Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Re: “The Shield,”
The propensity for the police chief to make “materially misleading conclusions about statistics” is symptomatic of the lack of a code of ethics for law enforcement.
According to the Ethics Resource Center , “Ethics codes disclose the way an organization operates and helps employees/members deal with the ethical dilemmas, prejudices and gray areas that are encountered in everyday work. They provide an opportunity for responsible organizations to create a positive public identity for themselves, which can lead to a more supportive political environment and an increased level of public confidence.”
I’m aware of two public sector professions (Public Administration and Urban Planning) that have Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct that are posted online for members and the public to read and follow.
I haven’t found any local ethics codes when I Google “San Diego law enforcement ethics codes.” I found one for police chiefs but it’s more of a pledge, oath or a creed rather than explicit guidelines for behavior.
The mayor should task his ethics office with the development and training of an authentic Code of Ethics for law enforcement personnel, if the profession refuses to adopt one.