Do You Swear to tell the Truth?

Tell it Like it is, or Else

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis announced in September that he is finalizing a policy that will allow him to fire any police officer who is caught lying in the line of duty.  Davis indicated that truthfulness is fundamental to being a police officer. 

The failure on the part of some Boston police officers to be truthful has resulted in civil suits and tarnished the reputation of the Boston police force. 

The proposed policy would be a ‘one strike and you’re out policy ‘and applies to both oral and written communications by police officers.  Davis acknowledged that policies of this nature are difficult to implement.  Policies of this type also tend to result in opposition from police unions. 

The ‘no lying’ policy is also intended to address the so-called ‘code of silence’ which it is alleged exists in many police departments.  Cases of lack of truthfulness in both Canada and the United states frequently center on fabricating information to obtain search warrants and withholding information from internal investigators whose job it is to investigate allegations against police officers. 

The first two core values of the Winnipeg Police Service are:

Honesty – being truthful and open in our dealings with each other and the citizens we serve; and

Integrity – being above reproach, ethical and doing what is right.

Do these two core values recognize and reinforce the importance the Service puts on truthfulness? 

How committed is the Winnipeg Police Service to its core values and is it doing enough to ensure its core values are being adhered to?  Is the Service prepared to take a stand on the issue of truthfulness and make it a condition of employment?

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