Institutional Integrity: The Four Elements of Self-Policing.Faced with allegations of systemic corruption, a law enforcement organization must undertake the daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin task of rebuilding its institutional integrity, not only within the ranks of its officers but also in the eyes of the citizens it serves. In such a situation, the organization will undoubtably perform a critical review of its self-policing process. What went wrong? What fixes are possible? How could it have been prevented in the first place? Maintaining a high level of institutional integrity represents the key to preventing corruption within any organization. Law enforcement officials must understand how institutional integrity interrelates with the concept of self-policing.
Citizens bestow be·stow
tr.v. be·stowed, be·stow·ing, be·stows
1. To present as a gift or an honor; confer: bestowed high praise on the winners.
2. great power and authority upon their law enforcement organizations. They expect and deserve accountability from their law enforcement public servants and demand that these organizations display a high degree of institutional integrity. Because of this, the law enforcement community remains particularly sensitive to acts of employee misconduct.
Traditionally, law enforcement organizations have addressed employee misconduct through the concept of self-policing and have encountered a myriad of legal, contractual, and social issues. Differences in local and state regulations and the existence of internal factors, such as collective bargaining collective bargaining, in labor relations, procedure whereby an employer or employers agree to discuss the conditions of work by bargaining with representatives of the employees, usually a labor union. contracts, hinder the development of a standard model for self-policing that would work for every department. Consequently, internal disciplinary programs vary greatly throughout the law enforcement community.
Although the self-policing process differs in every department, all internal disciplinary programs share four common elements: establishing a code of conduct; conducting internal investigations; adjudicating misconduct; and reporting on the disciplinary process. (1) Agencies should examine how these four elements interrelate in·ter·re·late
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.
in and why they should manage them to help improve the institutional integrity of their departments. Conversely, the neglect or mismanagement mis·man·age
tr.v. mis·man·aged, mis·man·ag·ing, mis·man·ag·es
To manage badly or carelessly.
mis·manage·ment n. of these elements can have serious consequences.
THE CODE OF CONDUCT
Every organization has an official, or formal, code of conduct that sets forth the responsibilities of its employees and the rules and regulations governing employee conduct. Likewise, every department has an informal code of conduct that influences employee behavior. The formal and informal codes of conduct combine to form the institutional integrity of the organization.
The Formal Code of Conduct
An organization's formal code of conduct consists of official policy, procedures, and applicable statutes and regulations. Employees learn about these official standards in training academies and continuing education continuing education: see adult education.
or adult education
Any form of learning provided for adults. In the U.S. the University of Wisconsin was the first academic institution to offer such programs (1904). courses.
In today's environment, most law enforcement personnel receive normal ethics training as part of their indoctrination in·doc·tri·nate
tr.v. in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates
1. To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
2. into the formal code of conduct. For example, the FBI provides 16 classroom hours of ethics instruction as part of its 16-week training academy for new agents. (2) Similarly, new officer recruits in the Dallas, Texas “Dallas” redirects here. For other uses, see Dallas (disambiguation).
The City of Dallas (pronounced [ˈdæl.əs] or [ˈdæl. , Police Department receive 8 hours of ethics instruction during their academy training. (3)
Indoctrination into the formal code of conduct, including ethics training, provides employees with a foundation of acceptable behavior. Additionally, it informs employees of what administrators expect in the conduct of their professional lives. Law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). enforce compliance with the official code of conduct through a formal disciplinary process.
The Informal Code of Conduct
The informal code of conduct is an organization's unwritten LAW, UNWRITTEN, or lex non scripta. All the laws which do not come under the definition of written law; it is composed, principally, of the law of nature, the law of nations, the common law, and customs. , generally accepted, standard of conduct. This standard represents the level of acceptable conduct that employees demand of themselves and their fellow employees. Because of its strong impact on institutional integrity, every department should strive to keep the informal code of conduct in line with the official code of conduct.
Eight to 16 hours of formal ethics Formal ethics is a formal logical system for describing and evaluating the form as opposed to the content of ethical principles. Formal ethics was introduced by Harry J. training pales in comparison to the amount of time an employee will spend becoming indoctrinated into an organization's informal code of conduct. After completing formal training and continuing throughout their career, employees learn the informal code by spending 8 to 10 hours each day interacting with peers and observing their behavior. Peer pressure, which, for many years, has been recognized as one of the strongest elements influencing behavior within an organization, enforces the unwritten code of conduct. (4)
Law enforcement managers should realize the impact that the informal code of conduct has on an organization--an out-of-control informal code of conduct can have severe consequences. Agencies can trace incidents of systemic corruption directly to problems with that organization's informal code of conduct. Even a relatively small number of employees with an undesirable informal code of conduct can affect institutional integrity adversely. The allegation of corruption in the Rampart area of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , California, is a striking example. The Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. ) board of inquiry into the Rampart area corruption incident declared that the scandal had "devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. our relationship with the public we serve and threatened the integrity of our entire criminal justice system." (5)
Hiring ethical and trustworthy individuals constitutes the essential first step toward establishing an acceptable informal code of conduct. The LAPD board of inquiry into the Rampart incident cited a failure to adhere to adhere to
verb 1. follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey, heed, keep to, abide by, be loyal, mind, be constant, be faithful
2. this principle as a contributing factor in the alleged corruption within that division. The inquiry determined that employees involved in the scandal had been hired in spite of their criminal records, histories of violence, narcotics narcotics n. 1) techinically, drugs which dull the senses. 2) a popular generic term for drugs which cannot be legally possessed, sold, or transported except for medicinal uses for which a physician or dentist's prescription is required. involvement, and other factors that should have precluded their employment as police officers. (6)
Periodic ethics refresher training Refresher training is a form of updating military knowledge of the reservist troops. After one has completed the conscription service, he or she can be called for refresher training for some amount of days. can help organizations maintain a desirable informal code of conduct. Many departments now require such training of their personnel. The Dallas Police Department The Dallas Police Department, established in 1881, is the principal law enforcement agency serving Dallas, Texas. The department is responsible for law enforcement and investigations within the city. , for example, provides refresher ethics instruction as part of the required annual recertification recertification Recredentialing Graduate education A process in which a professional is periodically re-evaluated–eg, every 10 yrs by an accrediting body to assure continued provision of safe, high-quality health care training. (7) Some agencies require additional ethics training for supervisors and for personnel involved in financial management and procurement processes.
Despite careful hiring procedures and formal ethics training programs, some employees still will become subjects of misconduct allegations. When managers learn of such allegations, the formal process of an internal investigation begins.
The purpose of an internal investigation is to review allegations of employee misconduct and determine the facts of the case. The manner in which a department conducts its internal investigations has a great impact on the informal code of conduct of its employees. To achieve a favorable impact, employees must perceive the internal investigation process as fair and impartial. Equal treatment of all employees is fundamental to the concept of fairness; therefore, all allegations of employee misconduct should receive the same review process. The executive summary of the Rampart incident report emphasized this maxim by concluding that LAPD's board of inquiry determined a strong perception of a dual disciplinary standard within the department, one for captains and above and another for lieutenants and below. (8)
In the FBI, two internal investigative units within the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR OPR Operator
OPR Office of Primary Responsibility
OPR Office of Population Research (Princeton University)
OPR Office of Professional Responsibility
OPR Office of Planning and Research ) conduct internal investigations. Identical in organization, each unit oversees one-half of the FBI's field offices and headquarters divisions. FBI policy requires that these investigative units receive all allegations of employee misconduct. Unit managers review each allegation and decide if it warrants an investigation. This ensures that an employee accused of an act of misconduct in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of receives the same treatment as an employee accused of the same misconduct in California.
Assigning the case to an investigator with no potential conflict of interest and no supervisory responsibility over the employee under investigation ensures impartiality. The internal investigator should have equal or greater rank than the person they interview. This reduces the possibility of rank influencing the results of the investigation, as well as the potential for retaliation RETALIATION. The act by which a nation or individual treats another in the same manner that the latter has treated them. For example, if a nation should lay a very heavy tariff on American goods, the United States would be justified in return in laying heavy duties on the manufactures and against the investigator.
Timeliness also impacts on the fairness of an investigation and is important to the employee under internal investigation, as well as to the public. Both have the right to expeditious ex·pe·di·tious
Acting or done with speed and efficiency. See Synonyms at fast1.
ex handling of the investigation. The FBI operates under a 180-day deadline for the completion of all internal inquiries, beginning with the receipt of the allegation and ending when the case becomes adjudicated. The head of OPR, the highest ranking disciplinary official in the FBI, personally must approve the continuation of an investigation past the 180-day deadline.
Additionally, thoroughness is vitally important to the internal investigative process. Investigators experienced in handling complex, sensitive matters should conduct internal investigations. Many departments and agencies, including the FBI, assign internal investigations to management personnel and consider such assignments an essential component in their professional development.
To further assure thoroughness in its internal investigations, the FBI requires that managers conduct periodic file reviews for every case. When the investigation is complete, managers review the case again to decide whether to close the case as unfounded or refer it to the next element--adjudication.
THE ADJUDICATION The legal process of resolving a dispute. The formal giving or pronouncing of a judgment or decree in a court proceeding; also the judgment or decision given. The entry of a decree by a court in respect to the parties in a case. PROCESS
A case is ready for adjudication when management completes all investigative steps and thoroughly compiles all facts of an allegation. Some departments use a review board to adjudicate adjudicate (jōō´dikāt´),
v employee misconduct, and others rely on a senior official to make the decision. Regardless of the makeup of its adjudication process, every department adheres essentially to the same method--it compares the act of employee misconduct to prohibited behavior outlined in the official code of conduct and imposes suitable discipline.
The manner in which agencies adjudicate internal investigations can have a significant impact on the informal code of conduct within an organization. To achieve a favorable impact, departments must apply discipline in a fair and reasonable manner by imposing discipline similar to what they applied previously for the same misconduct.
The two adjudication units within the FBI's OPR use teams of attorneys and specially trained employees to review investigations and apply disciplinary precedent to each case. The FBI maintains a computerized database of all discipline imposed on employees dating back to 1997 and reviews this historic record, or precedent base, for incidents that most closely match the current case. The FBI compares and contrasts the case with the historic precedent and administers discipline accordingly, which ensures that an employee who receives punishment in New York receives the same penalty for the same offense as an employee in California. Such a disciplinary database should remain relatively recent to keep the disciplinary precedent up-to-date with current policy, but it also should contain enough cases to cover a broad range of disciplinary precedent.
The FBI's disciplinary process divides internal investigations into two broad categories of serious and nonserious misconduct. The level of discipline imposed for nonserious misconduct ranges from an oral reprimand REPRIMAND, punishment. The censure which in some cases a public office pronounces against an offender.
2. This species of punishment is used by legislative bodies to punish their members or others who have been guilty of some impropriety of conduct towards them. to a maximum of 14 days of suspension without pay. Discipline for serious misconduct ranges from 15 days of suspension without pay up to, and including, dismissal.
A critical component of adjudication is the appellate process. To ensure impartiality and fairness, employees should have the right to appeal certain levels of discipline. Similar to the U.S. judicial system, individuals can appeal to an authority who has the power to overturn a disciplinary finding. In the FBI, nonprobationary employees have the right to appeal discipline greater than a letter of censure to an appellate official within the FBI. The appellate official has the authority to overturn or reduce imposed discipline. Unlike the U.S. judicial system, however, the appellate official also has the authority to increase the level of discipline imposed by OPR. Once a case has been adjudicated completely, the disciplinary process reaches the fourth and final element.
THE REPORTING PROCESS
The reporting process constitutes the last stage of the self-policing process. Every organization has formal and informal means of communicating information, (9) which also includes knowledge regarding a department's disciplinary process. Formal reporting methods consist of the official documents and notifications prepared by the department. Employees, and some times the public, generate reporting methods to fill the informational void left when the formal method is less than timely or fails to satisfy their interest.
The simplest formal reporting procedure involves notifying the subject employee of an investigation's results. At times, this may occur only when the agency imposes final disciplinary action on the employee. However, relying solely on this form of reporting deprives a department of valuable opportunities to increase overall employee awareness of the standard of conduct expected of them. Furthermore, the department loses the opportunity to display openness and accountability concerning its internal affairs Internal affairs may refer to:
Some agencies, including the FBI, issue formal yearly reports on their disciplinary process. In June 2000, the FBI published its latest disciplinary program report, a comprehensive overview, for fiscal year 1999. The FBI prepares this report to increase the awareness of the standards of conduct expected of all of its employees. The report uses narratives and statistics to describe the FBI's disciplinary program, and it contains general information, such as an organizational chart An organizational chart is a chart which represents the structure of an organization in terms of rank. The chart usually shows the managers and sub-workers who make up an organization. of OPR, as well as specific statistical data on the results of all internal investigations conducted during that fiscal year. Additionally, the report includes recent policy guidance and information on current developments within the FBI's disciplinary program. (10)
Organizations must protect the privacy of employees subjected to the disciplinary process. However, agencies should not use privacy restrictions as an excuse for not having a comprehensive reporting program. Formal reports containing brief and generic descriptions of adjudicated misconduct can provide valuable guidance to employees and favorably impact the informal code of conduct in the organization.
Absent a comprehensive formal reporting and feedback procedure, employees will have to rely on the informal process. An organization has little, if any, control over the content and accuracy of information flowing through the informal reporting process.
Law enforcement officials should welcome constructive comments and suggestions that can improve the institutional integrity of their departments. Each agency operates in a unique environment; therefore, various methods of selfpolicing may work for different departments. However, an awareness of the four elements of the self-policing process may help improve a department's disciplinary program and, thereby, strengthen the institutional integrity of the organization.
The FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility concluded its fiscal year 1998 disciplinary report with a message concerning the core values of the FBI. Although specifically directed toward FBI employees, the message can apply to all law enforcement agencies. Core values include uncompromising personal and institutional integrity. Individuals who enforce the laws also must obey them, and they have an obligation to set a moral example for others to follow. A strong institutional integrity results from both an organizational culture This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . that addresses and disciplines wrongdoing wrong·do·er
One who does wrong, especially morally or ethically.
wrongdo , as well as from its employees who actively support the task of fairly and expeditiously ex·pe·di·tious
Acting or done with speed and efficiency. See Synonyms at fast1.
ex identifying and punishing misconduct within its ranks." (11)
Mr. Conditt, former chief of the FBI's Internal Investigative Unit 1 in the Office of Professional Responsibility, now heads a private consulting and investigative company in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area.
(1.) The author developed his theory on the four elements of the self-policing process through his experience as a police officer and as an FBI special agent, including his assignment in the FBI's disciplinary program as chief of the FBI's Internal Investigative Unit 1, Office of Professional Responsibility.
(2.) Michael A. DeFeo, Office of Professional Responsibility, FBI, interview by author, September 2000.
(3.) Steve Otto Steven Otto (December 25, 1921 – January 16, 1989) was a Canadian politician.
Born in Poland, Otto was a businessman and lawyer before being elected to the Canadian House of Commons for the riding of York East in the 1962 federal election. , director of training, Dallas, Texas, Police Department, interview by author, September 2000.
(4.) James L. Gibson, John Gibson, John, English sculptor
Gibson, John, 1790–1866, English sculptor of the classical school. His early promise gained him admirers, and in 1817 he was sent to Rome. There he worked successively in the studios of Canova and Thorvaldsen. M. Ivancevich, and James H. Donnelly, Jr., Organizations--Behavior--Structure--Processes, 8th ed. (Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin, 1994), 320-323.
(5.) Bernard C. Parks Bernard Parks (born December 7, 1943 in Beaumont, Texas) is a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 8th District in South Los Angeles and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Parks attended Los Angeles City College, received his B.S. , Los Angeles Police Department "LAPD" and "L.A.P.D." redirect here. For other uses, see LAPD (disambiguation).
This article or section is written like an . Board of Inquiry into the Rampart Area Corruption Incident, Executive Summary (Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Police Department, 2000), 3; http://www.lapdonline.org/pdf_files/boi/boi_exec_summary.pdf; accessed January 26, 2001.
(6.) Ibid., 4-5.
(7.) Supra A relational DBMS from Cincom Systems, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (www.cincom.com) that runs on IBM mainframes and VAXs. It includes a query language and a program that automates the database design process. note 3.
(8.) Supra note 5, 11.
(9.) Paul Hersey Dr. Paul Hersey is an internationally-known behavioral scientist and highly-successful entrepreneur. He is best known for developing Situational Leadership® with Ken Blanchard, which is enunciated in their work Management of Organization Behavior, now in its ninth edition. , Kenneth H. Blanchard, and Dewey E. Johnson, Management of Organizational Behavior, 7th ed. (New York, NY: Prentice Hall Prentice Hall is a leading educational publisher. It is an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc., based in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA. Prentice Hall publishes print and digital content for the 6-12 and higher education market. History
In 1913, law professor Dr. , 1996), 352.
(10.) U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice charged with investigating all violations of federal laws except those assigned to some other federal agency. , Fiscal Year 1999 Report, Office of Professional Responsibility (Washington, DC, 2000), 25-26.
(11.) U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fiscal Year 1998 Report, Office of Professional Responsibility, (Washington, DC, 1999), 25.