University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "U.S. V. Warren, OH: The Case for Applying Aristotelian Modeling in Police Reform"
Date 2018
Author Alicia McCaffrey
Author Institution University of Michigan
Author Role Law Student
External Link
Abstract Police reform scholarship tends to emphasize the bureaucratic nature of problems in policing, and, in turn, proposes administrative solutions, such as providing more training or critiquing specific language in a manual. This comment argues that instead of viewing policing problems as at their core administrative, we should be willing to view them, at least in part, as moral failings warranting ethical solutions. This perspective allows research on police reform to draw from a much larger corpus of existing ethical writings. This paper applies ethical theory to police reform in the specific context of U.S. v. Warren, arguing that the success of the reforms implemented in the Warren Police Department is due in large part to the department's use of Aristotle's theory of “ethical modeling”: ethics is best taught by providing people with moral models whose behavior they can emulate. Other police departments can apply Aristotelian ethical theory by providing positive models from which officers can learn proper policing practices. This can be accomplished in several ways, such as expanding the use of mentoring programs, using more hypothetical role-playing in training, and publicizing stories of officers who properly de-escalated tense situations.
Source U. Mich. J.L. Reform Online
Citation 51 U. Mich. J.L. Reform Online 1-20

This Resource Relates To
case U.S. v. City of Warren (PN-OH-0004)

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