Imagine studying the opinion of another law enforcement officer. What could one learn from that individual? Does he or she have any recommendations that are worth mentioning? How is discipline issues handled? One will discuss the various questions asked to Daniel Heinze with much analysis.
Why are ethics and character so important in the field of law enforcement?
Daniel (2011) believes that ethics and character is quite important in the field of law enforcement. He said, "From all the years of work I have done in the community, I have seen officers exploit their power by speeding and abusing innocent people" (Heinze, 2011). Recently, in the news, one has exploited another as a means of harming an innocent individual. This person has faced fines and termination from the police department. Everyone in Saline County was disappointed (Heinze, 2011).
One needs to explain how someone gets to work as an officer for the state or county. When he or she applies for a position, a vigorous screening process occurs. The individual goes through an extensive background check, interviewed by a panel, urine analysis for drug testing and his or her doctor's records are examined to see if there is a history of mental illness. If a person passes this, then the next steps are six to ten weeks of training at the academy. However, for some reason, someone does not get past these steps; they are not considered in working for the city. This is because he or she does not have high ethical standards as well as the character to handle the stresses of the job (Heinze, 2011).
Without the department taking these measures, people would continue to make poor choices, and our reputation would get ruined. We are known to do everything possible to protect the community and not the opposite. Anyone who violates our code of conduct faces disciplinary action. He or she could face having to take up to six weeks off from work as well as additional counseling. If anything is found in their case, then he or she will possibly get to go back to work or face termination (Heinze, 2011). "This happens because of how well trained we are with the law and the consequences that follow if any misconduct" (Heinze, 2011).
Do the interviewees feel that police are more ethical today, or were they more ethical ten years ago?
According to Daniel (2011), he said, "I feel that police today and of many years ago are the same in their approach when it comes to ethics." The difference between then and now is that we now have a word for it, ethics. People can go to ethics classes within the department as well as in the college setting. More are aware of this terminology, but not everyone is aware of how to have high standards within the law enforcement industry (Heinze, 2011).
Back then, people took advantage of others without knowing ethics. They may have had high moral standards compared to today, but many chose to kill innocent lives. The system back then did not care. Since then, laws have become quite strict because of what others did a decade ago. For example, when abuse took place, no one spoke of it, unlike now everyone is encouraged to let authorities know. This is quite disturbing (Heinze, 2011).
Currently, officers seek to take advantage of the system by using technology or doing things in secret. They are focused on ways of exploiting it. When they are found out, they are in denial of what happened. One is able to actually get a confession out of them by detailing all the facts and evidence set forth as well as using their words against them. When this occurs, an individual seeks to use manipulation in order to get out of the accusations. The officers keep presenting the truth, and over a period of hours, he or she does confess. This demonstrates how things have changed from then to now (Heinze, 2011).
Why do police officers become involved in misconduct?
Officers become involved in misconduct for a number of reasons. Daniel Heinze (2011) believes that this is because a person's background and the work environment. For example, if a person was physically, emotionally and sexually abused growing up, then he or she will find ways in which to get attention. Through this, one will have difficulty in breaking the cycle of abuse. As a result, he or she will bring it to their job. Many will see their outlandish behavior, and want to know why he or she is acting in that manner (Heinze, 2011).
When someone decides to misbehave at work, he or she may strive to get attention. Obviously, this is done in a negative manner. The person may lose colleagues in this process because of not having the necessary social skills. An issue arises when he or she is not aware of the behavior. If someone decides to confront the individual, most of the time the person does not want to hear it (Heinze, 2011). According to Daniel Henize (2011), he said, "They are seeking attention as a means of losing their job with the police department. Many view their job as fun, instead of taking it seriously. I wonder why they were hired in the first place."
Social skills are important in doing public service. Anyone who does not have these can make poor choices quite easily. In fact, the individual will talk when he or she is not allowed to at that time. Furthermore, the words are generally inappropriate and offensive to others. Sometimes these individuals do not understand how their behavior can affect them on the job. They usually do not last long in the force, and the turnover rate is high because of the lack of ways in which to help them. "I feel sorry for these people because they do not understand the ramifications of their actions, and for some reason a select few straighten up" (Heinze, 2011).
The next area on why people misbehave on the job is because of a lack of morals. They believe that they are above the law and can do whatever one wishes at that time. For example, he or she may lie on their police reports, but when their supervisor sees the errors made, the person chooses to lie. The person is not religious, yet knows that deep down is aware of their actions, whether they are right or wrong (Heinze, 2011). According to Daniel (2011), he said, "These individuals are hard workers. They are too arrogant to take care of the community. All they think about are themselves. I feel sorry for them."
One would not think that working as a Police Officer that one could misbehave. However, this is not always the case. Daniel claims that people do this because they know too much of how the department works and want to see what they can get away with at that time. Furthermore, since their morals are low, one does not care what others think. Many will hide their issue, but eventually, everyone will find out. Sometimes the media will let the entire city and county know (Heinze, 2011). "At that time, we have no choice but suspend them from the job temporarily until the investigation is complete" (Heinze, 2011).
Our policies and procedures are strict. Everyone is supposed to take their job seriously. However, a select few think that it is their opportunity to act up (Heinze, 2011). "I frown upon these individuals because lives are at stake" (Heinze, 2011). All one can do when someone behaves this way is to confront them and hope for the best. Over time, their superior will notice, and he or she may face discipline along with possible termination (Heinze, 2011). This hurts the entire organization because then those who are executives have to strive to find ways in which to fill the gaps. The budget is already tight and people are already striving to train the new employees who come into the force. Without these issues, one's job is easier and not so difficult because of it (Heinze, 2011).
Do the interviewees feel that there is enough training offered in ethics at the police academy level? If not, why is that?
According to Daniel Heinz (2011), he believes that there is not enough training offered at the police academy level. Most of the time, they focus on the laws and memorizing them. A person goes through rigorous ways in studying them. However, one can know the letter of the law, but fail to adhere to it despite not knowing ways in which to handle it. In fact, during our training, we only have three hours of ethics. This is not enough in which to help people to learn right from wrong as well as to make good choices in the workplace.
"This is what I have seen as an officer. Most people who have more ethics training do better…