Police Ethics: The Corruption of Noble Cause

Michael A. Caldero, Jeffrey D. Dailey, Brian L. Withrow

February 12, 2018 by Routledge
Textbook - 352 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138061170 - CAT# Y331699


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Demonstrates how officers working to achieve laudable ends can be drawn into using violent or discriminatory means against the next Freddie Gray or Philando Castile

Approaches the complex and abstract concept of police ethics through a tight focus on corruption of noble cause

Supports instructors who want students to grapple with the complicated realities of working in today’s police departments with suggested class activities like debates, "thought experiments," and personal reflections that demonstrate the "power of self" and of moral leadership


Police Ethics, Fourth Edition, provides an analysis of corruption in law enforcement organizations. The authors argue that the noble cause—a commitment to “doing something about bad people”—is a central “ends-based” police ethic. This fundamental principle of police ethics can paradoxically open the way to community polarization and increased violence, however, when officers violate the law on behalf of personally held moral values. This book is about the power that police use to do their work and how it can lead police to abuse their positions at the individual and organizational levels. It provides students of policing with a realistic understanding of the kinds of problems they will confront in the practice of police work.

This timely new edition offers police administrators direction for developing agency-wide corruption prevention strategies, and a re-written chapter further expands our level of understanding of corruption by covering the Model of Circumstantial Corruptibility in detail. The fourth edition also discusses critical ethical issues relating to the relationship between police departments and minority communities, including Black Lives Matter and other activist groups. In the post-Ferguson environment, this is a crucial text for students, academicians, and law enforcement professionals alike.

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