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Missouri 2023 Lesson Summaries

2023 Lesson 2: Ethics


Release Date:


This is an online interpersonal perspectives course addressing ethics in law enforcement. The lesson explains the importance of ethical behavior in policing, presents a model code of ethics, sets out practical benefits from having high standards, exposes the Code of Silence, and warns of the slippery slope of engaging in progressively worse conduct. It defines and discusses ethical breaches such as accepting bribes, behaving in an unprofessional manner, and committing crimes of moral turpitude. It explains the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. The lesson sets out the rights of Missouri law enforcement officers during a disciplinary proceeding, including Garrity Rights and statutory rights. It discusses the importance of fair treatment for all, including avoiding sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination, and the effect that implicit bias can have in policing. It illustrates ways in which officers have deviated from high ethical standards through case studies taken from actual, recent disciplinary proceedings.

This lesson also includes a note on Amendment 3, legalizing recreational marijuana, which Missouri voters passed in November. It summarizes the parts of the constitutional changes that are most relevant and important to law enforcement officers.

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