Pittsburgh Police Must Follow a Code of Ethics
Contrary to popular belief, officers in Pittsburgh are required to follow a strict code of ethics, or a set of values that represent what the organization’s goals. However, this code is not always adhered to, and even the code itself admits that mistakes may be made due to discretion. If you have been subjected to police brutality or another form of misconduct, you may be able to take action.
To learn more about how your criminal charges can be reduced or dismissed, call (412) 281-2146 to speak with one of our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC.
The Duty of a Police Officer
Perhaps the most important part of the Pittsburgh Police Code is the overview of a police officer’s purpose. Above all else, these professionals have a duty to make the community a better place, whether through protecting lives or ensuring that property is not stolen or tampered with. This portion of the ethical code also mentions that all officers to protect and honor the rights that are afforded by the United States Constitution. These rights range from free speech to the right to due process.
Another vital aspect of a police officer’s role is leading a life of honor and respectability. For example, officers are not allowed to engage in mischievous activity, or participate in anything that could lead to the Pittsburgh police department being discredited. Law enforcement professionals are also required to set their animosities and prejudices aside in their professional and personal lives.
Core Values of the Pittsburgh PD
One of the values that many police officers center their lives around is honor. In other words, they are expected to always do what is right, even when the right thing is seemingly impossible. Since law enforcement professionals are often seen as representations of the community, they want their performance to paint a picture that they can be proud of. Integrity, also related to community representation, is another value that is taken very seriously in Pittsburgh. Police officers are often seen as role models; when they do the right thing, other community members are inspired to follow suit.
Police officers are also expected to be courageous in the line of duty. More specifically, they are supposed to place the safety of others over their own. The Pittsburgh Police Department believes that by acting with courage, officers will be able to achieve the sense of calm that is necessary to work as a team. Although law enforcement officers are tasked with protecting the laws of the land, they are also required to provide compassionate service. If a homeless person is loitering on private property, or if someone with a mental disorder is breaking the law, the situation must be handled with understanding and discretion.
Principles and Other Guides
Law enforcement officers are also expected to meet high professional standards, such as maintaining a strong work ethic and being leaders in the community. When it comes to policing as a role, officers should also be completely transparent. They must be honest when addressing the public and their colleagues, and they must work tirelessly to establish relationships that are built on trust and respect. One of the most commonly broken guiding principles of the Pittsburgh Police Department is restraint. This involves exercising self-discipline and only using force when necessary.
How Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Can Protect Your Rights
Although each and every police officer has a duty to protect the Constitutional rights afforded to all Americans, there are situations in which the police code of ethics is violated. For example, imagine that a person has just been arrested for reckless driving. When they ask to meet with their lawyer prior to questioning, the officers simply begin an interrogation. Other, less dramatic rights violations include not being read your Miranda rights and being racially profiled during a routine traffic stop.
If you have been unfairly accused of a crime, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC and our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys at (412) 281-2146. They will provide you with legal advice through a free consultation.