Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing / Edition 5

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From dark streets and hallways where criminals prey on their victims to the corridors of power where political agendas set policy, law enforcement officers face unrelenting demands on their courage and morality. In a dangerous world, are "Dirty Harry" tactics or "noble cause corruption" ever justified? What does it take to enforce the law and keep the peace honorably? In the expanded edition of Character and Cops, Edwin J. Delattre has added material on the Rodney King beating, gang-based violence, and the tragedy at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. He also includes an appendix, with a guide for designing academy courses and programs in ethics and for using the book as an instructional tool. Character and Cops explores the ethical standards that govern police commands and individual officers in pursuit of their duties. More broadly, though, the book addresses questions of individual character, public trust, corruption, moral training, and ethics education as they apply to society at large.
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Editorial Reviews

Delattre (philosophy and education, Boston U.), implicitly promoting the "bad apple" theory of police corruption and brutality, discusses how to promote good values in individual police officers through training and discusses how those values should lead officers to act in a variety of situations. This new edition adds a chapter on terrorism and policing, complaining that police lack the tools to effectively prosecute the "War on Terrorism" and examining issues of racial profiling. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Richard W. Myers
Dr. Delattre's book is the gold standard text on police integrity and ethics. Both applicants and seasoned veterans alike should read and apply the many lessons in this book. Rookies will gain wisdom on good decision making that no police academy teaches. Experienced officers will find affirmation for their noblest service.
Darrel W. Stephens
Police work is among the most challenging of careers and it is best done by those with strong character. For more than twenty years, Ed Delattre has been teaching police officers at every level about the complexities of ethical policing and providing clear guidance to strengthen their character. Each edition of Character and Cops builds on a rock-solid foundation of wisdom while recognizing the constantly changing world in which we police. In the sixth edition, he takes on the vexing issue of officers returning from deployments in war zones. His contributions to help those who police America cannot be overstated
James W. McMahon
Policing in the twenty-first century requires more than ever the utmost trust of the citizens law enforcement serves. Delattre’s emphasis on the virtues of character, integrity, and honesty coupled with compassion and equal justice for all makes this book required reading for police supervisors at all levels.
Thomas A. Constantine
Thankfully, someone who possesses both the intellect and proper value structure has chosen to study this issue. Police administrators throughout the United States are deeply indebted to Ed Delattre
Chuck Wexler
Delattre’s emphasis on the achievement of good character applies to every walk of public and private life.
George Will
This fascinating volume, a sophisticated exercise in applied political philosophy, illuminates the complexity of policing and the central role of that profession in a free society.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780844742175
  • Publisher: Aei Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/2005
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 550
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Edwin J. Delattre is professor of philosophy and education emeritus at Boston University, president emeritus of St. John's College, and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He lives in Canton, GA.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition
Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
1 Introduction 1
2 Excellence of Character 6
3 The Mission of Police 16
4 The Public Trust and Probity 34
5 Discretion 44
6 Public Corruption for Profit 63
7 Authority and Reform in Controlling Corruption 84
8 Leadership and the Character of a Department 96
9 Illegal Narcotics - Moral Issues and Public Policy 118
10 The Fundamentals of Character and Training 132
11 Deliberation and Moral Problems in Training 151
12 Tragedy and "Noble Cause" Corruption 181
13 Death and Bereavement, Deadly Force and Guilt 205
14 Taking Our Lives Seriously 212
15 Fatalism, Microcosms, and Therapeutic Reductions 216
16 Ethical Ideals, Youth Violence, and Gang Enforcement 239
17 Police, the O. J. Simpson Trial, and Race 260
18 The Spirit of Public Service and Individual Conscience 287
19 Ethics in the Future of Policing 304
20 Terrorism and Policing 340
App. A A Guide to the Further Study of Ethics in Policing 387
App. B Internal Affairs and Integrity 393
Notes 407
Index 437
About the Author 451
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