Making Choices: The Moral Aspects of Policing

I posted this over two years ago and before Ferguson. Now more than ever… a police action may be legal, but is it moral?

Improving Police

right way wrong way

Being moral is to make good choices between right and wrong or good and bad actions.

It applies to both individuals and organizations. With regard to the police function, a citizen cannot expect the police to operate only legally — but that they must also act morally. For without moral considerations, policing would become both ineffective and unbearable in a free society.

Permit me to explain, police officers, of necessity, daily exercise moral choices called “professional discretion” in deciding whether or not to make an arrest. The proper use of this discretion requires police to be educated and well-trained in order to make sound and professional judgments in the course of their duties. These decisions involve a number of factors (but not limited to) the seriousness of the offense, whether an arrest will aid in resolving the problem, the existence of competing priorities for police resources, the availability of…

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5 Comments

      1. Yes, but I want to go into teaching and consulting. I want to improve relations between the community and police, specifically in the context of crime prevention and community re-entry. My focus is the mentally ill and the autism spectrum.

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