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Code of Ethics in Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office&nb...
Code of Ethics in Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
The work of law enforcement officers is
governed by Code of Ethics that determine their conduct while in service.
Serving humankind is based on their intricate knowledge of the law and ability
to exert their power without stepping on anyone’s toes. The trust and respect
by the public need to be earned through offering effective service to all
residents regardless of their profile. It is based on this that Jacksonville
Sheriff’s Office has an ethical code that guides all its law enforcement
officers and employees. AT times though, ethical challenges are experienced,
and it is up to the leader to guide the team towards solving the cases and
fostering a good relationship between the agency and the public that they
The fundamental duty of law enforcement
officers is to serve humankind, and respect and protect their constitutional
rights to justice, equality, and liberty (National Institute of Justice, 2016).
They are governed by a code of ethics that ensure the peaceful coexistence
between officers of the law and the community they serve. It ensures that the
integrity of the job is maintained. Just like other law enforcement agencies,
the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is governed by a code of ethics. This paper
will analyze the Code of ethics that is currently in play in Jacksonville
Sheriff’s Office, ethical challenges discovered in the agency and possible
solutions on the issues.
Agency’s Ethical code
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office ethical
codes specifically identity all officers and employees of the agency as public
servants that must perform faithfully and efficiently their duties under the
local, state and national government laws. They are expected to follow the code
of ethics to the core and maintain respect to the citizens as their priority. The
agency passed the first chapter of the Ethics code in 1999 with the aim of
creating a more responsible government and a guide to public servants o their
conduct. The Ethics Code used by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has improved
over time with the most recent revision being passed on January 2018
(Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 2018). They
have been keen to incorporate existing laws and coordinating them with
behavioral guidelines that aim at a high standard is service provision. Each
law enforcement officer and employee of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has the
responsibility to create a better government through upholding the highest
level of integrity and committing to serve citizens and hence earning their
trust and respect.
As of 2018, the Ethics code of
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office goal is to ensure the agency preserves and maintains
integrity in its service to the public and the process of decision making. They
identify the need to put forth any expenditure, activity, and identity of
people who aim to influence the officers and employees of the agency. The code
stipulates the need for an Office of Inspector general whose responsibility
will be to ensure efficiency in the agency and promote its economy. The office
will be in charge of all operations and hence identify abuse, waste, and fraud
cases. The various chapters cover different sectors that define the service of
the employees of the agency (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 2018).
All law enforcement officers have the
responsibility to know the laws of the state of Florida, international law, federal
laws, and national law and to abide by them. They are expected to maintain the
constitutional rights of citizens. The Ethic code stipulates their duties in
exercising their police power following the federal and state constitution
(National Institute of Justice, 2016). All officers and employees of
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office receive ethical training biannual as specified by
the Ethics Code. Another essential part covered by the code are the constraints
on their behavior as a result of being officers. This ensures fairness in conduct
in all matters and hence general confidence in the law enforcement system. The
code also states the actions to be taken when an officer or an employee
violates the ethical codes (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, 2018).
Ethical challenges discovered
The power police officers have on their
ability to earn the trust and respect for citizens when they are on and off
duty. They are under constant judgment by society, and this puts too much
pressure on them. Their social life is always on the limelight. As can be seen
in the case of police officers in Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, this puts them
under a lot of pressure. Ethical issues arise with the expectation that they
should always adhere to the law and respect the residents. This leads to
numerous instances of conflicts between society and law enforcement (Conarck, 2017).
The greatest challenge that is being
experienced by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is racism complaints from
citizens. Numerous charges have been filed in the agency about racist police
officers. According to Jacksonville Newspaper, there are several investigations
concerning racism in the agency. An example is jaywalking tickets that are mainly
given to black people. The laws of the state offer 28 different distinctions of
legal walking. Racial discrimination is so quite widespread on the issuance of
the ticket. It is hard to determine the truth of these claims are law
enforcement officers are protected by their discretionary stance. Other racial
controversies have also hit the agency including the arrests of activists and
the controversial police shootings.
Law enforcement officers have the
ethical duty to maintain the legal rights of all citizens regardless of their
skin color. Any law enforcement officer, incusing those from Jacksonville
Sheriff’s Office, have the responsibility to respect and propel the
constitutional rights of all residents. They are expected to keep their private
life and opinion unsullied to the service they offer. They are supposed not to
act officiously and ensure that their personal prejudices animosities, friendship,
and feelings do not affect the service their offer. Based on this, more stringent rules need to
be put in place to reduce racial profiling in service provision. Training of
officers should be strict in ending this prejudice and hence ensuring that all
residents are treated equally, regardless of their race, social status or
religion. Including a bias, training will ensure that law enforcement officers
have the skills needed to relate to diverse residents. The training should help
them focus on negative perceptions and attitudes that exist between residents
and police officers (Conarck & Sanders, 2018).
Leadership plays a huge role in
ensuring equitable policing (National Institute of Justice, 2016). Through
effective leadership, law enforcement officers identify the right traits to
copy from their leaders. Leaders also direct them towards making a decision that
is ethical. The lead law enforcement officer at Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
has the responsibility to keep all other officers in check and ensure that they
follow the code of conduct that governed the agency. They also have the
responsibility to ensure a good relationship between agency employees and the
society they serve. This makes service more natural and more effective.
The fundamental duty of law enforcement officers is
only effectively carried out if the officer follows the code of ethics that
govern policing. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has been effective in enacting
an Ethical code that is taught to all their officers. The ethics code of conduct
stipulates their responsibility in serving the public and developing a
relationship of trust and respect with citizens. At times though some law
enforcers face ethical challenges mainly based on the high expectation the society
has on them. Officers at Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office have also been accused
of profiling wrongdoers before arresting them. It is expected that the rights
of citizens are maintained by law enforcers regardless of the race, religion,
and social class of the resident. Leaders of the agency should make bias
training a requirement for all officers. They should also cultivate a good
relationship between the employees of the agency and the public they serve.
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