There is no debating that law enforcement is one of the noblest of professions. Yet the evolving demands of the job appear to be increasingly diametrically opposed now more than ever. The perceived paradoxical struggle between the survivor mentality, protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens (innocent and suspect), and core values implementation have made the job exponentially more challenging. Such a conundrum has given rise to a new police ethics paradigm—strict adherence to the integrity of the policing process.
Police integrity involves the habitual shunning and resistance to the unique occupational temptations associated with police work, which is “doing the right thing.” The most prevalent and costly of those temptations in the case law are excessive force, retaliatory force, acts of noble cause corruption, and an overall egregious abuse of police powers. Good faith, reasonableness, and vigilant training are the legal defenses afforded individual officers and agencies in courts of law, and, more times than not, juries give the police the benefit of the doubt. The commitment of an agency’s policy maker to a comprehensive, in-depth training curriculum has a direct influence on the agency’s successes or failures in defending against constitutional rights violation lawsuits.