Canon of Ethics for Law Enforcement Chaplains

Primary Responsibilities of the Law Enforcement Chaplain

The Law Enforcement Chaplain must represent to all members of the law enforcement agency morality, justice, fidelity and peace. Therefore, to all officers he/she shall guide and direct them through counseling and personal example to that end; and to the recruits, he/she shall impart the principles of law enforcement ethics as fundamental to their functioning as a law enforcement officer and as essential for their personal career.

Duty to be Well Versed in Moral Laws and Departmental Regulations with Responsibility to Self and Other Police Personnel

The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall assiduously apply himself/herself to a greater understanding of moral laws (including ethnic differences) and departmental regulations, as well as the ethics by which he/she must live and guide others. The Law Enforcement Chaplain will make certain his/her responsibilities in these particulars, seeking aid, advice and enlightenment from his/her religious and civil superiors in matters of their respective fields.

Utilization of Proper Means

The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall be mindful of his/her responsibility to pay strict heed to the selection of proper means on the discharge of the chaplain's office. Violating the laws of God and/or department regulations may instill in the minds of departmental personnel and their public like dispositions. The employment of improper means, no matter how worthy the end, is certain to destroy all respect toward the chaplain. If laws and regulations are to be honored by others, they must be honored by the chaplain who represents morality and justice.

Cooperation with Department and Religious Officials in the Discharge of Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Duties

The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall cooperate with department and other religious officials in the discharge of his/her duties, regardless or affiliation. The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall be meticulous in guarding against the use of his/her office or person in a way that may bring disrepute to himself/herself, law enforcement chaplaincy or the department. In any situation open to questions, the Law Enforcement Chaplain shall seek counsel from the respective religious and/or department authority.

Conduct Toward the Community

The Law Enforcement Chaplain, in performing his/her duties, shall inevitably deal with members of the community. The Law Enforcement Chaplain on these occasions shall perform ministerial services in such a manner as becomes the office of the chaplain. The chaplain will give service to the community where he/she can without interfering with police procedure or infringing upon the ministry of others. While dedicated to the service of the law enforcement officers, their families, and other members of the department, a chaplain also has a responsibility of service to all humanity.

Professional Conduct of the Law Enforcement Chaplain

A. Privilege. Because of the nature of the information received in personal counseling and through confidential reports or observations, the Law Enforcement Chaplain will maintain strict professional privilege in these matters.

B. Ecumenism. The Law Enforcement Chaplain's own personal convictions do not give him/her the right to disdain the faith of others nor attempt to proselytize them for his/her own church. The chaplain shall strive for an unbiased understanding of all faiths and be acquainted with their liturgies. The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall conduct himself/herself in a manner that will foster great ecumenism with churches other than his/her own and will attempt to win the goodwill of all.

C. Gifts and Favors. The Law Enforcement Chaplain bears the heavy responsibility to foster integrity and honor within the department. The Chaplain shall guard against placing himself/herself in a position in which any person can expect special consideration through him/her or in which the public can reasonably presume that special consideration has been given. The Law Enforcement Chaplain should refuse gifts, favors or gratuities, large or small, which the public could interpret as being offered to influence others.

D. Professional Attitude. The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall always discharge his/her duties with a feeling of serious responsibility. By diligent study for self-improvement and dedicated service toward police personnel, he/she shall strive for effective moral leadership and high-spirited morale. The Law Enforcement Chaplain shall appreciate the importance and the responsibility of the department and hold his/her office as essential in assisting all officers to render valuable service to the department and community.

Last updated Sep 27, 2011