Ethics is the law of right conduct and must be paramount in law enforcement’s mission to protect and serve society.
Ethical training initiatives must also be world class for police because of their moral responsibility to communities and the nation. American law enforcement deserves every tool necessary to stand countercultural to a society that at times holds ethical values in contempt.
NYPD Commissioner’s Mission
William J. Bratton was announced as the NYPD Commissioner on Dec. 5, 2013.
During his introduction, Bratton stressed the policing principles of Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850), the father of modern policing. Peel’s principles include:
- The basic mission of which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
- The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of their actions.
- Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
- The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
- Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
- Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police.
Recently, Bratton announced a steering committee in response to a tragedy resulting in the death of a civilian in police custody. Bratton’s response to the tragedy expressed transparent honesty and the NYPD’s complete dedication to retraining all 35,000 officers.
Although policies, procedures, and protocols regarding the use of force will be an important facet of this retraining, Bratton wants the NYPD to also focus on ways of not having to use force. One such method is commonly referred to as verbal judo.
The NYPD has the resources to enhance training, yet, some initiatives I have experienced are worthy of consideration. These are based on lessons learned from my presentations to thousands of law enforcement officials nationwide over the last 16 years.
Along with these presentations, I served as a primary community policing instructor for a six-year U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services program. This program certified law enforcement as well as civilians on modules, such as the following:
- Conflict Resolution
- Community Partnerships and Resources
- Crime Prevention
- Problem Solving
Complementing this certification program was a recent Inaugural Character, Ethics, and Leadership Conference convened for law enforcement on May 12.
This pro bono collaboration of the Rodgers Group LLC, Resolution Group International, and Vincent Bove Speaker Services in partnership with the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and the United States Military Academy was quickly filled to capacity.
The conference focused on character, ethics, and leadership as indispensable law enforcement qualities.
The Ethical Protector
Another initiative that would benefit the NYPD is a customized Conflict Resolution Ethical Protector certification by Resolution Group International.
This three-day program based on ethical ideals of the U.S. Marine Corps includes the following topics:
- Ethics and Personal Integrity
- Communication Skills
- Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution
- Verbal Judo
- Martial Arts and Self defense Tactics
The heart of this course is “Wherever I go, everyone is a little safer because I am there. Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend…”
Dedication to Ethics
As the world’s most renowned law enforcement agency, the NYPD must rise to the occasion. Their development of enhanced training initiatives, including cultivating certified ethical protectors, community partnerships, public-private initiatives, and the timeless principles of Sir Robert Peel, are worthy of full-force dedication and will serve as a model to law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Ethical principles are critical to every member of the NYPD and all American law enforcement professionals. A complete dedication to ethics within law enforcement is critical to community enhancement and reawakening the nation.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com