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Unethical Behavior: Article Analysis

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Implicit factors that influenced these officers were the organizational structure of the department, and the lack of ethical supervision. The organizational structure gave the officers freedom to steal and engage in corrupt behavior without their supervisors knowing. According to the article, Peer Effects in Unethical Behavior: Standing or Reputation, by David Pascual-Ezama, Derek Dunfield, Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño, and Drazen Prelec, “evidence shows that working in an unsupervised, isolated situation under competition, can increase dishonest behavior.” The officers were surrounded by other officers who were encouraging the idea of “looking out for number one” (Albanese, 2012). Officers were stealing money and seeing the personal benefits…show more content…
By stealing money and other valuable objects while executing search warrants, the officers violated the trust of the citizens and the trust of their own department. The Officer’s knowingly violated the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, which requires officers to protect people and their property, “protects the innocent against deception”, and respect citizen’s Constitutional rights (POST, n.d.). These officers showed a complete disregard for these ethical guidelines and used their authority for personal gain. In a similar case, Officer Herrera from the Chicago Police Department, stole from and victimized criminals on the streets with the goal of getting criminals off the street (CBS News, 2008). Officer Herrera felt his actions were not as bad as the crimes being committed on the street, so his actions were justifiable, which is called “denial of injury” (Fitch, 2011). The officers from the SCORE Unit also used “denial of injury” as a justification for their illegal actions, since the people they were stealing from had drugs or committed other…show more content…
When the stealing began, the officers saw positive effects of the behavior. They had more money, game consuls and games they did not have before, and provided their families with things they did not have. This served as a positive re-enforcement for their behavior. Once the sting operation went into effect, and the officers’ unethical behaviors were discovered, there were many negative impacts on the officer’s personal lives. The officers were placed on leave from their jobs, and eventually fired. This causes a financial hardship for those who rely on their income to pay for their housing and provide for their families. Articles were released throughout the media that named the officers who were involved. Once the media becomes involved, situations like this can be detrimental to a person’s reputation, and can impact their ability to ever work in a professional environment again (Pascual-Ezama, Dunfield, Gil-Gómez de Liaño, & Prelec, 2015). This is especially true for law enforcement. For those who were not indicted for the criminal acts, their involvement may hinder their ability to ever work in the law enforcement career field
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