Codes of Ethical Conduct

American peace officers swear to uphold a code of ethical conduct.

Most are required to uphold the IACP’s Law Enforcement Code of Ethical Conduct, or some variation of it.

American police chiefs and sheriffs (as opposed to their deputies) take oaths specific to their office.

Here are some of the ethics codes used by law enforcement in Oregon.

It looks like a lot of reading. Just pick the one most relevant to you.

Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed both in my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the law and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. 

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.

I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession… law enforcement.

Text and IACP logo from the official website of the International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP), May 22, 2021

The Oregon State Police: Code of Ethical Conduct

The Superintendent acknowledges that the citizens of the State of Oregon rightfully expect and demand that the Oregon State Police epitomize the highest ideals of ethical and professional conduct. As an employee, I subscribe to and adopt the ideals set forth in the Code of Ethical Conduct.  As a peace officer, I am the image of penal law and its warden.  If I am to be esteemed and the law I typify respected, I must know my authority well and use it wisely.  I shall neither exceed nor abuse it. During my private and public life, I shall conduct myself with the highest degree of integrity and honesty.  I shall at all times conduct myself in a manner which consistently maintains the public trust. I shall be intolerant of dishonorable or unethical conduct by any person in the criminal justice community.  As an Oregon State Police officer, I shall strive to be courageous in my professional and everyday life, and will take prudent and judicious action when faced with danger, scorn, or ridicule. 


Although the way I choose to conduct my private life is a personal freedom, I accept responsibility for my actions while on or off duty.  I will not become a party to conduct that is likely to, or does bring disrespect to myself, my fellow employees, or the Oregon State Police.  To that end, I shall not engage in personal conduct that affects, or could be perceived to affect, impartiality in my official capacity. 

I shall not use my position or authority for any personal gain or benefit.  I shall refrain from seeking or accepting any gift, gratuity, or favor that is tendered, or could reasonably be perceived as being tendered, as an attempt to influence impartiality in my official capacity. 


As an Oregon State Police officer, I acknowledge the authority and responsibility entrusted to me and will use only the amount of force reasonably necessary to accomplish and fulfill my duties.  I consider the use of deadly physical force as the final option to protect myself or another person from what I reasonably believe to be the infliction, or threatened infliction, of serious physical injury. 


I shall bear faithful allegiance to the State of Oregon and the Oregon State Police and shall be loyal to the highest ideals of my profession.  I will serve the public with due respect, concern, courtesy, and responsiveness without prejudice.  I recognize the service to the public is beyond service to myself.  As a police officer, I consider it a privilege, and the greatest honor that may be bestowed upon any person, to defend the principles of liberty.

Text and logo from the official Website of the Oregon State Police, May 22, 2021

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office: Law Enforcement Code of Ethics


The law enforcement code of ethics is adopted as a general standard of conduct for deputies of this agency.

“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property, to
protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful
against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger,
scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in
thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and
the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in
my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my
decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law
courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or
violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so
long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and
ideals dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession … law enforcement.”

Text and logo from Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Policy 1.01 “Ethics and Professional Standards,” IV. LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS, May 22, 2021

City of Bend, Oregon, Police Department: Code of Ethics

N/A


Oregon Department of Public Safety: Criminal Justice Code of Ethics

AS A CRIMINAL JUSTICE OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve humankind; to safeguard lives and
property; to protect all persons against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the
peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality
and justice.
I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger,
scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in
thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land
and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to
me in my official capacity, will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my
duty.
I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence
my decisions. Without compromise and with relentlessness, I will uphold the laws affecting the duties of my
profession courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing
unnecessary force or violence, and never accepting gratuities.
I RECOGNIZE my position as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it, as a public trust to be held so long as
I am true to the ethics of The Criminal Justice System. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and
ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession.

Text and Logo from the Oregon Department of Public Safety, Standards and Training, Form F-11, Criminal Justice Code of Ethics F11, May 22, 2021

Oregon Association Chiefs of Police: Code of Ethics

As a Police Chief, my fundamental duty is to serve my community in a leadership capacity by directing, controlling and managing the police department. I shall use my training, experience and education to ensure that my community receives professional dedicated police services in a humane, ethical, fair and honest manager. I shall instill in all members of my department the duty to respect the constitutional rights of all people to liberty, equality and justice.

I shall investigate all complaints of police misconduct fairly, thoroughly and completely to insure that police authority is not abused. Likewise, I will defend and protect my employees against unfair and unjust accusations so as to enable them to perform their duties of law enforcement without undue interference of intimidation.

I recognize that as a community leader, I must keep my private life unsullied and be a role model of sobriety, honesty and fidelity. I accept the fact that as Police Chief, I forfeit some rights of privacy that other occupations enjoy.

I shall maintain budgetary and fiscal control of police expenditures to ensure that the limited public funds I administer are expended appropriately and in conformance with budget law and sound fiscal policy.

I will faithfully discharge my duties as a member of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police. I will accept my obligation to pay dues regularly and to support the organization by active involvement in the affairs of the Association. When I accept assignment to a committee or as an officer, I shall conscientiously fulfill my duties to the best of my abilities.

I recognize my office as a symbol of public trust. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession — Law Enforcement Leadership.

Text and logo from the official website of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, May 22, 2021

National Sheriff’s Association: Code of Ethics of the Office of Sheriff

As a constitutionally/statutorily elected sheriff, I recognize and accept that I am given a special trust and confidence by the citizens whom I have been elected to serve, represent, and by the employees I manage. This trust and confidence is my bond to ensure that I shall behave and act according to the highest personal and professional standards. In furtherance of this pledge, I will abide by the following Code of Ethics.

I shall ensure that I and my employees, in the performance of our duties, will enforce and administer the law according to the standards of the U.S. Constitution and applicable state constitutions and statutes so that equal protection of the law is guaranteed to everyone. To that end I shall not permit personal opinion, party affiliations, or consideration of the status of others to alter or lessen this standard of treatment of equal protection under the law.

I shall establish, promulgate, and enforce a set of standards of behavior of my employees which will govern the overall management and operation of the law enforcement functions, court related activities, and corrections operations of my agency.

I shall not tolerate nor condone brutal or inhumane treatment of others by my employees nor shall I permit or condone inhumane or brutal treatment of inmates in my care and custody.

I strictly adhere to standards of fairness and integrity in the conduct of campaigns for election to the Office of Sheriff and I shall conform to all applicable statutory standards of election financing and reporting so that the Office of Sheriff is not harmed by the actions of myself or others.

I shall routinely conduct or have conducted an internal and external audit of the public funds entrusted to my care and publish this information so that citizens can be informed about my stewardship of these funds.

I shall follow the accepted principles of efficient and effective administration and management as the principal criteria for my judgments and decisions in the allocation of resources and services in law enforcement, court related, and corrections functions of my office.

I shall hire and promote only those employees or others who are the very best candidates for a position according to accepted standards of objectivity and merit. I shall not permit other factors to influence my hiring or promotion practice of the Office of Sheriff.

I shall ensure that all employees are granted and receive relevant training supervision in the performance of their duties so that competent and excellent service is provided by the Office of Sheriff.

I shall ensure that during my tenure as sheriff, I shall not use the Office of Sheriff for private gain.

I accept and adhere to this code of ethics. In so doing, I also accept responsibility for encouraging others in my profession to abide by this Code.

Text and logo from the official website of the National Sheriff’s Association, May 22, 2021

About These Codes of Ethics

Codes of professional ethics are supposed to commit law enforcement to the highest ideals of conduct and sacrifice in American society. They represent what every cop should strive to be, every day, on duty and off.

Too few cops uphold their oaths.

Let’s hang out