Dallas Center Police Department Code of Conduct
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.
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 powers
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 they hold.
A police officer will use responsibly the discretion vested in his
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
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
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 unnecessary
infliction of pain or suffering and will never engage in cruel,
degrading or inhuman treatment of any person.
Whatever a police officer sees, hears or learns of that 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.
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 that 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.
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
Through study and experience, a police officer can acquire the high
level of knowledge and competence that is essential for the efficient
and effective performance of duty. The acquisition of knowledge is a
never-ending process of personal and professional development that
should be pursued constantly.
Police officers will behave in a manner that 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.