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Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

Individuals who serve their communities in law enforcement have a responsibility to live up to the highest standards of professionalism. As a result, most agencies have a law enforcement code of ethics for officers. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) originally established a code of ethics for its members in 1957. Such codes are frequently used as an oath of office during graduation ceremonies for new officers.

Ethical guidelines for law enforcement officers are designed to ensure that they can perform their duties in a consistent manner. Ethical guidelines often include the notion that police officers act as official representatives of the government and that he or she performs all duties impartially, treating all citizens with courtesy, dignity, and respect. Codes of ethics require that officers apply the law without prejudice or discrimination.

Many law enforcement codes of ethics also include provisions that prohibit officers from compromising the integrity of the profession by accepting or soliciting gratuities that could influence official acts, and refraining from acting when a conflict of interest may occur. Many codes of ethics also include sections that require officers to uphold their personal lives in similar manners, serving as examples to the community.

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