Effective Criminal Justice Organizations with Ethics in Mind Essay - Essay Prowess

Effective Criminal Justice Organizations with Ethics in Mind Essay


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Effective Criminal Justice Organizations with Ethics in Mind


In the pursuance of justice, truth and honest are basic elements. Society is governed by notions of morality, laws, and ethical principles. There are many instances where police officers as government witnesses have rendered criminal cases void for engaging in untruthful and dishonest actions. These not only diminish public trust and stall the quest for justice but also contravene public policy. It is therefore imperative that administrators take stern action on officers associated with such acts by dismissing them. This is done within precincts of public policy and existing legal precedents. To overcome such incidences, leaders within criminal justice organizations ought to be at the fore of ensuring training is consistent regular, and continually upgraded to conform to societal changed. This implies that advocates have to be included as prime trainers.


Effective Criminal Justice Organizations with Ethics in Mind

Police officers and numerous other professionals dedicated towards service for the public good wear upon an oath to ensure due diligence in their cause (Riccucci, 2012). Interactions between law enforcement officials and the citizenry are impacted upon by various variables. These are guided by professional ethic, legislation, and morality (Aronie, & Lopez, 2017). This is done with a focus to develop and continually nurture civic trust which is a requisite to the successful actualization of public policy. Failure to uphold this maxim negates the purpose of governance in that, the populace may fail to appreciate need for trust in the police leading to criticism and second guessing of law enforcement intent. The result of such adverse outcomes is treatment of officers with hostility and disrespect from all quotas of a society leading to closing ranks, exposure to vulnerabilities, responses to social ills in a manifestation of anger through unwarranted force and resorting to street justice (Myhill & Bradford, 2013). This dynamic is inherently cyclical where one influences the reaction of another sometimes knowingly and in other instances not. Law and order can only be aptly availed if criminal justice organizations are proactive in building desirable trust levels with the communities served (Aronie, & Lopez, 2017). It is the role of human resource functions within these entities to ensure that adequate training is accorded to members in tandem with understanding how the law works, ethical and moral maxims, as well as guidelines presented through public policy.

Article Summary

The article Chief’s Counsel: Should Police Officers Who Lie Be Terminated as a Matter of Public Policy? written by Elliot Spector (2008) depicts challenges law enforcement organizations have to grapple with relative to public policy. There are instances where individual officers may engage in immoral and ethical practices during the dispensation of duties which not only compromise legal processes but also contravene public policy (More, Vito, & Walsh, 2012). Kitsap County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild v. Kitsap County was a case determined in appellate court with public policy as its focus (Spector, 2008). The defendant had exhibited erratic behaviors occasion with untruthfulness which compelled the presiding sheriff to terminate his employment. In an earlier decision, an arbitrator had reached the conclusion to have the officer reinstated to full duty. Given that his attitudes and behaviors with regard to functions as a policeman conflicted with the tenets of civic duty, he served to diminish trust that the community has with the sheriff’s office if the defendant continued in service.

Is Termination Fair?

There is always a shortfall of policemen relative to the population of a particular locality. This makes termination of officer contracts an onerous task for human resource administrators with such entities. Indeed, an officer cannot be dismissed for contravening guiding principles for one time only (Aronie, & Lopez, 2017). However, supervisors should take such incidences seriously and ensure corrective action is duly complied to. Administrators within law enforcement establishments have to remain extra vigilant to ensuring all members are committed to the good of set public policy (More, Vito, & Walsh, 2012; Riccucci, 2012). This implies that training has to be continuous in line with changes in legal frameworks as well as public policy (Bagley, 2015). Such training should also encompass teaching of strict adherence to set out codes of ethical and moral standing expected of police officers.

Training as a Remedy

The human resource function should be focused of the fact that training offered is consistent with expectation of each rank in pursuing the objectives of public good (Riccucci, 2012). The most favorable approach to such a goal is to have institutionalized training programs for each rank where upon completion an officer can be slated for promoted to a higher tier of service. The dynamics of the legal environment require that advocates be integrated as a part of training teams (Aronie, & Lopez, 2017). This is to enable policemen to get good understanding of what is expected during legal processes, treatment of witnesses, suspects, and persons of interest.

Reprieve for Families Affected by Officer Termination

As Spector (2008) posits, for government witnesses, it is very wrong for members of entities responsible to assuring justice to the community to fail to do so as was determined in the case, Kyles v. Whitely. Relative to Section 1983 Liability cases, police departments suffer significant and avoidable expenditures when officer acts contravene Tort Law (More, Vito, & Walsh, 2012). Training costs are in many instances much lower to awards accorded to persons adversely affected by immoral, unethical behaviors that undermine public policy (Riccucci, 2012). When an agent of criminal justice organizations is relieved of duties sue to untruthfulness and other undesirable causes, their immediate families are bound to experience social economic challenges. However, such actions by administrators are critical towards ensuring the integrity of the entire law enforcement apparatus remains (More, Vito, & Walsh, 2012). In most cases, it is impossible for judicial authority or arbitrators to overturn officer termination where one has acted in ways that conflict with set legal precedents and guidelines as provided in public policy.

Ensuring Credibility

Spector (2008) strongly supports that if a member of a police department or officer affiliated to the criminal justice apparatus is found to be dishonest and untruthful, then it is prudent and ethical to have the individual discharged. The author notes that many American states bear legislation which supports a strict adherence to public policy. This is due to the fact that all processes within the criminal justice system can only work together towards ensuring justice is robustly founded on absolute truth (More, Vito, & Walsh, 2012). Even a little interference with the process through untruthful evidence or dishonest dispensation of duties leads to the entire process declared illegal. For this reason, it is critical that termination of criminal justice employees on lack of truthful and honest endeavors remains a potent means for deterrent against such incidences. This not only restore public confidence within community members during engagements but serves to appraise its core purpose which is to ensure sustainable levels of law and order.


It is strongly recommended that all administrators within law enforcement agencies embrace honest and truthfulness as a pillar towards ensuring legal justice. This ultimately supports governance initiatives that appraise social justice. However, untruthful and dishonesty among police officers only serves to undermine the need for public policy. Concurrently, it pushes down overall efforts to improve social justice thereby devaluing the need for law and order. It is upon human resource managers to understand the critical role they play in ensuring purposeful training is assured to officers. With sufficient training programs which involves professionals from other fields such as advocates are essential to instilling desirable values of honesty and truthfulness. Similarly, through training under the guidance of experienced lawyers equips them with ingenious but completely legal while engaging the undesirable societal elements. Training programs should be comprehensive, intensive, timely, practical, but also concise. They are important towards appraising the bar in professionalism and also minimizing the legal costs accruing to departments from avoidable failures within their departments.




Aronie, J., & Lopez, C. E. (2017). Keeping Each Other Safe: An assessment of the use of peer intervention programs to prevent police officer mistakes and misconduct, using New Orleans’ epic program as a potential national model. Police Quarterly, 1098611117710443.

Bagley, C. E. (2015). Managers and the legal environment: Strategies for the 21st century. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

More, H., Vito, G., & Walsh, W. (2012). Organizational behavior and management in law enforcement (Custom 3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 9781269653459.

Myhill, A., & Bradford, B. (2013). Overcoming cop culture? Organizational justice and police officers’ attitudes toward the public. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management36(2), 338-356.

Riccucci, N. M. (2012). Public personnel management: Current concerns, future problems (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Longman Publishers. ISBN:9780205012671.

Spector, E. (2008). Chief’s counsel: Should police officers who lie be terminated as a matter of public policy? Retrieved January 20, 2014 from: http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1458&is sue_id=42008