A Law Enforcement Agency’s Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct: Reinforcement of Our Values

As an agency of law enforcement, we play an essential role in the public sector by maintaining order and justice. However, it is not only about what we do but also about how we do our job, which is defined by our values. As such, for police officers, accountability means taking responsibility for our actions. Respect is defined as treating people as one would like to be treated. Integrity is defined as always doing the proper job; we must also be working to address the community’s needs with excellence by exceeding all the possible expectations. These core values define our interactions with society, the authorities, and others, as well as provide the basis for our code of conduct. The code that we will discuss is multifaceted and is divided into several sections that address our duties and values.

The Necessity of the Code of Conduct

Although the general importance of the code of conduct within law enforcement may seem unclear at first, it has a crucial impact on the way the processes within the company are performed. Firstly, it serves as the foundation for our initiatives, policies, procedures, and behaviors. It provides a coherent message to our coworkers so that they collaborate toward a shared goal. The values identified in the code of conduct eliminate uncertainty and define the most important things within specific situations of law enforcement. Values may motivate individuals to go above and beyond. However, for this to happen, we must assess and improve the connection to the importance of our job. It is necessary to understand what the values imply in practice and how they affect actual performance. People pick up on signals about how to act at work, both big and tiny; thus, any behavior that contradicts the values should be prevented. A code of conduct may be reinforced and understood through recruitment, induction, and performance management.

The Expected Effects of the Code of Conduct: Coherence

In our case, coherence indicates the lack of norm conflict. The definition of coherence is a condition or circumstance whereby all components or concepts fit together perfectly to create a cohesive whole. The growing law enforcement protection regime now lacks consistency in terms of cohesion. A lack of definition continues to limit the officers’ capacity to apply protection standards consistently. It prohibits the integral equation of protection principles to all people and organizations with a legal claim to protection. Thus, implementation of the code of conduct is expected to remove inconsistency in our law enforcement agency’s behavior to converge on new expectations, which are mirrored in our practice.

The Expected Effects of the Code of Conduct: Compliance

Compliance and conformity imply that police officers respond to violence and complex humanitarian catastrophes according to agreed constitutional and statutory standards and laws. In essence, it is about a law enforcement agency adhering to protection principles in a given scenario. Unfortunately, even though legal responsibilities are formalized in official documents, their meaning is often up to interpretation by individual officers. As a result, the code of conduct is expected to provide a clear guide so that an officer’s case-specific reaction complies with rules, conventions, and standards. This compliance will be implemented regardless of whether the laws and principles are generally followed by other agencies’ individuals, whether they form widespread practice or a standard.

The Expected Effects of the Code of Conduct: Accountability

The capability to use force provide officers with several opportunities to infringe on human rights. Strong and unchecked authority creates the possibility of abuse, such as police brutality, fatalities in police detention, humiliation and ill-treatment, targeted killings, arbitrary arrests, and disproportionate use of force, notably during protests. The implementation of the code of conduct will make sure that the police force is accountable and appreciates and defends human rights, which will create positive relations with the public and the population. Thus, our law enforcement agency will be better equipped to prevent crime and preserve peace and order. Police will be made responsible at all phases of their operational processes: beforehand, throughout, and after work. The result for police supervision procedures is expected to be better than in previous years.

The Expected Effects of the Code of Conduct: Efficiency

Communicating with the community, entering and leaving police cars, going up the stairs, arresting criminals, and doing other physical actions that require a high standard of health are all part of a police officer’s work. The code of conduct promoting the value of excellence is in accordance with the numerous aspects that might impact police personnel’s individual motivation and productivity. The code is expected to prevent officer burnout that can occur as a result of the nature of the work, followed by a decline in motivation to perform. Recruits entering law enforcement understand the code will want to improve the world and have a robust ethical willingness to serve a worthy purpose.


In the course of their duties, law enforcement officers must respect their colleagues and the public. Respecting people entails treating them fairly and objectively, keeping private information personal and not exploiting it, safeguarding coworkers from prejudice, harassment, and abuse, and cooperating to enhance public service. Since the interconnected ties of society serve as the foundation for ethical reasoning, respect and kindness for all others, particularly the vulnerable, are prerequisites for each officer. Each person should draw attention to the essential circumstances critical to everyone’s well-being and take into account the sentiments of others in order to act respectfully. Moreover, officers should be accepting of diversity and use decent manners rather than foul words. Law enforcement should be done without threatening, hitting, or injuring people as far as it is possible.

Human Rights

All people’s human rights must be maintained and safeguarded by law enforcement officers. The ability to employ force by law enforcement officers stems from the State’s obligation to preserve public order, as well as to guarantee human rights and fundamental civil liberties. As a result, the use of force may be essential, such as for the preservation of life, health, and public safety. Human rights demonstrations include knowing how the Human Rights Charter relates to your employment, making judgments, offering advice, providing services in accordance with the Charter, and exposing any apparent human rights violations. The police must acknowledge that the essential role of police operations is the preservation of life and property. The agreement also specifies that, while criminal investigations are important, the major objective of police actions must be public safety.

Human Dignity

Human rights law is the worldwide legal framework that governs the use of force by police departments. Its goal is to prohibit arbitrary, disproportionate, or biased use of force, as well as to provide accountability in situations of abuse. The police must perform their operations with human dignity and fundamental human rights in mind. The code of conduct specifies explicitly that torturing or other cruel or humiliating behavior could not be committed or tolerated, and that person is expected to report any reports of suspected human rights abuses. Furthermore, no law enforcement official may use orders or emergency situations, such as a time of conflict or risk of war, a threat to the country, internal political unrest, or any other catastrophic event, to justify brutality or other harsh, vile, or cruel punishment.

Reasonable Use of Force

This section underlines that any use of force by police officers should be limited to extraordinary circumstances. At the same time, it indicates that law enforcement officers may use reasonable force under the conditions to prevent violence or to achieve or aid in the legal proceeding of criminals or suspected convicts; no power beyond that may be employed. The legal system often limits the use of force by police authorities in compliance with the proportionality principle. The employment of weapons is thought to be an unlikely outcome. Every attempt should be taken to keep weapons out of the hands of minors. In general, guns should not be utilized unless a suspected offender engages in armed revolt or otherwise endangers the lives of others.


Secret information in the custody of law enforcement officers must be kept confidential until the execution of a duty or the necessities of justice necessitate otherwise. Law enforcement officers collect information that may pertain to personal affairs or be potentially harmful to the objectives, and notably, the image of others influenced by the nature of their work. Caution should be taken in securing and exploiting such evidence, which should only be released in the line of work or to satisfy the demands of justice. Any other use of such information is completely unacceptable.

Health Security

Law enforcement officers must guarantee that the health of those in their control is fully protected, and they must take immediate steps to get medical assistance when necessary. When needed or demanded, medical care, which refers to services provided by any medical staff, including health practitioners and ambulances, should be procured. It is acknowledged that law enforcement authorities must also provide medical assistance to victims of illegal behavior or disasters that arise as a result of law violations.


No act of dishonesty shall be committed by law enforcement officials. They must also vehemently reject and resist any such activities. Corruption, like any other wrongdoing, is inconsistent with the career of law enforcement authorities. The law must be thoroughly enforced against any law enforcement officer who acts in accordance with fraud since governments cannot anticipate enforcing the law towards their own employees and inside their organizations, if they cannot or will not apply the rules against their own personnel and within their institutions. It should be interpreted to include the execution or absence of action in the implementation or association with one’s obligations in reply to gifts, assurances, or rewards sought or accepted.


Making solid choices and recommendations, not soliciting or receiving donations or advantages that may influence actions, utilizing fair standards in making important decisions, and executing laws and programs fairly are all examples of impartiality. Moreover, officers should demonstrate integrity, which is being truthful, transparent, and upfront at work, using authority responsibly and adhering to responsible financial practices. Finally, law enforcement officers should be treating official information privately, limiting public consultation to facts, and reporting unethical behavior to an appropriate authority.

Decision-making Model

If it is confusing for you to use the code of conduct, this model lays out the processes to take while making a choice. Decisions should be transparent and in consultation with others when feasible. This is due to the fact that incorporating varied interests and views when reaching a decision boosts the process’s legitimacy and decreases the perception of prejudice. If it is not possible to consult with other officers with the same code of conduct, one must rely on the principles outlined earlier by considering all the options for their actions and implementing those that correspond to the code.

On the Way toward Implementation

This introduction training to the code of conduct is coming to an end. We have discussed our agency’s principles and supporting behaviors that shape the code of conduct. There are several methods to put the code into action. A few examples are proposed on the slide; if you can think of any other options, you are welcome to practice the learned material.


Colin Bolger, P., & Walters, G. D. (2019). The relationship between police procedural justice, police legitimacy, and people’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement: A meta-analysis. Journal of Criminal Justice, 60, 93–99.

Crossley, N. (2020). Conceptualising consistency: Coherence, principles, and the practice of human protection. Global Responsibility to Protect, 12(4), 440–463. Web.

The Danish Institute for Human Rights. (2018). Police oversight mechanisms [PDF document].

Indarti, E. (2020). Strengthen security and public order: Accountability management in improving the quality of law enforcement. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 9(2), 82.

Roberson, C., & Mire, S. (2009). Ethics for criminal justice professionals. CRC Press.

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