You are here

Law Enforcement Ethics

Law Enforcement Ethics
Classic and Contemporary Issues

Edited by:
  • Brian D. Fitch - California State University, Fullerton, USA, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Woodbury University

March 2013 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This unique collection of essays covers many of the important facets of law enforcement ethics, including the selection, training, and supervision of officers. Editor Brian D. Fitch brings together the works of a diverse task force with a vested interested in reducing officer misconduct—including law enforcement scholars, educators, and practitioners from a variety of disciplines—to present a comprehensive look at this critical subject that is gaining more attention in agencies and in the media today. The text covers topics on the roles of culture, environment, social learning, policy, and reward systems as they pertain to law enforcement ethics, as well as the ethics of force, interrogations, marginality, and racial profiling. This volume also covers several unique aspects of ethics, such as the role of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in misconduct (PTSD), cheating during law enforcement promotional practices, off-duty misconduct, and best practices in developing countries.

J.J. Klaver
Chapter 1 - Law Enforcement: An Introduction
Ana M. Gamez and Gary G. Collins
Chapter 2 - Psychological Evaluations of Law Enforcement Applicants: The Search for Ethical Officers
Brian D. Fitch, Christine H. Jones, Luann P. Pannell
Chapter 3 - Rhetoric Versus Reality: Why Ethics Training Fails – And What Can Be Done To Fix It
Brian D. Fitch, Randy B. Means, Gregory Seidel
Chapter 4 - The Role of Supervision in Motivating and Maintaining a Culture of Ethics
Attilio R. Grandani
Chapter 5 - Ethics and Accountability: Policy and Oversight in the United Kingdom
Theron L. Bowman and Daniel T. Primozic
Chapter 6 - Police Misconduct: Weakness of the Will
Brian D. Fitch and Christine H. Jones
Chapter 7 - Bad Apple or Bad Barrel: Social Learning Theory as a Paradigm for Understanding Law Enforcement Misconduct
Aaron D. Conley and Bryon G. Gustafson
Chapter 8 - Ethics, Enforcement, and the Prospect of Professionalism
Paul T. Zipper and Tina Adams
Chapter 9 - The Psychology of Marginality
Amir Hamidi and Patrick M.Koga
Chapter 10- Psychological and Neurophysiological Correlates, Determinants, and Predictors of Misconduct in Law Enforcement Officers With Subclinical Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Kevin A. Elliott and Joycelyn M. Pollock
Chapter 11 - Ethics in Police Use of Force: Duty, Principle, and Morality
James L. Ruffin
Chapter 12 - Law Enforcement Interrogations: An Ethical Perspective
Alexandro Villamueva
Chapter 13 - Law Enforcement Promotional Practices: The Ultimate Test of Ethics
Bernard E. Harcourt
Chapter 14 - Henry Louis Gates and Racial Profiling: What's the Problem?
Kelly W. Sunberg
Chapter 15 - Leading Within the Era of Superagencies: Recruiting, Educating, Inspiring, and Retaining the Post 9/11 Generation of Officers
Cyndi Banks
Chapter 16 -Implementing Democratic Policing Reform: Challenges and Constraints in Developing Countries
David Massey
Chapter 17 - The Tarnished Badge: The Effects of Off-duty Misconduct
Jarret Lovell
Chapter 18 - Public Information in the Age of Youtube: Citizen Journalism and the Expanding Scope of Police Accountability

This book gives a really interesting take on law enforcement ethics, which was useful for several units, both for the tutor and the student.

Mr Michael Smith
Public Services , Central Bedfordshire College
June 3, 2016

I decided to go with a text that looks at ethics system wide.

Dr Francis Williams
Criminal Justice, Plymouth State University
June 16, 2015

Mostly USA but very interesting and can be used for UK comparative evidence.

Mr Peter Norton
Uniformed public services, Sheffield College
March 26, 2015

Very substantive topics; easy read; quality practical implications.

Dr Clarence Williamson
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Walden University
December 14, 2013
Key features


  • Featured essays are written by authors with diverse, real-world experiences, with contributions from agency supervisors, managers, and police chiefs from municipal police departments, state police departments, and federal agencies. Contributing authors work in a variety of fields including criminal justice, law, medicine, political science, psychology, sociology, and ethics.
  • Several unique and timely topics are explored in great depth, including police misconduct (Ch. 6), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Ch. 10), use of force (Ch. 11), cheating during promotional exams (Ch. 13), and best practices in developing nations (Ch. 16).
  • Chapter-opening introductory stories—often on timely topics seen on the news—highlight key topics and lay the foundation for discussion and analyses that follow.
  • Chapter-ending study questions help students to think, research, and discuss the major learning objectives for each chapter, and can be used as assignments, small-group discussion topics, or to stimulate critical in-class discussions.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 11

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

Rent or Buy eBook
ISBN: 9781483323732

ISBN: 9781452258171

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.