Managing Ethical Issues in Law Enforcement

Course length

16 Hours

About the course

Law enforcement organizations expend tremendous resources hiring and training qualified officers. Yet, each year agencies throughout the nation are forced to discipline and separate officers for immoral or illegal conduct. The embarrassment caused by such acts can jeopardize important investigations, damage the public trust, and expose agencies to unnecessary litigation. Despite the importance of ethics, most law enforcement professionals receive only a few hours of training during their careers. This course explores the reasons officers engage in unethical behavior, and what law enforcement agencies can do to minimize those problems—through leadership and management initiatives.

Topics Include:

- “Applied” ethics and preparatory issues
Ethics versus morals

- Why leadership and supervisors matter

- Character-based hiring and training

- Psychology of unethical behavior

- Fear and peer group influence

- Recognizing moral dilemmas

- The problem with shades of gray

- Myth of pure evil

- Incremental misconduct

- Problems with the greater good

- Values and principles in decision-making
Right vs. right & right vs. wrong dilemmas

- Developing ethical reasoning

- Social learning and modeling

- Moral Development

- Creating clear expectations

- Building respect for organizational values

- Leadership by example

- Integrity and personal accountability

- Creating a culture of ethics & accountability

- Guides for ethical decision-making

Randy Means
Randy Means, a partner in the Charlotte-based Thomas & Means Law Firm, specializes entirely in police operations and administration and assists a broad national clientele. For nearly twenty years, he was the primary legal and risk management instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and he has received its “Distinguished Faculty Award.” He now serves as Director of Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance for The Response Network, the endorsed distance learning partner of the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). He has instructed for virtually every major institutional provider of law enforcement training and has trained nearly a half-million police officials. His book, The Law of Policing, is published by the Labor Relations Information System, a prominent police union think tank. His work has been mentioned in the “Wall Street Journal” and discussed on “60 Minutes”. He has appeared on both the Law Enforcement Television Network and the FBI Training Network. He has authored more than one hundred published articles on law enforcement matters and writes the legal column for Law & Order magazine. He has trained police officials in every state and in Canada and is unquestionably one of America’s best known and most respected law enforcement adviser/trainers.