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Illinois Municipal Officers' Perceptions of Police Ethics

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 1994
Illinois police officers were surveyed to determine their perceptions of police ethics and attitudes toward certain behaviors.

Results came from a questionnaire completed by 861 law enforcement officers statewide. They survey asked for information on ethical violations the officers had observed in the past year and during their careers, how serious they thought various hypothetical ethical violations were, and what punishments they thought should be given officers who violated various ethical or legal standards of behavior. Results revealed the police officers observed minor violations more often than serious violations, that they assigned high levels of seriousness to major infractions such as theft and drug use, and that they assigned harsher penalties for the ethical violations they considered most serious. Although a reasonable degree of consensus existed concerning very specific ethical behavior, a general consensus was lacking. For most kinds of behavior, rank and years of service were not associated with observations of unethical behavior. Female police were more likely to report having observed unethical behavior than male police, regardless of rank. Tables, figures, footnotes, and appended instrument and related information

Date Published: September 1, 1994