CTE Task: Ethics in Law Enforcement

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Criminal Justice 1


45 minutes


Ethics in Law Enforcement

Task Description


Students will:

  • read the article: 9 steps to keeping your cop ethics in check,
  • create notes about ethical survival vs career survival
  • search and review 2-3 law enforcement codes of ethics, and
  • write their own personal code of ethics for learning in a virtual environment.


4) Evaluate the impact of ethics, confidentiality, character and credibility on law enforcement careers. Justify the importance of personal traits such as integrity, respect, responsibility, confidentiality, and ethical behavior in the workplace and the impact they can have on career success.

 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • describe ethical survival and its relationship to career survival, and
  • demonstrate an understanding of what makes up a code of ethics by writing their own personal code of ethics for learning in a virtual environment.


To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • peruse a variety of current events and determine how ethical behavior was or was not demonstrated by law enforcement officers, and
  • participate in an online Socratic seminar to discuss the current events they reviewed.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

 Scaffolded Questions



  1. If a female officer asks for a male suspect's personal phone number, this behavior may be considered ____________ and could result in an official reprimand.
  2. ________ behavior by an officer is a way to repair his/her relationships with the public by demonstrating fair and equal treatment for all citizens.
  1. What can the law enforcement officer do to promote a positive relationship with the public?
  2. How does a law enforcement officer’s relationship with the public affect job success?
  3. What does ethical behavior have to do with law enforcement?


Additional Resources

Earl, K.  (2017, Oct. 30). 9 steps to keeping your cop ethics in check. Police1. https://www.police1.com/ethics/articles/9-steps-to-keeping-your-cop-ethics-in-check-ZBGmLThsfLgJL9NV/

Student Resources

Click here to download the student resources for this task. 

Ethics in Law Enforcement

  1. Read 9 steps to keeping your cop ethics in check at: https://www.police1.com/ethics/articles/9-steps-to-keeping-your-cop-ethics-in-check-ZBGmLThsfLgJL9NV/
  2. Create thee bullet points highlighting the relationship between ethical survival and career survival, then create one bullet point about how you can relate this information to your life right now.
    1. ______________________________________________________________________
    2. ______________________________________________________________________
    3. ______________________________________________________________________
    4. ______________________________________________________________________
  3. Search and compare at least two law enforcement codes of ethics. A simple “Google search” will result in several. List at least two similarities and two differences you notice when comparing the codes.


  1. Use the law enforcement codes of ethics as a model for writing your own personal code of ethics for online learning. You should incorporate ethics for various areas related to online learning such as:
  • showing respect to teachers and classmates,
  • academic integrity, and
  • appropriate communication.