Officer Requirements
Correctional Probation Officer Ethical Standards of Conduct

Purpose

This policy defines professional conduct and ethical standards of conduct for Correctional Probation Officers, including conduct which is unbecoming and unprofessional. To accomplish the mission of this Department, all employees will adhere to the highest ethical standards and perform their jobs with diligence and honesty.

Policy

The Department's effectiveness depends upon the partnership developed with the community and the respect and confidence in our ability to protect the public and supervise offenders at a level of security commensurate with the danger they represent. Conduct that distracts from this confidence is detrimental to the Department and the public's interest. The policy of the Department is to investigate circumstances that suggest an officer has engaged in unprofessional or unbecoming conduct and impose appropriate disciplinary action.

Scope

This policy applies to all Correctional Probation Officers of this Department engaged in official job related responsibilities, on or off duty, or whether within or outside the territorial jurisdiction of this Department. Conduct not mentioned under a specific rule, but which violates a general principle is prohibited. This policy is organized into eight principles. The rationale explaining the principle and a set of rule follow each principle.

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Principle One

Correctional Probation Officers, whether on or off duty, will abide by and follow all federal, state and municipal criminal laws, as well as those laws governing the conduct of state employees and ordinances and rules enacted or established pursuant to legal authority.

Rationale

Correctional Probation Officers perform their duties pursuant to a grant of limited authority from the Legislature and the local community. Therefore officers must understand the laws defining the scope of their enforcement powers. Correctional Probation Officers may only act in accordance with the powers granted to them.

Rules

1.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall not knowingly exceed their authority in the enforcement of the law or in applying departmental rules and regulations to the offenders they supervise.

1.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not knowingly disobey the law or rules of criminal procedure in such areas as arrest, detention, searches, use of force, use of informants and disclosure of confidential information.

1.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall not knowingly restrict the freedom of individuals under their supervision in violation of the Constitution, laws of the United States and the State of Florida, or court orders.

1.4 Correctional Probation Officers, whether on or off duty, shall not knowingly commit any criminal offense under any laws of the United States or any state of local jurisdiction in which the officer is present. Any officer who violates this procedure may be subject to disciplinary action and the imposition of applicable statutory penalties by the appropriate authorities.

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Principle Two

Correctional Probation Officers shall refrain from any conduct in an official capacity that compromises the public's faith and integrity of the criminal justice system.

Rationale

Effective and responsive community cooperation with the criminal justice system is produced when officers act with honesty, trustworthiness and impartiality. The officer must act in a manner that instills trust and respect from all with whom contact is made.

Rules

2.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall carry out their duties with integrity, fairness and impartiality.

2.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not knowingly make false accusations.

2.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall truthfully, completely and impartially report, testify and present evidence, including exculpatory evidence, in all matters of an official nature to the sentencing or releasing authority.

2.4 Correctional Probation Officers must obey lawful orders, but must refuse to obey any orders the officer knows would require the officer to commit an illegal act. If in doubt as to the clarity of an order, the officer shall, if feasible, request the issuing officer or supervisor to clarify the order. An officer refusing to obey an order shall be required to justify his or her actions.

2.5 Correctional Probation Officers learning of conduct or observing conduct, that is in violation of any law or policy of this Department, shall take necessary action and report the incident to the officer's immediate supervisor. If the misconduct is committed by the officer's immediate supervisor, the officer shall report the incident to the immediate supervisor's superior. This directive includes reporting illegal or suspected illegal conduct by fellow employees, offenders and other persons with whom contact is made.

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Principle Three

Correctional Probation Officers shall perform their duties and apply the law with impartiality and without prejudice or discrimination.

Rationale

The effectiveness of the community based Probation Office, requires the trust and confidence of the community in which it operates. Diverse communities must have faith in the fairness and impartiality of all parts of the criminal justice system, including probation. Correctional Probation Officers must refrain from fostering disharmony in their communities based upon diversity, and perform their duties without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Rules

3.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall provide every person in our society, including offenders under their supervision, with professional, courteous, effective and efficient service.

3.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not express, whether by act, omission or statement, prejudice concerning race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation or age.

3.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall not allow their decisions regarding an offender, or the family and friends of the offender to be influenced by race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation or age.

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Principle Four

Correctional Probation Officer shall act in a manner that does not compromise their ability or that of other officers to perform assigned work and or duties in a efficient, unbiased and professional manner or which is detrimental to the proper discharge of the officer's duties, or which is in conflict with the mission of the Department.

Rationale

A Correctional Probation Officer's ability to perform his or her duties is dependent upon the respect and the confidence the community has for the profession and the individual officer. Correctional Probation Officers must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the integrity and trustworthiness expected of them by the public.

Rules

4.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall not consume alcoholic beverages or use illegal chemical substances, while on duty.

4.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not consume alcoholic beverages to the extent that the officer is rendered unfit for duty. The officer shall not report for work with the odor of an alcoholic beverage on the officer's breath or person.

4.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall not use intoxicants, hallucinogens, or controlled substances except when legally prescribed. When medications are prescribed, the officer shall inquire of the prescribing physician whether the medication will impair the officer in the performance of the officer's duties. The officer shall immediately notify his or her supervisor if a prescribed medication is likely to impair the officer's performance.

4.4 Correctional Probation Officers, while on duty, shall not commit any act that, as defined under Florida law, constitute sexual harassment, including but not limited to, making unwelcome sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, engaging in sexual motivated physical contact or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature. This prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, peers, supervisors, offenders, families and friends of the offender, volunteers, contractors and any others.

4.5 Correctional Probation Officers, while off duty, shall not engage in any conduct that the officer knows, or should reasonably know, constitutes an unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favor, or unwelcome sexually motivated physical contact or other unwelcome verbal physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature. Officers shall not, in the course of performing their duties, engage in any sexual contact or conduct constituting lewd behavior.

4.6 Correctional Probation Officers shall not commit any acts that, as defined under Florida law, constitute sexual assault or indecent exposure.

4.7 Correctional Probation Officers shall not commit any acts that, as defined under Florida law, constitute (1) domestic battery/violence and or stalking, or (2) the violation of a court order restraining the officer from committing an act of domestic violence, having contact with the petitioner or excluding the officer from the petitioner's home or work place.

4.8 Correctional Probation Officers shall avoid continuous personal, off-duty, associations with persons who are known to engage in criminal activity. This rule does not prohibit those associations that are necessary to the performance of official duties, or where such associations that are unavoidable because of the officer's personal or family relationships.

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Principle Five

Correctional Probation Officers shall treat all members of the public courteously and with respect, including offenders under their supervision, office visitors and colleagues.

Rationale

Correctional Probation Officers are a visible and integral part of the criminal justice system. Correctional Probation Officers are role models for their communities, families and their peers. Therefore, officers must make a positive impression when interacting with the offender in the community, the public and with each other.

Rules

5.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall exercise courtesy in their dealings with offenders, office visitors, the public, fellow officers, supervisors and subordinates.

5.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not ridicule, mock, deride, taunt, belittle, willfully embarrass, humiliate, or shame any person, including offenders under their supervision, or do anything reasonably calculated to incite a person to violence.

5.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall promptly advise any inquiring citizen of the Department's complaint procedure and shall follow the established departmental policy for processing complaints.

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Principle Six

Correctional Probation Officers shall not compromise their integrity, nor that of the Department, by accepting, giving or soliciting any gratuity that could be reasonably interpreted as capable of influencing their official acts or judgments, or by using their status as a Correctional Probation Officer for personal, commercial or political gain.

Rationale

For the community to have faith in its Correctional Probation Officer's, officers must avoid conduct that does or could cast doubt upon the impartiality of the individual officer or the Department.

Rules

6.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall not receive or solicit any gifts or compensation from offenders or any other source than the state, that would impair the independence of judgment, for services as a state employee.

6.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not use their official position, identification cards or badges: (1) for personal or financial gain, for themselves or another person; (2) for obtaining privileges not otherwise available to them except in the performance of duty; and (3) for avoiding consequences of unlawful or prohibited actions.

6.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall not lend to another person their identification cards or badges or permit these items to be photographed or reproduced.

6.4 Correctional Probation Officers shall refuse favors or gratuities that could be reasonably interpreted as capable of influencing official acts or judgments.

6.5 Correctional Probation Officers shall:

(a) not authorize the use of their names, photographs or titles in a manner that identifies the officer as an employee of the Department in connection with advertisements for any product, commodity or commercial enterprise;

(b) maintain a neutral position, while on duty, with regard to the merits of any labor dispute, political protest or other public demonstration;

(c) not make endorsements of political candidates, while on duty.

None of these rules shall prevent the officer from engaging in the free expression of political speech in their capacities as a private citizen or the rights of fraternal police or labor organization to endorse political candidates or express views on political issues or matters of public concern.

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Principle Seven

Correctional Probation Officers shall not compromise their integrity, the profession nor that of the Department by taking or attempting to influence actions when a conflict of interest exists.

Rationale

For the public to maintain it's faith in the integrity and impartiality of the officer and the Department, officer's must avoid taking or influencing official actions where the officer's actions would or could conflict with the officer's appropriate responsibilities.

Rules

7.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall, unless required by law or policy, refrain from becoming involved in official matters, or influencing actions of other Correctional Probation Officers in official matters, impacting the officer's immediate family, relatives, or persons with whom the officer has or has had a significant personal relationship.

7.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall, unless required by law or policy, refrain from acting or influencing official actions of other Correctional Probation Officers in official matters impacting persons with whom the officer has or has had a business or employment relationship.

7.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall not use the authority of their position as Correctional Probation Officers, or information available to them due to, initiating or furthering personal and/or intimate interactions of any kind with persons with whom the officer has had contact while on duty.

7.4 Correctional Probation Officers shall not engage in any off duty employment if the position compromises or would reasonably tend to compromise the officer's ability to impartially perform the officer's official duties.

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Principle Eight

Correctional Probation Officers shall observe the confidentiality of information available to them due to their status as Correctional Probation Officers.

Rationale

Correctional Probation Officers are entrusted with vast amounts of private and personal information, or have access thereto. Correctional Probation Officers must maintain the confidentiality of such information to protect the privacy of the subjects of that information and to maintain public faith in the officer's and the Departments commitment to preserving such confidences.

Rules

8.1 Correctional Probation Officers shall not knowingly violate any legal restriction for release or dissemination of information.

8.2 Correctional Probation Officers shall not, except in the course of official duties or as required by law, publicly disclose information likely to endanger or embarrass victims, witnesses or complainants.

8.3 Correctional Probation Officers shall not divulge the identity of persons giving confidential information except as required by law or Department policy.