PUBLIC RELATIONS (Lesson 10 of 33)
Reporting Of Ethical Violations
It can be very difficult for a security officer to report to his or her superior that they believe a fellow security officer is involved in improper conduct. To report to a superior that a co-worker may be involved in improper conduct, requires a great deal of courage on the part of the reporting security officer. In addition, the reporting security officer must have a strong feeling of trust in the people to whom the information is provided. If after a report has been filed, the security officer is accosted by the co-worker because of information “leaked” regarding the suspicions, a greater problem is created.
Reporting wrongdoing is never easy or pleasant. But as security professionals, we are all required to report this wrongdoing, no matter how difficult. Many organizations have initiated “hot lines” for anonymously reporting wrongdoing. Other companies encourage security officers to telephone a key executive or security director to report their suspicions. Others may encourage individuals to write an anonymous letter to report the information.
Whatever avenues are available to report the wrongdoings or suspicions, the security officer must choose one and report the information. Failure to do so casts a shadow of suspicion over all security officers. Sometimes, investigations are underway before the security officer’s suspicions are made known. By reporting this information, security officers are not only doing the right thing, they are doing their job and removing themselves from the cloud of suspicion.
Code Of Ethics For Private Security Employees
There is no recognized Code of Ethics for Security Personnel. However, with the increased importance and scrutiny on security officers, we propose this Code, originally developed in 1976 after a federal government study of private security, which we hope will be guidelines by which all officers act:
In recognition of the significant contribution of private security to crime prevention and reduction, as a private security employee, I pledge:
- To accept the responsibilities and fulfill the obligations of my role: protecting life and property; preventing and reducing crimes against my employer’s business, or other organizations and institutions to which I am assigned; upholding the law; and respecting the constitutional rights of all persons.
- To conduct myself with honesty and integrity and to adhere to the highest moral principles in the performance of my security duties.
- To be faithful, diligent, and dependable in the discharge of my duties, and to uphold at all times the laws, policies, and procedures that protect the rights of others.
- To observe the precepts of truth, accuracy, and prudence, without allowing personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my judgments.
- To report to my superiors, without hesitation, any violation of the law or of my employer’s or client’s regulations.
- To respect and protect the confidential and privileged information of my employer or client beyond the term of my employment, except where they are contrary to law or this Code of Ethics.
- To cooperate with all recognized and responsible law enforcement and government agencies in matters within their jurisdiction.
- To accept no compensation, commission, gratuity, or other advantage without the knowledge and consent of my employer.
- To conduct myself professionally at all times, and to perform my duties in a manner that reflects credit upon myself, my employer, and private security.
- To strive continually to improve my performance by seeking training and educational opportunities that will better prepare me for my private security duties.