Missouri Legal Update

2020 Lesson 17: Ethics

Interpersonal

2020 Lesson 17: Ethics

Interpersonal

Release Date: 

11/1/2021

This is an online interpersonal perspectives course focused on law enforcement ethics. It explains general principles of ethics in law enforcement, provides an example of a police codes of conduct, and explores the detrimental effects of the code of silence. It defines terms commonly used in an examination of police ethics, including: appearance of impropriety, bribe, gift, corruption, and Garrity Rights. It explains when Missouri law prohibits public employees from accepting gifts or certain payments. The lesson describes the Missouri disciplinary process applicable to law enforcement officers and provides examples of actual cases of police misconduct heard by the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission.


The lesson examines the obligation of law enforcement officers to provide fair treatment under law, while also addressing the challenging environment faced by law enforcement officers. The lesson reviews common types of police misconduct and provides actual examples from recent cases.


Finally, the lesson examines the consequences of police misconduct for the community, for individual officers, and for law enforcement agencies.