Code of Ethics

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This directive is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee’s civil liability in any way. The directive should not be construed as creating a higher duty of care, in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third party civil claims against employees. Violations of this directive, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office for non-judicial administrative action in accordance with the rules and laws governing employee discipline.
APPROVED BY: Sheriff Ken Christesen EFFECTIVE DATE: 4/9/2017


In order for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office to be successful in carrying out its Mission Statement, ethical behavior must be interwoven amongst all employees at all times. Residing at the core of a law enforcement organization’s efficiency is the teamwork and trust both between and among employees and citizens alike. Unethical behavior can swiftly erode this critical component and have a negative impact on operations. In order to promote high standards and provide a benchmark for employees to reference, the Sheriff’s Office has adopted the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.


The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics is a guiding principle that works inseparably with the Sheriff’s Office Standards of Conduct Policy. It is the policy of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office that all employees abide by the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and carry out their duties with the utmost integrity, self-restraint, and impartiality. Violations of the code of ethics will be swiftly dealt with in accordance with the Sheriff’s Office Discipline Policy.


The following definitions shall apply for the purposes of this policy:

  • Employee - All compensated personnel of the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office and official members of the SJCSO Volunteers in Partnership (V.I.P.) or the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Foundation.



“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; 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 to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all and will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to me or to my agency. I will 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 law and 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, political beliefs, aspirations, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, 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 police service. I will never engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will I condone such acts by other police officers. I will cooperate with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice.

I know that I alone am responsible for my own standard of professional performance and will take every reasonable opportunity to enhance and improve my level of knowledge and competence.

I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession – law enforcement.”


Ethics training will be conducted on a biennial cycle for all employees and members.


  1. SJCSO Policy ADMN-100 “Mission Statement”
  2. SJCSO Policy PERS-505 “Standards of Conduct”
  3. SJCSO Policy PERS-500 “Discipline”