Law and Public Safety

Law and Public Safety

Values:
Our Mission Statement and Codes of Ethics

The St. Louis County Police Department serves its communities and citizens with the highest of expectations for the values of its employees. Our Mission Statement makes clear our reason for existence, and the IACP Law Enforcement Codes of Ethics and our Statement of Values and Civilian Codes of Ethics clearly identify the guidelines within which we will accomplish our mission.

Vision Statement

The St. Louis County Police Department will maintain the highest standards of excellence in all facets of policing and will be considered by our community and our profession as one of the premier law enforcement agencies in the Nation.

Mission Statement

The mission of the St. Louis County Police Department is to work cooperatively with the public, and within the framework of the Constitution to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide a safe environment in our neighborhoods.
Approved - Board of Police Commissioners - April 21, 1992

Statement of Values

The St. Louis County Police Department exists to serve the community by protecting life and property; by preventing crime; by enforcing the laws; and by maintaining order for all people.

Central to our mission are the values which guide our work and decisions. These help us contribute to the high quality of life in St. Louis County.

The public trust and confidence given to those in the police service requires the adoption and compliance of stated values, which are the foundation upon which our polices, goals and operations are built.

In fulfilling our mission, we need the support of citizens and elected officials in order to provide the quality of service our values commit us to providing.

We, the men and women of the St. Louis County Police Department, value:

HUMAN LIFE – We value human life and dignity, as guaranteed by the Constitution.

INTEGRITY – We believe that integrity is the basis for community trust.

LAWS AND CONSTITUTION – We respect the principles that are embodied in the Constitution of the United States. We recognize the authority of federal, state and local laws.

EXCELLENCE – We strive for personal and professional excellence.

ACCOUNTABILITY – We are accountable to the people in the community, and each other.

COOPERATION – We believe that cooperation with the community and the members of our organization will enable us to combine our diverse backgrounds, skills and styles to achieve common goals beneficial to the community and the St. Louis County Police Department.

PROBLEM-SOLVING – We are most effective when we can identify and solve community problems.

OURSELVES – We are dedicated, caring and capable people who are performing important and satisfying work for the people of St. Louis County.
Approved - Board of Police Commissioners - April 18, 2007

IACP Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

All law enforcement officers must be fully aware of the ethical responsibilities of their position and must strive constantly to live up to the highest possible standards of professional policing.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police believes it important that police officers have clear advice and counsel available to assist them in performing their duties consistent with these standards and have adopted the following ethical mandates as guidelines to meet these ends.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES OF A POLICE OFFICER
A police officer acts as an official representative of government who is required and trusted to work within the law. The officer's power and duties are conferred by statute. The fundamental duties of a police officer include serving the community; safeguarding lives and property; protecting the innocent; keeping the peace; and ensuring the rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.

PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES OF A POLICE OFFICER
A police officer shall perform all duties impartially, without favor or affection or ill-will and without regard to status, sex, race, religion, political belief or aspiration. All citizens will be treated equally with courtesy, consideration and dignity.

Officers will never allow personal feelings, animosities or friendships to influence official conduct. Laws will be enforced appropriately and courteously, and in carrying out their responsibilities, officers will strive to obtain maximum cooperation from the public. They will conduct themselves in appearance and deportment in such a manner as to inspire confidence and respect for the position of public trust which they hold.

DISCRETION
A police officer will use responsibly the discretion vested in the position and exercise it within the law. The principle of reasonableness will guide the officer's determinations and the officer will consider all surrounding circumstances in determining whether any legal action shall be taken.

Consistent and wise use of discretion, based on professional policing competence, will do much to preserve good relationships and retain the confidence of the public. There can be difficulty in choosing between conflicting courses of action. It is important to remember that a timely word of advice rather than arrest - which may be correct in appropriate circumstances - can be a more effective means of achieving a desired end.

USE OF FORCE
A police officer will never employ unnecessary force or violence and will use only such force in the discharge of duty as is reasonable in all circumstances.

The use of force should be used only with the greatest restraint and only after discussion, negotiation and persuasion have been found to be inappropriate or ineffective. While the use of force is occasionally unavoidable, every police officer will refrain from applying the unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering and will never engage in cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment of any person.

CONFIDENTIALITY
Whatever a police officer sees, hears or learns, which is of a confidential nature, will be kept secret unless the performance of duty or legal provision requires otherwise.

Members of the public have a right to security and privacy and information obtained about them must not be improperly divulged.

INTEGRITY
A police officer will not engage in acts of corruption or bribery nor will an officer condone such acts by other police officers.

The public demands that the integrity of police officers be above reproach. Police officers must, therefore, avoid any conduct which might compromise integrity and thus undercut the public confidence in a law enforcement agency. Officers will refuse to accept any gifts, presents, subscriptions, favors, gratuities or promises that could be interpreted as seeking to cause the officer to refrain from performing official responsibilities honestly and within the law. Police officers must not receive private or special advantage from their official status. Respect from the public cannot be bought; it can only be earned and cultivated.

COOPERATION WITH OTHER POLICE OFFICERS AND AGENCIES
Police officers will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

An officer or agency may be one among many organizations that may provide law enforcement services to a jurisdiction. It is imperative that a police officer assist colleagues fully and completely with respect and consideration at all times.

PERSONAL-PROFESSIONAL CAPABILITIES
Police officers will be responsible for their own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve their level of knowledge and competence.

Through study and experience, a police officer can acquire the high level of knowledge and competence which is essential for the efficient and effective performance of duty. The acquisition of knowledge is a never-ending process of personal and professional development which should be pursued constantly.

PRIVATE LIFE
Police officers will behave in a manner which does not bring discredit to their agencies or themselves.

A police officer's character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary, thus maintaining a position of respect in the community in which he or she lives and serves. The officer's personal behavior must be beyond reproach.

Adopted by the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
on October 17, 1989 during its 96th Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Adopted by the St. Louis County Police Department on March 2, 1990.

This Code of Ethics is for internal use only and does not enlarge an officer's civil or criminal liability in any way. It should not be construed as the creation of a higher standard of safety or care in any evidentiary sense with respect to third party claims.

Civilian Code of Ethics

I RECOGNIZE I AM A VALUABLE MEMBER OF THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE. AS SUCH, I ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING:

I acknowledge respect for human live, recognizing diversity among the members of the communities I serve.

I will exhibit honesty and integrity through ethical behavior.

I will be obedient to the laws of St. Louis County, the State of Missouri and the United States of America.

I will not, in the performance of my duty, work for personal advantage or profit.

I recognize that I am a public servant, and that ultimately I am responsible to the public. I will give the most efficient, impartial and courteous service of which I am capable, at all times.

I will regard my fellow employees with the same standards as I maintain myself.

I will accept responsibility for my actions.

I will recognize the positive relationship between good physical and mental conditioning and the performance of my duties.

I will do only those things that will reflect honor on me, my fellow employees, my supervisors and my agency.
Approved - Board of Police Commissioners - February 7, 2012


This Code of Ethics is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee's civil or criminal liability in any way. It should not be construed as the creation of a higher standard of safety or care in any evidentiary sense with respect to third party claims.


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7900 Forsyth Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63105

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