Police Ethics: The Corruption of a Noble Cause, Revised Third Edition, provides a way of thinking about police ethical dilemmas and for police officers to think ethically about their work. It is about who police officers are and who they should be. The book is organized into three parts. Part 1 frames the central idea of the book, namely that police officers are value-based decision-makers. The core value is a commitment to the noble cause, which is allied with two other values—a commitment to the problems faced by victims, and a willingness of police officers to place themselves in harm’s way for strangers. These values provide the core elements of value-based decision-making, but also foster a psychology that can justify noble-cause corruption. Part 2 explains how the corruption of noble cause is at the core of many entrenched police problems. Part 3 considers ethical dilemmas that the police are expected to face in the twenty-first century. This book was written for police recruits, police commanders, and students interested in criminal justice and policing issues. The topics presented are useful for studying ethical issues in policing and for understanding the environment that street officers inhabit and in which they work.

Key Features

  • Key terms supplement each chapter.
  • Provides students of policing with a realistic understanding of problems that arise in police work.


Students and professionals in the criminal justice field.

Table of Contents

Introduction Prologue Part 1 Value-Based Decisionmaking and the Ethics of Noble Cause Chapter 1 Value-Based Decisionmaking: Understanding the Ethics of Noble Cause Chapter 2 Values, Hiring, and Early Organizational Experiences Chapter 3 Values and Administrative Dilemmas Chapter 4 The Social Psychology of Cops’ Values Part 2 Noble-Cause Corruption Chapter 5 From Economic to Noble-Cause Corruption Chapter 6 Stress, Organizational Accountability, and the Noble Cause Chapter 7 Ethics and the Means-Ends Dilemma Chapter 8 Police Culture, Ends-Orientation, and Noble-Cause Corruption Part 3 Ethics and Police in a Time of Change Chapter 9 Policing Citizens, Policing Communities: Toward an Ethic of Negotiated Order Chapter 10 The Stakes Chapter 11 Recommendations Chapter 12 Conclusion: The Noble Cause Bibliography Name Index Subject Index


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© 2010
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