Ethics and Leadership in Policing

I.     Course Prefix/Number: LAE 234

       Course Name: Ethics and Leadership in Policing

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Recommended: LAE 101 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course prepares students to successfully resolve critical ethical and leadership issues they will encounter in their law enforcement careers. Content includes developing and maintaining professional integrity, the proper exercise of discretion and authority, morale and motivation, and responsibility for ethical conduct. It also explores analysis and evaluation of ethical dilemmas, roles of professional organizations and agencies, ethics and community relations, ethics in criminal justice laws and procedures and civil liability in law enforcement and correctional environments.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Understand the dual roles of law enforcement and law enforcement subculture.

  • Explore the limits of discretion and corresponding duties for law enforcement.
  • Identify and discuss the primary forms of corrupt law enforcement practices.
  • Identify and discuss ethical issues involved in police procedures.
  • Explore methods to reduce corruption and unethical police procedures including training, supervision, protection for whistle blowers and citizen review boards.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  • The Challenger for Modern Policing
  • The Importance of Ethical Leadership
  • Concepts and Dynamics of Leadership
  • Ethics, Morality, and Leadership
  • Policing and Professional Conduct
  • Communication: Key to Interpersonal Relations
  • Motivation: Key to Personal and Professional Success
  • Ethical Decision Making and Problem solving
  • Planning, Organization, Implementation, and Evaluation
  • Ethical Leadership in the Context of Policing a Community
  • Policing and Homeland Security
  • Strategic Policing
  • Vision for Change

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, group discussions, written assignments, practical applications and tests
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  • Reading: College Level
  • Writing: Short paper
  • Oral Presentation: Role Play
  • Computer Use: Research
  • Fieldwork: Interview a local police official

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Leadership, Ethics, and Policing – Challenges for the 21st Century”, by P.J. Ortmeier and Edwin Meese III, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2nd Edition, 2010

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

90% - 100%   = A
80% - 89% = B
70% - 79% = C
60% - 69% = D
BELOW 60% = F

Grades will be a composite of the following areas:

Weekly Quizzes 20%
Mid-term Exam 25%
Class Project 15%
Class Participation   15%
Final Exam 25%

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.