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Initial post: Choose any ONE situation from the end of chapter 7 EXCEPT SITUATION #1 and respond to it utilizing the concepts we have learned thus far. Please refer to the EXAMPLE that I have posted as to SITUATION #1.
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Your posts should make it clear to us that you read the chapter, reflected on the material, and can craft thoughtful, respectful, professional responses. Mere opinions and assertions NOT bolstered by concepts from the text or other evidence gleaned from your research will not be given full credit.
You are a rookie police officer on your first patrol. The older, experienced officer tells you that the restaurant on the corner likes to have you guys around, so it gives free meals. Your partner orders steak, potatoes, and all the trimmings. What are you going to do? What if it were just coffee at a convenience store? What if the owner refused to take your money at the cash register?
Example of Analysis:
Moral Judgment: Depends on the department’s rule book (often rule books specifically exclude coffee from prohibition).
The analysis will assume there is a policy prohibiting gratuities.
Moral Rules: Follow the law (and rules of one’s organization).
Don’t use people or one’s profession for inappropriate personal gain.
Don’t take something for nothing.
Ethical system: Ethical formalism would base the decision on duty. One’s duty is to follow the rules. Also, the second part of the categorical imperative states, treat each person as a means and not as an end. The moral rules are consistent with ethical formalism.
Utilitarianism would also condemn the practice of ignoring organizational rules. Even though it might result in a net utility for the officers and for the business owners, the department suffers from the hypocrisy and the community suffers from (perhaps) unequal patrol coverage and a lowered perception of police.
The situation is complex because it seems so innocuous and the officer who refuses to take gratuities looks like a jerk. Officers might deal with the situation in various ways—some leave a tip equal to the price of the meal; some send the money to the restaurant after the fact. Dealing with the partner is a different problem: some officers take their lunch with them to avoid the situation; some make it clear before the situation that they don’t accept free lunches and deal with the partner’s reaction. Classroom discussions are most interesting when there are police officers and restaurant workers in the same class. In this situation, each is able to hear the other’s perspective in the neutral setting.
EXAMPLE OF RESPONSE NOT RECEIVING CREDIT: I really think no one should take the free meal, but if I were in that situation, I would just take the coffee. I think police officers should get free coffee. It is just not appropriate for police to get things free, but I think coffee is OK. (No mention of ethical rules, systems, virtues, research from the textbook…nothing. Just a vague opinion. This will not receive credit as a full post.)