Police officers receive gratuities in many forms: free drinks and meals, shopping vouchers, store discounts, free sporting event tickets, discounted merchandise, and free liquor among others (Davis, 2015). In many cases, they are an expression of appreciation for officers and the challenging work that they do. They are usually offered in good faith. However, they can also be given as enticements that lead to the acceptance of bribes.
We will write a custom Essay on Gratuities for Police and Professional Ethics specifically for you
807 certified writers online
Police gratuities are an ethical issue because of the possibility to act as a gateway to corruption and the difficulty encountered with regard to creating boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable gifts (Davis, 2015). As a Chief of Police, I would not allow police officers to accept gratuities because tokens of gratitude can be used to compromise their integrity, judgment, and impartiality in the administration of justice and law enforcement. In many communities, gratuities are acceptable because they signify civic friendships that develop between police officers and members of the public (Pollock, 2016).
However, many individuals use them to solicit special considerations or favors. Tokens of appreciation can be used to alter the judgment of police officers in the discharge of their duties for personal interests (Pollock, 2016).
Any type of gratuity is sufficient to affect the impartiality of a police officer. In many cases, a person who gives a gift expects something in return. Therefore, it is unethical for officers to receive tokens from individuals or business establishments. Appreciation could be given in the form of positive feedback, reviews, or appraisals (Pollock, 2016). It is difficult to create a boundary between what is acceptable and unacceptable regarding the issuance of gratuities. In addition, gifts could be used as gateways for individuals and organizations to engage in corruption. Barring officers from receiving gratuities would discourage police corruption and the partial administration of justice. Does receiving gratuities compromise the ethics of democratic policing?
Davis, W. L. (2015). Police-community relations: Bridging the gap. New York, NY: Xlibris Corporation.
Pollock, J. M. (2016). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.