Termination of Untruthful Police Officers
Terminationof Untruthful Police Officers
Terminationof Untruthful Police Officers
Theissue on whether untruthful officer should be demoted has raisedseveral debates. Considering the consequences of Brandy and GiglioV. United States in which the Supreme Court dealt with issues ofcredibility of government’s witnesses. Issues are dealing withofficers lying have attracted much debate. For instance, legaladvisors suggest that an employee found irresponsibly of falsestatements whether intentional or unintentional is guilty and shouldbe terminated, and if appropriate, they should be charged with acrime. While leaders consider the impacts of terminating anuntruthful police officer to the law-enforcing agency, they have toanalyze the effects of retaining such an untruthful person. The useof untruthful statements or witness as a way of avoiding disciplinaryaction is dangerous and undermines the effective and efficientservice delivery. Besidesdamaging the public perception of policing, untruthful officers maynegatively impact the lives of their victims. A person for examplemay be jailed based on false information provided by an officer whois untruthful and dishonest.
Terminationof Untruthful Police Officers
Truthis paramount for effectiveness in every organization. Lying anddeception destroys personal as well as organization’s reputation.Under the police character policies, deception and omission of truthare considered unethical, and every public servant is expected todemonstrate a high level of honesty. The need to protect theintegrity and the image of thepublic institution demands education ofall public officers on the need to prioritize telling the truth.Truthis always a critical part of the job description. Over decades,law enforcers and leaders have faced the challenge of determining thekind of action to take on untruthful officers court decisions play aprominent role in thedecision-making process.
Legally,the procedure of demoting untruthful police officer is simple but itmay not be fair. Despite the need to provide justice and fairness tothe people, there is the need to consider the circumstances and theperson’s history of integrity. It is always good to listen to theirpart of the story. A police office may lie unwillingly or is facedwith a tough situation that they need to get themselves out of, andtheonly way to do so is to tell a lie. In such cases, there is needto analyze the officers history of truthfulness and the role theyplay. If care is not taken, the agency may end up losingimportantpersonnel because of a simple mess in the career. Importantly,analysis of person’s history of untruthfulness and exculpatoryevidence is necessary in order to undertake constitutionalrecommendations as argued by Beckley(2013).
Thecritical role of the police officer is to maintain public trust. Thepublic rely on the law enforcers who should avoid discrediting them.Police officers need to provide factual information based onobservations and investigations that are often relied as criticalevidence in courts. Police officers are entitled to enforce laws,maintain confidential reports on accidents and crimes and securingevidence. Responsibilities bestowed on the police officers thatinclude dispossessing others of their constitutional rights requirethat the officer meets the fundamental duty of absolute truthfulness.Failure to adhere to this should earn the officer termination. Theeffectiveness of a law agency lies within the ability to win theconfidence and respect of the community. Trust helps employees tooperate effectively because the success of the law enforcement restson the reliability of members to represent the agency in court andlegal proceeding. When an officer provides untruthful information, heor she jeopardizes the existence of the agency, and the best actionis to terminate them at the expense of the agency.
Policeofficers are taught the IACP Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. The codehighlights the fundamental duty of the officer to the community. Thecode consists of a pledge in which the individual recognizes thathe/she is a symbol of public faith. Law enforcement leaders offerclear standards through trainings, creation of policy statements,ethical manuals, mission statements among other documents. Trainingoffered to the police officers demonstrates public expectations. Thedocuments and the training become the support for charges on issuesof integrity. Law enforcement leaders describe the expected code ofconduct to every individual police officer, and this is helpful indetermining the fairness of termination in case of misconduct. Theresponsibility and the image of the police agency goes beyondpersonal ambitions or family ties thus the decision on terminationshould override personal goals and family duties. The background totermination should be based on the officer’s responsibility to thepublic rather than themselves or their families. There should be noargument to keep untrustworthy officers. Failure to dismiss them fromservice may end up being very detrimental to the reputation of thepolice as well as ruining lives. The law is also very clear onmatters of integrity in public service and as such should be upheldin dealing with officers who lie in their line of duty.
Theguiding principle of every law firm entails every officer upholdingthe uttermost level of integrity. The public rely on the policeofficers, and if they fail in terms of honesty the public lose trustin them. Chief executives make it clear that untruthfulness will notbe tolerated. When an officer engages in a prohibited behavior, theaffected department policy is applied in the investigation andimposition of disciplinary action. The practical effects of loss ofconfidence and credibility due to false information impair the wholesystem of operation. This breaches the regulations as described inthe Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and should therefore be treatedwith the seriousness it deserves (Barker, 2011). Making decisionsthat favor the inefficiencies of an inefficient employee at theexpense of department’s credibility tarnishes the whole image ofthe agency. Termination of untruthful officer is thus considered aneffective way of restoring the efficiency of public service and thepublic trust.
Theeffects of terminating an untruthful officer to the agency depend onthe affected individuals. For instance, terminating results in theincrease in public trust that is key to service delivery. The agencymay suffer a big blow from losing important personnel. The servingofficers, on the other hand, may feel threatened and unwilling toprovide information due to fear of telling a lie. Irrespective of theconsequences of termination, public service and duty is paramount andthus penalties should be awarded in accordance with the stipulatedpolicies. Officers work under an oath in which they promise to servefaithfully and truthfully. Officers are stewards of the people andtheir betrayal is the betrayal of the whole community. Policeexecutive should follow the right channels in disciplining violatorsand if the officer’s mistake earns a termination penalty, theyshould not be afraid to do so.
Conclusively,telling the truth is an important but a difficult task. Policeofficers should learn to give honesty the priority in order to avoidpenalties attached to dishonesty. The effects of telling a lie aredetrimental not only to the individual police, but also to the entireforce, the society, and the public at large. It should, therefore, bethe role of the police fraternity to ensure that they upholdintegrity and honesty at all times. Despite the termination of policewho prove to be deceitful being one of the steps of disciplinary, itmay also be an unfair practice. Sometimes the police may be workingtowards protecting someone vulnerable or even their reputation.Nevertheless, honesty is the key to theestablishment of trust in thepolice force.
Beckley,A. (2013). Managing accountability systems for police conduct:internal affairs and External oversight. PolicePractice And Research,14(2).
Barker,T. (2011). Policeethics: Crisis in law enforcement.Springfield, Ill: Chares C. Thomas.