The blue code of silence, also known as the blue shield, is the unwritten rule that police officers in the United States do not report other officer’s misconducts, bribery or crimes. During interviews in internal affairs investigations, the officers will claim ignorance of the wrongdoing. No officer will testify against another officer.
Case scenario: Officer A is a gambler and lost several thousand dollars at the casino. Officer B has a family and no financial problems. Both officers are on patrol in a business neighborhood. Officer B watches officer A leaving several small stores with a stack of cash in his hands. He asks officer A about the money and he answers that the store owners give him donations for patrolling the stores at night and to ensure that they are not burglarized.
Based on the scenario discuss the following questions:
- Is officer A acting ethical?
- Are the actions of Officer A criminal?
- What would you do if you are officer B?
- Should officer B notify the supervisor or ignore it?
Due dates for your initial and response posts can be found by checking the Course Syllabusand Course Calenda
Based on the scenario:
Officer A is not behaving ethically. The situation in this context seems shady and I believe it the duty of law enforcement not to engage in behaviors that even remotely resembles impropriety. To my knowledge, police officers are not allowed to accept monetary gifts because it can be misconstrued as bribery. While the full scope of what occurred is unknown, it is hard to say whether not criminal activity has taken place. If I were Officer B, I would report what I saw in spite of what Officer A says. At the very least, Officer A needs to be reprimanded for engaging in conduct unbecoming.
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