Essay on Importance of Ethics and Integrity for Law Enforcement Officers

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871 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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According to Roufa (2016), ethics is a system concerned with the determination of good and bad behavior that affect how individuals make decisions and lead their lives. Typically, it defines behavior that is morally right or wrong. On the other hand, integrity refers to the individual will to do what is right regardless of the existing rules. Ethics and integrity are essential in my future career in law enforcement because it will open up my mind to the moral and ethical issues in my field. Law enforcement profession demands very high ethical standards. Consequently, by understanding what is right and wrong, I will be able to engage critical thinking in decision-making. Moreover, ethics will help me to become a role model to the public in my career by not only implementing the law but also doing what it requires. Integrity, on the other hand, will help me in developing quality relationships in my career. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that I am trustworthy and dependable by doing what is right at all times without expecting to have laws to determine my behavior in every situation. Therefore, people will be drawn to me because of my integrity since I will be able to behave honorably even when nobody is watching.

Impacts of Ethics, Morality, and Law to Decisions of Law Enforcement Officers

Ethics, morality, and law differ on how they are applied by law enforcers. Typically, morality is supposed to govern one's personal and private interactions while ethics governs his or her professional interactions. Therefore, misconducts between colleagues will be termed as unethical, but if the misconduct involves people, who have no professional relationship, then it will just be considered immoral. On the other hand, laws are universal, and they are supposed to govern the entire society regardless of whether the individuals are known, or they are strangers. There are situations when acts fall under all the three categories in that a law can be illegal, immoral and unethical. For example, if an individual kills one of his or her business partners, then such an act will be termed as illegal, immoral and unethical. Similarly, there are situations when law enforcers in obeying the law may have to go against the ethical and moral standards. Ethics will depend on personal choices that rely on moral principles while laws are established guidelines that must be obeyed and enforced. Typically, one is liable for punishments and penalties when a law is disobeyed but ethics are not applied in that one cannot be punishment for being unethical.

Use of Ethics, Morality and a Code of Conduct by Law Enforcement Officers in Professional and Personal Lives

The law enforcers are expected to uphold a higher standard of behavior by the society hence they are highly regarded. They are considered to be stewards of public trust. Hence, they have the right to use force and go against any constitutional privileges as long as the law justifies it. Additionally, law enforcers take an oath of office and are guided by professional codes of ethics requiring them to do the right thing at all times. Similarly, they serve under various rules, laws, and regulations. As a moral obligation, law enforcement officer should not engage in corruption, which is tantamount to abuse of authority and is against the law. Moreover, they have an ethical obligation of protecting and safeguarding the communities they serve and must ensure they apply equality and justice when dealing with the public. It is also their moral obligation to obey the laws of the land and act as an example to the public, which means that they must mind other peoples welfare by desisting from unlawful acts. It is the moral duty of law enforcement officers to pursue criminals from the society without any comprise such as receiving gratuities from criminals. Consequently, they should not favor anybody who goes against the law. The law enforcers must be honest when handling criminal cases to maintain peace in the society. Moreover, they should not have an evil or malice motive in pursuing criminals neither should they employ violence nor force unnecessarily.

Law Enforcement Code in Reidsville in North Carolina

Chapter 22 of the Code of Ordinance in Reidsville provides guidelines on law enforcement. The Code 1989, 3-1-3 provides that it is unlawful for people to resist a police officer when he or she is making arrests in the city (Reidsville, 2015). Additionally, no person should rescue a prisoner who is in the custody of a police officer in the city. If someone is found guilty of doing so, then he or she is liable for punishments as provided by the section 1-14.


To conclude, law enforcers need to observe the code of ethics and act with integrity in their job to ensure fairness and equality in the society. Notably, their integrity and ethical behavior portray good examples to individuals that they can emulate. Therefore, law enforcers should uphold moral responsibility when pursuing criminals to ensure a peaceful society.



Reidsville. (2015, June 24). Code of Ordinance. Retrieved April 19, 2017 from

Roufa, T. (2016, 0ctober 12). Ethics in Law Enforcement and Policing. Retrieved April 19, 2017 from


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