Class teaches new cops how to avoid breaking the law

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - New police officers at the City of North Charleston are being required to take an ethics class before their first day on the streets.

The idea came about after as many as seven officers were fired for misconduct either on or off the job.

"It shook us up as a police department. It caused erosion of confidence in our council, in our community," said North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt.

The ethics class is being taught by Lt. Joyce Smith who works in the department's Office of Professional Standards.

"We want to make sure they understand they have a choice," Smith said.

As part of the training, new officers watch movies that are about rogue police officers who use excessive force in front of new recruits.

"Not to say they will encounter that particular here in North Charleston, but there's always the possibility," said Smith.

Smith said 12 graduates from the police academy took the ethics class on July 25.  She said the vision is to incorporate ethics training throughout the police department.

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