The fact that leadership is an inherent component of better control and regulation of law and order in the public sector is undeniable. Public officers, therefore, should follow all the established norms and take corresponding responsibility for safety of citizens.
More importantly, law enforcement offers should acquire leadership skills to cope with community-based problems in the 21st century. While considering leadership and behavioral patterns established by law enforcement establishment, ethics and moral values are among the most frequently emerged concerns. On the one hand, law enforcement officers relying on morale and ethic fail to obey the main principles of law and order.
On the other hand, unethical behavior may generate negative consequences, including racial discrimination, bribery, unequal enforcement, and corruption. With regard to the above-presented considerations, that ethical behavior and leader constitutes a serious challenge to law enforcement officers unless specific ethical standards of conduct, ethical principles, and correlation between law and morale limits are imposed on them.
Ethical concerns emerged in the sphere of public managers are explained by a failure to establish new unconventional approaches to leadership training. In this respect, Burrell (2007) re-conceptualizes the definition of ethical leadership and argues that it should be primarily based on effective decision-making and problem-solution. Specifically, integration of a set of ethical concerns related to legal practices (race equality and gender concerns) is indispensible to create a consistent framework for legal enforcement.
Reluctance of law enforcement officer to follow the main principles of ethics and moral can bring in corruption to justice. Specifically, ethical perspectives of law enforcement are largely connected with the crisis of identity (Brown, 2011).
Public officers are often challenged by their obligation to protect the community and serve the community in accordance with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. These challenges have been significantly intensified by the terrorist attacks happened in September 9, 2001. As a result, many policy officers face a conflicting situation while deciding what interests meet their loyalty.
What is most threatening is police organizational culture often “…often sabotages its officers and presents the most significant obstacle to change” (Brown, 2011, p. 675). Though militaristic principles contribute to safety and welfare among the community, it hardly meets the generally accepted standards of ethical leadership and behavior.
While highlighting the major frictions between ethical leadership and legal enforcement, specific emphasis should be placed on the analysis of illegal behavior, which is often congruent with unethical issues. In this respect, ignorance of ethical and moral principles will not contribute to adequate regulation within the content of legal system (Seaton, 2010).
What is more important is that most illegal and unethical practices come from the higher levels of police hierarchy generating more ethical misconceptions and illegal conduct at the lower levels. In this respect, ethical behavior must be taken in account while considering leadership training programs for law enforcement officers.
In conclusion, it should be stated that ethical leadership and behavior can create a number of problems and conflicting situations for law enforcement officers if no transparent and clear ethical codes of conduct are introduced.
Crisis of identity and corruption of organizational structure are among the most serious consequences of this problem. In this respect, there should be strict norms and standards that would not allow legal authorities surpass the boundaries of morale and ethics. At the same time, it is a necessary to strike the balance between ethical principles and laws.
Burrell, D. N. (2007). Nontraditional leadership training for public managers. Public Manager, 36(3), 62-66. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/236297918?accountid=8289
Brown, C. A.J.D., (2011). Divided loyalties: Ethical challenges for americas law enforcement in post 9/11 america. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 43(3), 651-675. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/887542461?accountid=8289
Seaton, L. J. (2010). The effect of law enforcements socialization process on the whistle-blowing behavior of police officers. Allied Academies International Conference.Academy of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict.Proceedings, 15(2), 33-33. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/807539376?accountid=8289