Law Enforcement ̳Code of Ethics‘
All officers shall display the integrity required by the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics:
“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice, or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities. I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other law enforcement officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice. I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself on my honor to my chosen profession… law enforcement.”
All officers shall protect life and property, preserve the peace, and enforce the laws of the United States, State of Alaska, and Municipality of Anchorage according to the policies and procedures of the department. Officers must know that when they act under color of authority, they are enforcing the law according to statutes, written administrative guidance in the department, ordinances, common usage, and custom. Further, officers shall exhibit good moral character in the administration of their duties.
- The department maintains the right to establish oral and written orders to govern and control the efficiency, effectiveness, and safe operation of law enforcement.
- Management reserves the prerogative to discipline personnel for violations of the rules listed in this manual. The decision to discipline and the measure of discipline employed depend on the consequences of the employee’s actions, the employee’s current and past performance, and the employee’s length of service.
- All written or oral orders given by the department are performance measures which address three components of employee performance; that is, conduct, behavior, and work proficiency.
Obedience to Orders, Oaths and Laws
Authority: Employees shall obey all federal and state laws, and ordinances of Municipality of Anchorage or other municipality in which the employees may be present. Employees shall obey all lawful orders, written or oral, issued to them by competent authority. Employees shall abide by all sworn oaths that pertain to their official position. The term “employees” includes both sworn and non-sworn personnel.
Civil rights: All employees shall observe and respect the civil rights of citizens. Respect for constitutionally-protected rights is paramount.
Communications: On any official matter whatsoever, all communications, documents, reports, or other statements submitted or caused to be submitted by an employee shall be accurate, factual, complete, and without evasion when it is reasonable to expect that the information may be relied upon because of the employee’s affiliation with the department or Municipality.
- The department recognizes that during the course of an investigation an employee might need to use deception to elicit information in order to further the investigation.
Enforcement while off duty: If an officer, while off duty, witnesses a violation of the law committed in his or her presence which, in the officer’s professional judgment, demands immediate attention, the officer may make an arrest, providing that:
- The officer does not use his or her own personal vehicle to chase or pursue the violator, and
- He or she displays police identification to the violator and announces his or her purpose.
- The officer can make the arrest without jeopardizing his or her own safety, the safety of the violator, or the public.
- The officer attempts, if practical, to have an on-duty officers respond before contacting the violator.
- The officer is not personally involved in the dispute.
Employees shall display respect for their supervisors, subordinates, and associates. The department expects all employees to display good moral character in on-and off-duty contexts and to apply their judgment accordingly. When on duty and in the presence of the public, supervisors shall be addressed or referred to by rank.
Employees shall address their subordinates, associates, supervisors, or members of the general public courteously and shall not use abusive, violent, profane, insulting, or provoking language.
Employees shall conduct themselves in an orderly, courteous and civil manner and not engage in behavior that adversely affects or impairs the efficiency or morale of another person. They will maintain an even disposition and remain calm, regardless of provocation, in executing their duties unless exigent circumstances demand a strong, but controlled, response.
Employees shall not slander or speak detrimentally about the department or another employee. Gossiping about a member of the department concerning their personal character or conduct is expressly prohibited.
- Incivility, harassment, or bullying behaviors toward citizens, co-workers, support staff, outside agencies, or volunteers will not be tolerated.
Employees shall not ridicule or make remarks that would tend to jeopardize working relationships with other public agencies or other employees.
All employees will report acts of incivility experienced or witnessed to a supervisor.
Employees shall cooperate and coordinate their efforts with other employees and law-enforcement agencies to ensure maximum effectiveness.
Employees, while under color of authority, shall not carelessly or maliciously perform any acts or make any statements, oral or written, which could reasonably result in:
- Bringing the Department or any employee into disrepute or ridicule; or
- Significantly disrupting the mission of the Department; or
- Subverting the reasonable supervision or proper discipline of Departmental employees.
This does not prohibit official, required reporting of and/or testifying to fact.
Employees will provide equal and impartial service and enforcement to all persons.
Employees shall not mistreat any person, physically or psychologically, nor shall they discharge their duties in a manner that intentionally or maliciously offends a reasonable standard of good conduct.
Department employees will exercise discretionary judgment in a reasonable manner and remain within the limits of their authority as defined by law, judicial interpretation and Departmental procedures and regulations
- An employee will not secretly record or cause to be secretly recorded conversations or contacts with other employees of this department except pursuant to an established criminal investigation or with the approval of the Chief of Police.
- Surreptitious recording devices will not be utilized during conversations involving official business with members of the Districts Attorney‘s Office and the Municipal Prosecutors Office