Technology Ethics for Law Enforcement
Lieutenant Joe Peny

This paper explores the different aspects of ethics and unethical behavior for law enforcement officers at all levels in reference to the use of technology. Technology has enabled law enforcement to respond more quickly to calls for service, use more advanced non-lethal compliance tools, and use the Internet to combat crime. The foundation of ethical practices is based on the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution supplemented by the courts of the United States delivering decisions that affect the use of technology by law enforcement officers and administrators. Using these guidelines, officers are expected to complete their daily duty assignments with the use of technology both legally and ethically. An officer’s ethical foundation and training allow them to exercise discretion in the enforcement of laws, sometimes blurring the line between what is ethical and legal.

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