Two important theories that explain ethical behavior are deontology and consequentialism (also called utilitarianism). Deontology claims that rules and principles place limits on an individual’s activities and actions. These limits guide the individual toward ethical decisions. Consequentialism weighs the outcome before determining a course of action. According to consequentialism, the morally correct action is the one with the “best” outcomes. Police officers make ethical decisions every day that affect the public trust. When thinking about police ethics in criminal justice, it is important to consider how ethical theories may apply to the decisions police officers make when serving the public.
The assignment (2-3 pages):
Explain two differences between deontology and consequentialism. Provide one example of how each theory applies to policing. Share an insight about ethics in policing.