Ethics is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of questions of right and wrong, and how humans should live. Ethics incorporates making moral judgments on what is right or wrong, good or bad. Ethics provide ways on how to make right choices in case of dilemmas involving moral issues (Felkenes, 1987). The incorporation of ethics in the justice system reveals that there are challenges in the departments that serve people with law. Professionals such as police officers, judges, magistrates and others, who take part in the administration of justice, will require ethics in order to conduct themselves in a proper way (Singer, 2004). In addition, in prescribing the levels of conduct, gives these professionals a chance to make decisions is situations of uncertainties. Although some scholars express the challenge in creating a single standard because of different societies, the set of ethical standards apply across all societies.
Ethics increase the probability that people will behave in expected ways. The professionals involved in justice administration do this partially by focusing on characters of their actions. In addition, ethical codes will help justice administration professionals in doing the right things for the correct motives (Singer, 2004). Far from justice administration, ethical deeds allow administrators and elected representatives' test their actions against expected standards. Law enforcement professionals have an obligation in the administration of justice. They have a responsibility to portray and maintain the ethical codes of a given justice and police department (Felkenes, 1987). However, the public perceives police officers unethical because of the compromise on their morals. Law enforcement is a critical aspect in endeavors for effective justice administration (Kopko, 2011). For instance, law enforcement officers in the criminal justice system struggle with ethical issues. Police officers face new issues daily, and it is up to that officer to handle the issue appropriately.
Many organizations attempt to address the public's concerns to increase professionalism and verify changes necessary for quality law enforcement. Because of these concerns, members of the Justice Administration proposed that efficient policing greatly relies on the education requirements for its law enforcement officers. Therefore, this called for global requirement of a four-year degree. In addition, the justice administration established law enforcement standards, training and required morally upright officers (Carter and Wilson, 2006). In addition, the criminal justice administration established police standards; however, the organization had the responsibility to remove certification of unethical law enforcement officers. For the commission to avoid hiring unethical officers, a background research qualified officers for hiring. The background investigation concluded the hiring process for most departments because it forecasts an employee's future behavior (Carter and Wilson, 2006).
There are several academic studies and publications on the issue of ethics in justice administration, in general, police ethics. Some of these early studies are mainly field researches conducted by scholars in collaboration with justice administrators such as police practitioners in several countries of the globe. Other prior researchers made investigations based on publications in the area of police occupational socialization, law enforcement ethics and associated fields. In reviewing previous studies, in the field of police ethics, some police organizations have developed code of ethics for their members (Carter and Wilson, 2006). The main aim of the code of ethics established is to help in managing these police officers guided by a set standard of work. In addition, the code of ethics established by these police officials is a step against corruption.
In addition, other studies suggest that fostering ethical policing is a global challenge. Ethical policing should protect the dignity of despised people; however, some police departments ignore human dimension by focusing on what they do instead of focusing on how they perform their duties. Another study suggests that police officials impose ethical standards and efficient policing through policy proscription and punishment. However, this approach has several challenges such as police actions are unreviewable. In order to impose ethical standards to lower ranking police officers, frontline law enforcers, officials and justice administrators should embrace ethics (Carter and Wilson, 2006).
The actual definition of "Christian Worldview" varies but breaking down the word makes it easy to understand its meaning. A worldview represents the perception of an individual's views of the world. Another suggested definition is an internal belief system about the factual world, what it is, why it is the way it is and how it operates. However, "worldview," is not a specific list of beliefs but rather, it is the orientation of the heart. A person's worldview represents the sum of feelings, beliefs, and memories, knowledge and experiences used to explain events and make decisions (Kopko, 2011). An officer's worldview will influence the way one handles ethical dilemmas in their line of duty. People are able to disguise into another's worldview; however, ethics involves one's honor revealed in their actions when no one else is present.
A Christian worldview belongs to people seeking to live like Christ. Therefore, for such a person, they should maintain a biblical worldview, which is to have the qualities or rather a mind of Christ (Autio, 2005). In addition, such people who claim to have a Christian worldview, should show consistency with their claim and act accordingly. Although a Christian worldview does not automatically prevent ethical challenges, people with Christian worldviews are not prone to giving in into unethical decisions in dilemmas (Kopko, 2011). For instance, in Romans 12: 2 Paul states: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to assess and accept what God's will is (NIV)." I addition, Colossians 2:8 says: "See to it that no one takes you captive through deep and deceptive idea, which depends on human tradition and the fundamental principles of this world rather than on Christ (NIV)."
The verses from the scriptures emphasize the significance of staying in God's will. In addition, they warn Christians of the danger of falling into a "deceptive philosophy" that the world tries to impose on Christ believers. It is simple for Christian officers to obey the scriptures, but many challenges may cause them to stumble (DeWitt, 2007). However, if a Christian police officer maintains their Christian faith in the face of dilemmas, they will have an easy time in their decision making. The law enforcement profession comes with circumstances that challenge police officers. For instance, a police officer searching a room may spot cash in one of the drawers. The officer being alone could take the money, and no one would find out. Officers with a Christian worldview recognize that stealing is wrong and cannot justify the act because the money belongs to a drug dealer or a felon.
Some of the ethical dilemmas faced by law enforcement officers are not new, but not much changed in approaching the dilemmas because of the sinful nature of man. Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, human beings do not study how to learn because they are born with the sinful nature. However, human beings know what is right or wrong, and it is their decision to choose the right or wrong that makes the difference. In general, police officers have the answer on what to do in most given cases, and it is their decision that makes the difference. In the decision making process of an ethical, officers with Christian worldviews should have an easy time to solve a situation because the Holy Spirit guides them (Jones and Carlson, 2004).
A Christian's Walk in Law Enforcement
In law enforcement, there are times when an officer has to choose between the ethical codes and the police subculture of dealing with ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas exist and can challenge any individual in any profession in every unimaginable ways. Police officers who pray through a given dilemma, he or she stands a chance compared to an officer who feels alone in their dilemma. Psalms 46:1 says, "God is our refuge, an ever-present help in trouble (NIV)." The passage encourages believers to never forget that God's omnipotence and how foolish it is for Christians to rely on themselves through trials (Kopko, 2011). A Christian walk is challenging and has a lot of hardships. The temptation to compromise an officer's faith is a struggle if the officer is the only Christian within the department.
Morals and Ethics
Police officers are consistently having their ethical stands put to the test. The officers encounter new issues and the officer has an obligation…