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Ethical Framework

The ethical foundation of justice, rule of law, moral core, human dignity and democratic principles forms the context for ethical decision making, which must guide our decisions.


Fairness, equity and impartiality in the application of the law.

Rule of Law

Equality of access to the rights enshrined in the Constitution and the Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

Moral Core

The moral imperative to act in a manner that is consistent with what is good, right and just.

Human Dignity

Respect for human dignity and the rights of persons.

Democratic Principles

The balance of individual and personal freedoms with the concept of social order and the general public good. Recognition of the legitimate authority of office-holders and the importance of maintaining the public trust.

Ethical Values

The rightness of a decision can be judged on whether it is consistent with these ethical values:

  • Caring
  • Courage
  • Equity
  • Integrity
  • Openness
  • Respect
  • Transparency
  • Trustworthiness

Executive Responsibilities

The key relationships for police executives are with the public, their police staff and organization, their professional partners, and themselves personally.


Executive responsibilities of CACP members toward the people they serve and public officials include:

  • Actively advancing the public safety agenda
  • Being a wise steward of public resources
  • Providing competent and responsive services
  • Building value-based relationships
  • Exercising diligence
  • Consulting effectively
  • Respecting the legitimate authority of office-holders
  • Being accountable

Police Staff and Organization

Executive responsibilities of CACP members toward employees of his/her own police service, and the police service as a corporate entity, include:

  • Setting and focusing on the strategic priorities
  • Promoting continuous learning and career development
  • Fostering professionalism
  • Maintaining accountability
  • Setting the moral tone
  • Providing for participation, consultation and feedback
  • Fostering a healthy and safe work
  • Supporting honest mistakes
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities
  • Promoting harmonious labour relations

Professional Partners

Executive responsibilities of CACP members toward others in the policing profession and others engaged in services related to the policing profession include:

  • Building value-based relationships
  • Clarifying and respecting roles
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Upholding the public trust
  • Being accountable
  • Cooperating and collaborating
  • Consulting effectively


Executive responsibilities of CACP members toward themselves include:

  • Maintaining focus on the strategic direction
  • Modeling leadership attributes
  • Managing life-work balance
  • Delivering on commitments
  • Persevering
  • Developing themselves
  • Maintaining self-discipline
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest and the appearance of personal gain

Considerations for Ethical Decision-Making

The following are issues for consideration and guidance in the decision-making process.

  1. Consistency with the law, police policy and regulations
  2. Consistency with the CACP Ethical Framework
  3. Identification of those potentially affected by the decision
  4. Probable consequences of the decision
  5. Potential for good over harmful outcomes from the decision
  6. Potential for a conflict of interest or the perception of personal gain
  7. Ability to justify the decision in terms of the public trust

If members feel isolated in the resolution of ethical issues, the CACP encourages them to consult colleagues or others with experience in the areas under consideration. Simply discussing an issue can facilitate good decision-making.

Police leadership is serious work and there are important issues at stake. It requires a technical competence and a willingness to take difficult action in trying times. As well, it requires a recognition that we must act with a concerted commitment to serve and protect using democratic principles in the service of law while honouring human dignity in the pursuit of justice. It is adhering to this ethical framework that distinguishes us as professionals.