In this Implementation paper, you are to describe a plan, and the components thereof, to address an “ethical lapse” within a public safety organization. In this paper, implement a solution to the ethical situation in the public safety organization. Unfortunately, a quick search of the internet will yield numerous choices of organizations to write about. The implementation paper is to include, but is not limited to, suggested training, identification of stakeholders, the implementation plan and process, and a draft code of ethics. If you make use of an existing code of ethics, make sure to properly cite and reference the work of others. The body of the paper shall be 6 to 8 pages, excluding other material such as the cover page, abstract, table of contents, graphics and tables, references, and imported (existing) codes of ethics. To the extent possible, include in your paper, any support for the plan you’re proposing (what suggests it will work).
The Individual Paper is worth 100 points and is 30% of your final grade.
The Individual Implementation Paper shall contain:
- Cover Page (not included in page count)
- Body of Paper (6 to-8 pages)
- description of the issue/lapse
- Description of the cause of the lapse (to the extent possible)
- Plan to be put in place to avoid future lapses
- References Page (not included in page count)
The paper shall be formatted as follows:
- APA 7th edition
- 1-inch margins
- 12 point font, either New Times Roman or Arial font style
- Double spaced, making sure there are no “extra” spaces in between paragraphs
- Properly formatted Section headings as appropriate
In the following descending order of preference, information sources must be either peer-reviewed articles, government reports, or other sources approved by your instructor. Internet information sources from other than authoritative sources are discouraged. See the General Assignment grading rubric for more information.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Addressing Ethical Lapse in the Police Department
The Law Enforcement Departments, such as the Berlin and other police departments are the backbone of the global public safety. The police are the body of officers who represent civil government authority. The police are typically responsible for ensuring that there are law and order in their respective jurisdictions (Ghavami et al., 2021). They are required to maintain public safety and order, detect, investigate, and prevent any criminal activity, and enforce the law (Bogumil & Kuhlmann, 2021). They are also entrusted with various regulatory and licensing activities, such as providing the driving license to people who own cars and provide a firearm certificate to private firearm owners (McCluskey et al., 2019). As such, the police are required to maintain a high level of integrity and accountability. However, recently, the police across the globe have inappropriately conducted themselves. One of the public safety departments that have recorded various unethical issues is the police department. The purpose of this assignment is to use the Principle-Based Ethical Decision-Making model and develop a plan to help solve ethical lapses in the Police Department.
Description of the Issue
On 25th May 2020, police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old man of African American origin in response to a call made by a convenience store worker. The employee called and told the officers that Mr. Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes (Weine et al., 2020). Seventeen minutes after the first police officers responded to the call, Mr. Floyd was seen lying on the ground with no signs of life. The victim had been killed by the officers. This issue caused uproar in most of the cities and countries across Europe including Germany, the UK, and the US. Various protests were held to tell the police that black lives matter. In almost every city in Europe and the US, protests were uniting all ethnic groups across the country demonstrating police brutality, especially among black people (Dreyer et al., 2020). Demonstrations were seen in countries, such as the UK, German, France, and Brazil. The officers involved in the case were all white, making the situation be interpreted as police brutality against black people. A human rights group known as Black Lives Matter was even formed to respond to the issue.
Cause of the Issue
The main cause of the issue is that the police officers who arrived at the scene violated police policies and the code of conduct, considering how they handled the situation. Videos showed that Floyd was killed by the four police officers within seventeen minutes. An officer known as Derek Chauvin was seen in the witness video pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground by putting his neck on the victim for at least seven minutes. The other officers who were with him did not do anything. They witnessed as Floyd was harassed and murdered. According to Weine et al. (2020), police are supposed to arrest a suspect following the steps stipulations and the bill of rights. Mr. Floyd was supposed to read his rights, be arrested, and then taken to a police station for questions. If the police have evidence that pins him to the allegations, he was supposed to be arraigned in court and face the justice system. However, in this case, the police did not open a case against the suspect, hence denying him his right to fair trial and judgment.
The Principle-Based Ethical Decision-Making Model Application
The issue above can be solved using the six-step approach as shown in the Principle-Based Ethical Decision-Making model. The first step to this approach is identifying the key ethical issues in the situation (Russo, n.d). The following are the key ethical issues in the situation above. The first issue is that the police are supposed to protect their citizens from any harm regardless of their status in society. However, Mr. Chauvin and his friends failed to do their duties and instead participated in the murder of Floyd. Video footage did not show where Floyd was armed, a situation that can warrant police use of force. Another ethical issue in the case is that the other three policemen watched as their colleague pressed his knees on Floyd’s neck until he was choked to death. Apart from providing backup, the other three officers have the role to ensure that their co-workers are following rules and responsibilities.
The second step is identifying the ethical articles related to the situation. The ethical code related to the situation is to “uphold the Constitution of nations, state statutes and local laws (Shane et al., 2017).” The constitution requires that suspects be allowed to defend themselves before being convicted. Floyd was accused of using counterfeit money. The police in charge could have read his rights, arrest him and take him to the police station, and charge him in could. They also required to allow the suspect to enjoy the right to live as enshrined in the US constitution. However, Floyd was denied all these, and hence the police in charge of the case did not uphold the constitution and state laws. The second ethical article is ethically performing duties. It was unethical of the police to assault Floyd and kill him by pressing his neck using his knees. The third article is “recognizing that the freedom of others shall not be infringed upon without just and legal cause (Rothstein & Sorak, 2017).” The police infringed Floyd’s rights by assaulting and murdering him without any remorse. The last article is maintaining competence and integrity. As individuals who have trained in a police academy, the four officers were required to show professional standards when handling Floyd, they were not expected to lose their integrity and act incompetently.
The third step is identifying the ethical principles that are significant in the situation (Russo, 2018). Police are guided by a set of policing principles. One of the principles relevant to this situation is leadership. The police are law enforcers, hence are required to lead by example. However, in this situation, the four police officers did not show leadership because they took part in breaking the law by committing or witnessing a murder. The second principle that relates to the situation is objectivity. This principle requires police officers to make decisions based on their best professional judgment and evidence. In this case, evidence that should be used is the laws stipulated in the constitution or other statutory policies (Weine et al., 2020). However, they disregarded the law and committed crimes against humanity. The third principle is respect. The police did not treat Floyd with the respect a fellow human deserves. They brutally killed him. The last principle is selflessness. However, the four servicemen did not act in the best interest of the public.
The fourth step is determining how the identified ethical articles can be applied in the situation (Russo, n.d). The four officers committed a crime and hence should be charged and taken to court as stipulated by the rule of law. They also have the right to a fair trial. The four officers should be made accountable for their actions. They should be suspended from their duties and their budge and other official resources taken. If found guilty, they should be sentenced to years in prison as stipulated by the Constitution of the United States. By doing this, other police officers within the department will not have the gut to disregard the rule of law because they know that they will be held accountable for their actions. Convicting the four officers will also improve the public’s faith in the police to protect and keep them safe. The family of Floyd will also get justice for their loved one.
In the fifth stage, the board in charge of police ethics will identify their feelings and intuitions about the situation (Russo, 2018). They should use virtue-based ethical decision-making models to guide them in this step. They should be aware of ethical dilemmas surrounding the situation and what to do about them to ensure that the matter is treated fairly and objectively. The panel should also identify how the decision of the board will impact other stakeholders. One of the impacts of the decisions made is that the family of Floyd will now move on knowing that they got justice. People will regain faith in the police and drop their quest to disband the police. In this step, the board should think of how they will publicize their decisions to the stakeholders to seek their opinion.
The last step is planning the course of action. As said in the steps above, the first action is arresting the four police officers and charging them in court. The four need to answer for their crimes. After punishing the four officers, the rest of the department should undergo education and training about police ethics and how they can apply them. Training and education will improve the police’s knowledge about ethics and their responsibility to uphold the constitution. Hoel (2021) notes that training employees in critical ethical standards can help improve their reasoning abilities and analytical skills required to understand both theoretical and practical aspects of the global criminal justice system and code of police officers’ code of conduct. Training and education will also help them know that they are accountable for their actions. Education will help in impacting the police with knowledge about the constitution and other state laws. Education will be a theoretical part of solving the problem (Honess, 2020). Training will be practical in that the police will be trained on how to tackle different situations in an ethical way (Hoel, 2021). Both theoretical and practical knowledge about policing ethics can reduce police brutality and use of force wrongfully because they will have the skill and knowledge to handle various situations.
First, the responsible board will develop a proposal to showing the need for action and proposed intervention and present it to the leadership for assessment and approval. The police of the police department a public and due to checks and balances, proper approval should be sought before the project is implemented. The second step acquiring funds and allocating resources to aid with the implementation. Funds are important because they will be used to buy the necessary equipment to be used during education and training and employ experts in police ethics. The third step is implementing the intervention. Police officers are very busy professionals. They are also scarce. Therefore, it is hard for them to find the time and attend education and training sessions. However, the training sessions will be scheduled to avoid disrupting the officers’ day-to-day operations. Police officers who are off duty will be required to attend two-hour education and training sessions. The ones who are on duty will do for their sessions when they are on leave. The board will monitor their progress often to ensure that they are taught things that align with the department’s standards of practice and principles. Lastly, the police will be evaluated. The first evaluation is that they will be given a test about what they have been taught and graded based on their test scores. Second, cases of police officers’ unethical behaviors will be analyzed and compared to ones before the intervention was implemented. The table below is a strategic plan for implementing ethical education and training intervention.
|A plan will be drawn and forwarded to the Police Department for assessment and approval.||A week|
|Resource allocation and acquisition of funds to aid the implementation.||A week|
|Implementation of the intervention||Two weeks|
|Evaluation||A six months after implementation|
Various stakeholders should be considered for this plan to succeed. The first stakeholder is the city mayor. The city leadership is critical to this plan because he is one of the people who often debate and budget for the city police department. Therefore, he can lobby the city council to allocate funds for the implementation of the plan. The second stakeholder is the City Council. The City Council is the legislative branch of the city. They are key because their role is to oversee all city agencies including the police department. If they do not approve the plan, it will not be implemented. Police officers are the last stakeholders in this plan because they are the target population. They are required to adhere to training schedules so that they can improve their ethical knowledge and skills in policing.
Police are a vital part of society, and hence they need to maintain a high level of professionalism and work with integrity. The case of George Floyd showed how some of the police officers across the globe are not professional and unethical. The killing of Floyd showed that there is a need to improve the police force and make them more accountable. This plan aims to improve the police departments by educating and training police officers about policing ethics and how to apply the knowledge and skill in the field while discharging their duties. The Principle-Based Ethical Decision-Making model has helped in identifying the ethical issues involved and hence made it easy to propose an intervention to solve the lapse.
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