The Department serves the citizens of the City of Chicago by performing the law enforcement function in a professional manner, and it is to these citizens that it its ultimately responsible. The Department protects the right of all persons within its jurisdiction to be free from criminal attack, to be secure in their possessions and to live in peace.
Standards of Conduct 1. Police officers are frequently required to make decisions affecting human life and liberty in difficult situations where there is little or no opportunity to seek advice and little time for reflection. Law enforcement, therefore, requires an officer to have the stamina, intelligence, moral courage and emotional stability necessary to fairly and impartially deal with the human beings in the many complicated and potentially explosive situations which he encounters.
It is incumbent that the department utilize the best recruitment and psychological testing techniques available and to thereafter provide training for all personnel in order to ensure that the highest level of professional conduct is achieved. Due to the constant stress which is inherent in police service, the psychological and emotional stability of all members must be assured. Therefore, testing techniques must be available and utilized on a continuing basis for the good of the Department and the community.
It must be designed to identify and isolate behavior characteristics of members who have become unsuitable during their tenure in the Department. It is in the best interests of law enforcement that the Department attract and promote the most qualified individuals available without regard to race, religion, ethnic background or any other such consideration.
However, all such policy must be designed to promote and encourage qualified representation from all segments of the community. The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics is adopted as a general standard of conduct for all sworn members of the Department. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life. I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department.
Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession. The public demands that the integrity of its law enforcement officers be above reproach, and the dishonesty of a single officer may impair public confidence and cast suspicion and disrespect upon the entire Department. A member must scrupulously avoid any conduct which might compromise the integrity of himself, his fellow members or the Department.
A police officer is the most conspicuous representative of government, and to the majority of the people he is a symbol of stability and authority upon whom they can rely. Since the conduct of a member, on or off duty, does reflect directly upon the Department, a member must at all times conduct himself in a manner which does not bring discredit to himself, the Department or the city.
Effective law enforcement depends upon a high degree of cooperation between the Department and the public it serves. The practice of courtesy in all public contacts encourages understanding and appreciation; discourtesy breeds contempt and resistance.
The majority of the public are law abiding citizens who rightfully expect fair and courteous treatment by members of the Department. While the urgency of a given situation would demand firm action, discourtesy or disrespect shown toward and citizen is indefensible.
The practice of courteous and respectful conduct by a member is not a manifestation of weakness; it is, on the contrary, entirely consistent with the firmness and impartiality that characterizes a professional police officer. Members of the Chicago Police Department are confronted daily with situations where firm control must be exercised to effect arrests and protect the public safety.
Control is achieved through advice, persuasion, warnings or the use of physical force. While the use of reasonable physical force may be necessary in situations which cannot be otherwise controlled, force may not be resorted to unless other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted or would clearly be ineffective under the particular circumstances involved.
Officers are permitted to use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to protect others or themselves from bodily harm.
The use of excessive and unwarranted force or brutality will not be tolerated under any circumstances. The cosmopolitan nature of the City is manifested by the diverse ethnic and sociological background of its people. However, all persons in each area of the city share the common need of protection and service which is afforded by fair and impartial law enforcement.
In addition, as a person moves throughout the City, he must be able to expect a similar police response to his behavior wherever it occurs. When the law is not evenly and fairly enforced, there follows a reduction in respect for the law and resistance to its enforcement. In order to respond to varying law enforcement needs in different parts of the City, the Department must have flexibility in deployment and methods of enforcement; however, enforcement policies should be formulated on a city wide basis and uniformly in all areas of the city and for all groups and individuals.
To ensure equal treatment in similar circumstances, a member must be alert and sensitive to situations where, because of a language barrier or for some other reason, he must display patience and understanding with what might other wise appear to be a lack of response. A recognition of individual dignity is vital in a free system of law. Just as all persons are subject to the law, all persons have a right to dignified treatment under the law, and the protection of this right is a duty which is as binding on the Department and each of its members, as any other.
Every member must treat each person with respect and he must be constantly mindful that the people with whom he is dealing are individuals with human emotions and needs. The Department must be responsive to the needs and problems of the various communities which it serves.
While its task is governed by the law the policies formulated to guide and implement its enforcement must include consideration of the public will. This responsive must be manifested at all levels of the Department by a willingness to listen and by a genuine concern for the problems of individuals and groups.
The total needs of the community must become an integral part of the programs designed to carry out the mission of the Department. Law enforcement operations in a free society must not be shrouded in secrecy. It is necessary that there be public disclosure of policies and programs and an openness in matter of public interest. Consistent with the protection of legal rights of the individuals under investigation or arrest, and with a consideration of the necessity for maintaining the confidentiality of Department records and of other primary Departmental responsibilities, the Department must communicate accurate and factual accounts of occurrences of public interest and make known its objective to serve.
Daily contact with citizens is the level that bears the greatest burden for strengthening community relations. In dealing with people each member must strive to make his contact one which inspires respect for himself as an individual and as a professional.
Every member must constantly be aware of and eliminate any attitudes which might impair his effectiveness and impartiality. Community relations and citizen contact is based upon the principle that in a democratic society and police are an integral and indivisible element of the public they serve.
A System of law and its enforcement is not superimposed upon a unwilling public; the law is created by the people themselves to control the behavior of those who would seek to interfere with the community welfare and existence.
While the primary responsibility for enforcement of the law lies with the individual citizen, the complexities of society have required the creation of police service to assist in maintaining social order. The police represent only a portion of the total resources expended by the public to this end. However, this effort frequently being restrictive of individual freedom brings the police into contact with citizens under circumstances which have a far reaching impact upon the lives of the affected individuals.
The minimization of this risk is a challenge intrinsic in every public contact by the members of this Department. Each member of the Department must strive to establish a climate where he may perform his sworn duties with the acceptance, understanding and approval of the public.
To promote such acceptance, understanding and approval, there must be communication between individual citizens and groups and members of the Department at all levels.
The Department must encourage productive dialogue with the public to ensure that the unity of the police and the community is preserved. To this end the professional and private lives of all members must be beyond reproach. There is an immediate lowering of esteem and suspicion of ineffectiveness when there is public contact by a member evidencing the use of intoxicants. Additionally, the stresses of law enforcement require an employee to be mentally alert and physically responsive.
The consumption of intoxicants, therefore, cannot be tolerated while a member is on duty, except to the minimum requirements of a specific police assignment.
Every member must also be constantly aware that while technically off duty he is subject to respond to any emergency requiring his service. The off duty use of intoxicants must therefore, be moderate in order to allow the mental and physical requirements for immediate response. An off duty member under the influence of any intoxicant represents a danger to himself and to others and cannot, therefore, be permitted. A member carries with him, as all times, the responsibility for the safety of the community.
He discharges that responsibility by the faithful and dedicated performance of his assigned duty and an immediate and intelligent response to emergency. Anything less violates the trust place in him by the community, and nothing less qualifies as professional conduct.
It is essential that public confidence be maintained in the ability of the Department to investigate and properly dispose of complaints against its members. The rights of the member, as well as those of the public, must be preserved and any investigation arising from a complaint must be conducted fairly, impartially and efficiently, with the truth as its primary objective. Protection of life, limb and property in the City of Chicago.