Officers dating other officers
The extent to which an agency’s code of ethics is enforceable against an officer in a disciplinary case needs to be carefully considered, especially in light of a recent federal court case dealing with officer discipline.
Two federal district court cases from the mid-eighties highlight the distinction. Ruling against the police union, the district court found the city’s requirement to be within its power. LEXIS 24103 (ED Pa., 1986), in which the police commissioner sought to have all officers seeking assignment to a new special investigations unit complete a detailed questionnaire.
Admittedly, for me as a cop with a law degree and a practice on the side, no extra attention or deliberation was given to the code of ethics.
Fast forward to the present: I’m now retired, teaching law courses at a local university and representing police officers in disciplinary cases.
Among senior officers the response was a mocking disregard, among junior officers, a quiet acceptance.
Neither group gave extensive thought to them, merely passing the novelty off as ivory tower police officers imposing a newly learned management principle upon the troops.