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NEWS > 13 March 2011

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 Article sourced from

Ethics in Policing
The Desert Sun
13 March 2011
This article appeared in the above title/site.
To view it in its entirity click this link.
Ethics in Policing

Ethics, professionalism is the foundation for police

Behind the badge can be a life-saving Superman — or a fire-breathing beast.

That's how people seem to react toward the deputies and police officers who swear to protect and serve.
Last month, a Palm Springs police sergeant raced into a burning home and pulled a man to safety — and mydesert.com readers rushed to praise him.
“It truly takes a special person to be a police officer. Thank God we have them here in Palm Springs protecting us,” one reader wrote.
When the interrogation spotlight turns on an officer, though, the public voices the opposite.
During the last month, a trio of Coachella Valley officers has been in the news for criminal cases against them.
A Desert Hot Springs police sergeant is awaiting a federal trial on charges he abused a suspect, and prosecutors accuse a Cathedral City police officer of jumping into a pool naked while on duty.
Most recently, police announced an investigation into domestic abuse and kidnapping claims against a Palm Springs police lieutenant.
None of the officers have been tried yet — but many were already convicted in the court of public opinion.
“Just another criminal who hides behind the badge to gain the trust of all the gullible morons who will then let him do as he pleases,” one reader wrote on mydesert.com.
“Gut tells me this will eventually be a murder case where he beat her to death and dumped her somewhere,” another chimed in about the Palm Springs lieutenant, hours before police found the woman he was accused of kidnapping alive.
Residents have high expectations of police officers — and rightfully so — for one simple reason: They should know better.
“If anyone knows what the law is, you should,” said Chris Madigan, director of the Public Safety Academy at College of the Desert.
“You should be able to prevent mishaps yourself or being involved in things that are either unethical or illegal because that's your job. That's what you do every day.”

It could easily be argued that some know how to live by high values and others can never learn to do so. Madigan said he hopes to weed out those who cannot abide by the standards before they're handed a badge and gun.

That's why ethics and professionalism are the foundation for each of the 42 learning topics students cover at the academy.
“You have the power to take away someone's freedom instantly, just on your say so, and if the public doesn't trust in you in that role, you're not going to be successful,” he said.
“It's everything we do. It's every decision we make,” he said.
 
 


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