Delattre (2011) discusses corruption within policing and maintains that officers must present a positive public image to insure the public’s trust and support. The author states that accountability must be adhered to by all ranks of the police agency. Also, that accountability dictates that when abuses of police discretion and authority occur, that they are investigated and that all police personnel are held accountable for their actions (p. 91–92). Police agencies must be diligent in their efforts to address acts of malfeasance.
You are assigned to a conduct review board at your agency. The chief of police has instructed each of you to collaborate to review three officers’ conduct issues. As a group, you must determine if the conduct engaged in by each of the officers in the scenario is ethical or unethical. Following the determination, you must designate a committee decision and outcome for the officer involved incident. Each of the officers involved have agreed to a committee review of their action set and will abide by the committee’s findings. Please follow the action steps that follow to guide the committee’s recommendation:
Determine the incident’s classification:
- No misconduct
- Misconduct but excusable
- Minor misconduct
- Intentional misconduct
- Major misconduct (conduct unbecoming a police officer)
- Justify the classification. Each of the designations is progressive in their level of malfeasance. Your rationale should be well detailed and supported. Use the textbook and other periodicals to support your rationale. All components of the events and actions are to be examined and evaluated.
- Make a recommendation regarding officer discipline or lack thereof and justify the punishment by explaining the committee’s findings and their reasoning for recommending the discipline. Use the matrix below to assist in the assignment of consequence:No misconduct — No punishmentMisconduct but excusable — May include a 1-year counseling letter in the officer’s personnel file. Retraining may be required.Minor misconduct — 1–5-year discipline letter in officer’s personnel file. 1–6-month suspension from specialty assignment (SWAT, detectives, marine unit, honor guard, field training officer, etc.). Includes loss of specialty pay for the assignment. Retraining may be required.Intentional misconduct — suspension for up to 30 days without pay. Reassignment from specialty unit (SWAT, detectives, marine unit, honor guard, field training officer, etc.). Demotion from rank to former rank (i.e., corporal to officer, sergeant to officer, lieutenant to sergeant). Permanent discipline letter in officer’s personnel file. Training mandated.Major misconduct (conduct unbecoming a police officer) — suspension for up to 1 year unpaid. Last chance agreement letter (states that any similar misconduct will result in immediate termination) or termination.
- Evaluate what type of corruption is presented in each of the incidences (noble cause, structural or affiliation hypothesis, rotten apples/rotten barrels, and /or “slippery slope”). Recommend strategies to control this type of corruption and also ways and means to prevent further instances. How could the agency avoid this behavior from occurring (training, policy and procedure, greater supervision, support of “whistleblowers”)?
Fox News. (2015, June 8). Officer’s conduct in question after pool party confrontation. Retrieved from http://video.foxnews.com/v/4283508886001/officers-conduct-in-question-after-pool-party-confrontation/?#sp=show-clips