December 7, 2021

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Police Officer Oath of Office

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. 

Today’s Tip is for all of my law enforcement friends. Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a moment. Remember the first time you were sworn in as a peace officer? What stands out on that important day? Did you raise your right hand and affirm an oath? Maybe some of you placed a hand on the Bible. Others may have been part of a formal ceremony surrounded by colleagues, full of pomp and circumstance. 

Without a personal commitment from the person taking the oath, it’s nothing more than words on paper. Acknowledging the oath means acceptance of tremendous responsibility.  

Regardless of the particulars, it’s vital we keep that important day in the back of our minds each and every time we suit up for work. Whether helping someone in need or placing bad people in handcuffs, that oath carries significant meaning. Upholding constitutional provisions and adhering to our agency’s code of ethics are a big part of that oath. Don’t forget about faithfully discharging your duties as a peace officer. Protect and serve. Selfless service. Respect and honor. All very important watchwords that set the tone for how we conduct ourselves.  

The oath of office is an expression of allegiance to the constitutional rights of those we serve. It also illustrates the dedication of agency members to their primary duties and responsibilities. But without a personal commitment from the person taking the oath, it’s nothing more than words on paper. Acknowledging the oath means acceptance of tremendous responsibility.  

Before writing this Tip, I did a quick Internet search for “police oath of office.” I found a lot of agency policies and corresponding oaths in the results. Why are these policies and oaths made so readily available to the public? You guessed it. Because our oath serves the public’s interest. It stands at the center of community service and transparency.  

Do me a favor, friends. The next time you are reviewing agency policy, take a few minutes and flip to your oath of office. Take that trip down memory lane and read it to yourself. Although you won’t learn anything new, you’ll likely feel that same sense of pride you felt the first time you raised your right hand and committed yourself to the greater good. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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