COPS Logo Return to previous page. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
U.S. Department of Justice
Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and Integrity

Police integrity and ethics are fundamental to effective policing and help build trust within communities. Sound conduct by police improves community interactions, enhances communication, and promotes shared responsibility for addressing crime and disorder.

Police departments can repair and strengthen community relationships by understanding and training officers on three key concepts: procedural justice, bias reduction, and racial reconciliation. Together and when implemented, these concepts create an environment in which effective partnerships between the police and citizens can flourish. The COPS Office seeks to provide these critical resources to ensure integrity and ethics are well-understood and embedded in the culture of policing.

cops office resources

Building Trust Between the Police and the Citizens They Serve
Focuses on the pivotal role of the Internal Affairs function in agency-wide professional standards efforts that seek to build trust between law enforcement agencies, their staff, and communities

COPS Evaluation Brief No. 3: Creating A Culture of Integrity
Examines the successes and challenges of creating a culture of integrity

Crime Prevention Research Review No. 10: Legitimacy in Policing
Assesses the direct and indirect benefits of interventions led by the police that contained elements of "procedurally just" dialogue

Mediating Citizen Complaints Against Police Officers: A Guide For Police and Community Leaders
Addresses the implementation, expectations, and evaluation of police/citizen mediation programs, as well as how to overcome obstacles to mediation, such as police and citizen resistance

Racial Reconciliation, Truth-Telling, and Police Legitimacy
Discusses issues raised at the executive session hosted by the COPS Office and the National Network for Safe Communities in Washington, D.C. on January 11, 2012

Cultures of Integrity Technical Assistance Guides:
Details projects resulting from the COPS Office Creating a Culture of Integrity grant program
  • Boston Police Department
    Explores seven strategies the Boston Police Department used to strengthen its integrity and accountability to its officers and the public
  • Virginia Beach Police Department
    Details the steps the Virginia Beach Police Department took to enhance police integrity by focusing on leadership development, coaching and mentoring, and an improved citizen complaint system and complaint mediation program
  • San Diego Police Department
    Details how the San Diego Police Department has adopted its own Early Identification and Intervention System (EIIS), including a very useful step-by-step outline that can help other agencies build their own successful systems
Page Location:
Community Policing Topics > Ethics & Integrity