OUR PHILOSOPHY

Working in a police department takes special people; exceptional persons who are willing to be held to a higher standard that society places on the police profession. Police enter the lives of other people, sometimes welcome and sometimes not, and have, by virtue of their profession, considerable power and influence over the lives of others.

 

The actions we take may save a life, may mean someone's confinement and loss of freedom, may affect a person's financial status, may ease someone's pain, or may increase someone's anxiety. Police employees routinely process confidential information about people that could be shocking, embarrassing, or ruinous to personal reputation. The public trusts this information will be handled legally and with sensitivity. In addition, unlike other professions, the police are empowered to carry firearms and use force in necessary situations as interpreted by officers. We can enter people's homes, search their belongings, even take their children if we think the circumstances warrant.

 

No other occupation can so immediately and directly impact a person's life. Clearly, the breadth of police responsibility is enormous. But what about off-duty conduct? Do the same expectations of responsible conduct exist? Some might contend that what a person does with his or her own time is entirely the individual's business and should never be the concern of the department. This is essentially correct with one exception: that is, when the employee's conduct adversely affects the public's confidence in the department or the individual's capability of performing the job.

 

To that extent that individual's action betrays the public's confidence, the department loses credibility. A loss of credibility means a loss of effectiveness, and effectiveness is essential to the department's existence. Department reputation and credibility therefore become inextricably linked with individual reputation and credibility. We are all seen as police employees worthy of high respect and are committed to equally high standards.

 

For most of society, the administration of justice remains largely a mystery. Public "education" is left to movies, television, and newspapers. What influence the media has can only be balanced against the reality of those few contacts that individuals have with "real life" police. The extent to which these contacts conform to people's preconceptions serves to solidify or change their perspective. Therefore, it is imperative that we act in a manner consistent with those high standards the public has a right to expect.
 

OUR VALUES

In 1988, the Chief of Police established a committee to develop a statement of philosophy for the Scotts Valley Police Department and to establish what values we believe would be essential to ensure that the high standards that society has placed on police officers can be met by the personnel of the department. After meeting for six months and reviewing other department's philosophy and values statements, the committee developed a statement of philosophy and a set of values for the Scotts Valley Police Department. These philosophy and value statements were approved and adopted by the Chief of Police and established in the department's policy manual.

 

WE VALUE:

 

  • TRUST

    • We are committed to uncompromised honesty and integrity in all our actions.

    • We believe our actions should be reliable, dependable, and consistent.

  • QUALITY

    • We strive for excellence, professionalism, and pride in everything we do.

    • We believe in providing the best quality service and facilities.

  • INNOVATION

    • We strive to recognize and take advantage of any opportunity that arises.

    • We accept that innovators have had their fair share of failures and support reasonable risk taking.

  • THE WORTH OF THE INDIVIDUAL

    • We respect individuals and are sensitive to their needs.

    • We are committed to fair treatment of people.

    • We seek ideas and participation from all levels.

  • EFFECTIVE SERVICE

    • We believe in timely, efficient, and effective public service.

    • We place a high value on cooperation with other public and private entities, but not to the detriment of the best interest of the citizens of Scotts Valley.

  • FUTURE ORIENTATION

    • We want to make decisions that will endure the test of time.

    • We want to control our own destiny.

LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS

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 persons 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 criminal, 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