What is Ethics for a Police Officer? (Level 3)

Written by Ming Huang

Description: An article the ethics of a police officer

Instructions: Read the short article below and answer the questions or fill in the spaces.

Ethics is defined as having morality, honesty, integrity, and principles. There are many other words and phrases to help explain ethics, for example justice, respect, being idealistic, role models, and being faithful. There are different ethics for different professions e.g. Accountancy ethics, Doctors’ ethics, and Child Care Workers’ ethics.
To be an ethical police officer you should have a very strong sense of values and morals. This is because of the nature of the job. Since police officers have such a superior feeling of power over everyday people, they should be careful and use their power in an ethical way. For example, no taking of bribes, no letting off a ticket of friends and family, always stopping if they happen to see an incident, reporting events honestly, sticking to the truth, treating other ethnic groups fairly, abiding by New Zealand laws and no accepting of gifts.
Police officers may act unethically under certain conditions, such as e.g. an ‘undercover’ assignment, where they have to act unethically to gain another person’s (a criminal’s) trust. But at the end of the day when the undercover job finishes, their principles are still there; their heart is still “clean”.
In New Zealand (NZ) society it is important to be ethical. For a police officer, it is especially important, as the NZ police have already earned great trust and respect from the public!