Unconstitutional Policing: Part 2—Minimizing Liability Strategies That Start and End at the Top

learly, if there were a template for success that police administrators could strictly adhere to, the stressors, politics, and potential legal liabilities associated with leading police organizations would be minimal. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of the current police leadership paradigm. Civic leaders and their communities must rely on the experience, education, common sense, skill sets, and character of their police leaders to effectively “do the right thing” when confronted with the challenges associated in leading and managing a police department. It is impractical to assume all police leaders will possess all the supervisory characteristics traditionally associated with effective, ethical police administrations. But, it is not unreasonable to demand that upper management continually educate itself and focus on self-analysis, coupled with the best practices and lessons learned from past mistakes, in an effort to incorporate an evenly balanced approach to managerial decision-making philosophies. Honest leadership enhances legitimacy and integrity within the police process.

This is Part Two of a four-part collaborative series on ethics in law enforcement and unconstitutional policing. Look for the rest of the series in future issues of The Police Chief, culminating in December 2015 as part of our issue centered on ethics.