THE QUESTION: You are a rookie officer. In the police academy, you were taught never to ask for, or accept, special favors or gratuities for your services. However, you notice that your training officer never pays for his meals. He doesn’t even offer to pay like most of the other officers you see at lunch. Last night you were called to the scene of a shoplifting incident at a convenience store. The store owner seemed to know your training officer. While asking questions and compiling information for his report, you see your training officer help himself to some cookies and chips from the shelf. After the investigation is complete, the training officer takes a candy bar and says goodbye to the owner without offering to pay for the items.
WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER?
A. You stop him right in the store and tell him to either return the items or pay for them.
B. You should report the training officer’s misconduct to your superiors.
C. You talk to him in private and tell him that he is going way beyond breaking a meaningless policy. He has to stop, and pay for the items he took, or else you will report him to your superiors.
D. You talk to him in private and tell him that his conduct is not acceptable and that you are not comfortable with his actions. He needs to get clear with the store manager and pay him for the items.
WHAT’S MY ANSWER?
I picked D: You talk to him in private and tell him that his conduct is not acceptable and that you are not comfortable with his actions. He needs to get clear with the store manager and pay him for the items.
I think my first step would be to confront the training officer and ask him to pay. I am always open to giving somebody a chance to do the right thing and/or explain. If he doesn’t, then I would escalate things up to my superiors (Answer C). I don’t want to be responsible or associated with breaking the law. Plus, as a police officer, I would feel it was my duty to protect the law.
Well, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know your answer and why in the comments below.
Click here to read an evaluation of this Dilemma from Fulvio Di Blasi, a world-renown scholar in the field of applied philosophy and business ethics.
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