the formal code of ethics. Research has established three primary reasons that can be employed in explaining the significance of ethics and integrity for every police officer including: First, ethics and integrity tend to demand every police officer to act legally, honestly and with a lot of confidence (Alpert & Dunham, 1988). Based on the code of ethics, a police officer ought to act honestly and further be honest in thought. Secondly, ethics and integrity are crucial to a police chief since a policeman ought to be exemplary in abiding by the laws of the country. A police officer must serve as a role model by demonstrating the ethical behaviour and decision making. Thirdly, ethics and integrity aid the police officers regarding promoting community policing, a collaboration between the community members and the police and helps to maintain the public trust. 

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Aspects in which ethics morality and law differ 

The three concepts, law, ethics and morality tend to vary significantly. On the one hand, the law enforcement officer ought to be well-prepared to ensure that they act ethically when faced with any situation following the established laws and regulations and at the same time act adopt and apply morality. According to Lu (1999), the major focus of the law enforcement officers is expected to demonstrate ethical behaviour and use both morality and laws in various circumstances. Despite the fact that ethics seem to have a direct relation to the law and morality, there are clear and distinct differences between these concepts. It is important that a law enforcement officer should ensure that he or she clearly understand the differences to come up with the right decisions. Ethics and the code of conduct often are closely associated with the art of management while on the other hand; the law is a set of universal rules that directs individuals on what is right failure to abide by the law would result in punishment. Ethics, morality, and law can be argued to be closely intertwined, but they are very different. According to Alpert & Dunham, (1988), ethics is simply the study of what is morally right and wrong, but it is important to note that moral often vary based on cultures. The laws on the other are the enactments that are made by a state and are backed by the physical coercion and violators are punished by courts. Therefore, a law can be said to represent the will of the state while at the same time realise its purpose. The society entirely depends on ethics and integrity to control individuals from breaking the laws and at the same time help the law enforcement officers to uphold the law (Barker, 2002). A police officer should thus use ethics and the code of conduct to ensure that they arrive at the appropriate moat decision related to policy enforcement and in determining whether a police officer behaves in the right way. 

Ways by which law enforcement officers should use ethics morality and a code of conduct in both their professional and personal lives 

Arguably, the credibility of all the police officers is impacted by their level of compliance with the laws in addition to the standard behaviours that are aimed at promoting the public order and safety within the community. It is important that a police officer should be able to act responsibly and be in charge of their conduct and decision making within their professional and personal lives. According to Lu (1999), both ethic and the code of ethics might be critical in helping a police officer in making an appropriate decision. The two distinct ways that a police chief or a county sheriff might use to understand the code of ethics and ethics in the process of decision making are written policies and the unwritten policies. The written policies refer to the adopted documents, for instance, the Police Code of Conduct. On the other hand, the unwritten policy comprises of the personal values and the moral rules. It is the duty of the police officer to serve humanity and at the same time safeguard lives and properties (Barker, 2011). Further, they should protect the innocent individuals from possible deception, oppression, violence and at the same time respect the constitutional rights of every person. A police officer should, therefore, understand the fact that police violence is highly unethical and she or he should observe this within their professional and personal lives when dealing with other people. It means that they should avoid every aspect that might result in prejudice, animosities or violence. In addition to this, unethical police behaviour might lead into racism and hums rights violation (Barker, 2002). Therefore, a police officer must adopt and implement ethics and the code of conduct when it comes to decision making to ensure that they carry out their duties in the most appropriate way, apply important values and the organization’s mission statement. A police officer should not base his decision making on personal emotions since this might impact the quality and credibility of the decision made. They should, therefore, take their time when it comes to decision making and avoid being influenced by strong emotions. 

Important aspects of the code as they relate to law enforcement activities 

As stated above, the code of conduct among the law enforcement officers in Miami has been argued to have the fundamental duty to serve humankind. Serving humanity in the most ethical way is important. Every individual has the fundamental right to be protected and respected by the law enforcement. A code of ethics has been defined as a set of principles of conduct that is critical in guiding the decision among the police officers and behaviour of law enforcers (Barker, 2011). The primary purpose of the code is to offer the police officers, and the county sheriffs appropriate guidelines used in making ethical choices in their line of duty. According to Lu (1999), the professional integrity is considered the cornerstone of an employee’s credibility. Secondly, the law enforcement officer is required to respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice. The members of the law enforcement adopt and implement the code of ethics to share their dedication to the ethical behaviour in protecting human rights of the citizens and at the same time adopt the code to declare as appropriate the principles and standards of practice that defines the law enforcement activities. 


The essay has focused on the concept of ethics and code of conduct as it is related to law enforcement in Miami. It has been established that ethics is critical in police officers’ actions and behaviours. It is important to act ethically because this will enable the police officers to act responsibly taking into consideration the human rights of individuals. Each police officer is expected to clearly understand the concept and principles of ethics and code of conduct to ensure that they operate appropriately and make proper decisions. 


Alpert, G. P., & Dunham, R. G. (1988). Policing multi-ethnic neighborhoods: The Miami study and findings for law enforcement in the United States . Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. 

Barker, T. (2002). Ethical police behavior. Policing and misconduct , 1-26. 

Barker, T. (2011). Police ethics: Crisis in law enforcement . Charles C Thomas Publisher. 

Lu, S. P. (1999). Corporate Codes of Conduct and the FTC: Advancing Human Rights Through Deceptive Advertising Law. Colum. J. Transnat'l L. , 38 , 603. 

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