Police Ethics (Revised Printing)

The Corruption of Noble Cause


  • John Crank, University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • Michael Caldero, Bellevue College

Police Ethics: The Corruption of Noble Cause provides an examination of noble cause, how it emerges as a fundamental principle of police ethics, and how it can provide the basis for corruption. The noble cause -- a commitment to "doing something about bad people" -- is a central "ends-based" police ethic that is corrupted 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 corrupt at the individual and organizational levels. The material provides students of policing with a realistic understanding of the kinds of problems they will confront in the practice of police work.
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Book information

  • Published: September 2010
  • ISBN: 978-1-4377-4455-2

Table of Contents

Part 1: Value-Based Decisionmaking and the Ethics of Noble Cause

1. Value-Based Decisionmaking: Understanding the Noble Cause

2. Values, Hiring, and Early Organizational Experiences

3. Values and Administrative Dilemmas

4. The Social Psychology of Cops’ Values

Part 2: Noble-Cause Corruption

5. From Economic to Noble-Cause Corruption

6. Stress, Organizational Accountability, and the Noble Cause

7. Ethics and the Means-Ends Dilemma

8. Police Culture, Ends-Orientation, and Noble-Cause Corruption

Part 3: Ethics and Police in a Time of Change

9. Policing Citizens, Policing Communities: Toward an Ethic of Negotiated Order

10. The Stakes

11. Recommendations

12. Conclusion: The Noble Cause