This scenario portrays a picture of a training officer who is developing a greedy and covetous attitude by having other people pay for his things even when these acts violate a clear police department policy. His behavior is a kind of harassment to the people who submit to paying for him or let him eat for free out of fear of his power and/or expectations of receiving special treatment from him. It’s a sort of harassment by intimidation.
More specifically, the scenario focuses on a final case in which this officer reaches the point of taking items from a store during a shoplifting investigation, in front of the store owner and other people. Here Arrogance joins Covetousness. He acts as if he is so above everybody else that he can harass them without consequence. This last action is very serious, not only because of the Harassment and the Arrogance, but also because the officer is indeed committing a serious crime related to the abuse of his power (Justice).
Moreover, he is doing it while training a rookie, and giving him a terrible example of how to act as a police officer. The dilemma is seen from the rookie’s point of view, who has been taught to never accept special favors. His is witnessing the abuse of this policy by his training officer and must now decide what to do about this most recent violation. First of all, he should understand what is really going on (Intelligence): namely, that what the training officer is doing is indeed a crime, and a serious act of Harassment. Doing that during a shoplifting investigation is almost like legitimizing the shoplifting crime. The rookie may be an accomplice, if he abets his training officer by pretending nothing happened (Do Not Cooperate in Evil).
He needs to recall past scandals involving police officers (Memory), and on what Justice requires in such circumstances (Obedience, Do Not Cooperate in Evil, Respecting Private Property). He also needs to be cautious, and consider that it is very problematic for him as a rookie to face his training officer directly, because he will probably react badly against him, whether he is approached in public or in private (Reason). Since there are competent, higher officers for these cases, it is best to report to them and let them deal with him (Respect for Authority). This decision shows Integrity, Loyalty, and Leadership all at the same time. He definitely should not act with Precipitation; for example: making a public scene at the store by reproaching his training officer. This would show Fortitude, but also lack of Caution.
Special circumstances to consider:
If the owner and officer are such good friends that they usually take things from one another without asking, as part of their normal friendship.
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Read Fulvio Di Blasi’s full bio here.