Code of Ethics

The Purpose of the CPCA

The purpose of the California Police Chiefs' Association is to promote and advance the science and art of police administration and crime prevention: to develop and disseminate professional administrative practices, and to promote their use in the police profession: to foster police cooperation and the exchange of information and experience throughout the State: to bring about recruitment and training in the police profession of qualified persons: to encourage the adherence of all police officers to high professional standards of conduct in the strict compliance with the Law Enforcement Officer's Code of Ethics. The California Police Chiefs' Association also subscribes to the Code of Professional Conduct and Responsibility for Peace Officers. 

In recognition of the variety and uniqueness of some of our responsibilities and to further the objectives of the Chiefs' Association, we further adopt the following ethical mandates:

Responsibility to the Community

We recognize that a police department's responsibility is to provide a safe environment for all members of the community. We must, therefore, establish police services which are responsive to community needs. This requires the maintenance of open, viable communications between the community, the law enforcement agency and the Chief of Police. 

We must provide a law enforcement service which is rooted in our democratic principles: that is a police service which, while responsive to majority needs, ensures the protection of individual and minority rights. 

Responsibility to Governing Entity

We recognize that elected officials, as representatives of the people, establish municipal policies and that chief administrators are charged, subject to constitutional, legal and judicial restraints, with implementing the policies applicable to their jurisdictions of responsibility. 

We must avoid any political involvement or partisanship which could impede or jeopardize a professional and impartial discharge of duties. 

We must provide law enforcement services which maximize organizational efficiency and ensure economy in the expenditure of resources and personnel. 

Responsibility to the Law Enforcement Agency

We recognize the need to conduct ourselves at the highest level of professionalism and ethical conduct: to provide leadership by example. 

We will pursue and obtain, when possible, the resources and work environment which allows the members of our departments to perform their stated missions and assignments at maximum efficiency. 

We will treat all personnel matters with the highest level of objectivity, avoiding any forms of discrimination or preferential treatment, and we will expect and demand the highest; levels of professionalism from all members of our agencies. 

Responsibility to Other Law Enforcement Agencies

We recognize that professional law enforcement is dependent on the positive interrelationship of all agencies. We need and value full cooperation with other law enforcement agencies in all matters of mutual interests. By sharing collective expertise and striving together, we will advance professionalism at all levels of law enforcement.