UNC Police: General Order 00-02R4 - Oath of Office, Code of Ethics, and Duty to Intervene


UNC Police: General Order 00-02R4 - Oath of Office, Code of Ethics, and Duty to Intervene

Document Information

Document Information Table
Subject Oath of Office, Code of Ethics, and Duty to Intervene
Date July 6, 2020
Number 00-02R4
Amends January 23, 2017
Supersedes 00-02R3
Approved by Brian L. James, Chief of Police
CALEA Standards 1.1.1 Oath of Office, 1.1.2 Code of Ethics, 4.1.1 Use of Reasonable Force, 4.1.5 Rendering Aid, 11.3.1 Responsibility/Authority, 11.3.2 Supervisory Accountability, 11.3.3 Notify CEO of Incident with Liability, 26.3.1 Compliant Types, & 26.3.2 CEO, Notification
CALEA Communications Standard 2.2.2 Values Acknowledged


The purpose of this directive is to require all personnel of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Police Department (UNC-CH Police Department) to take and abide by an oath of office to enforce laws, uphold the United States Constitution, and to require officers to abide by the Law Enforcement Code Ethics.

The welfare of the community, the reputation of the department, and the success of an officer depends largely upon their personal philosophy, the manner they approach their assignments, and the course of personal conduct they elect to pursue both on and off duty.


Officers have a legal and moral duty to intervene any time another member of the department is acting in an unethical manner or is breaking the law. Non-sworn members of the UNC-CH Police Department must ascribe to the Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Code of Ethics, and the Code of Ethics for Civilian Employees. Non-sworn personnel are expected to be responsible for their actions and are expected to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. It is required that all personnel abide by these standards and understand that violations can result in disciplinary action.

Units Affected

All UNC-CH Police Department Personnel, both sworn and non-sworn.


  • 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 241
  • 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 242
  • 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 1983
  • 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 14141
  • General Order 00-01R13 Rules and Regulations
  • General Order 00-03R3 Mission, Vision and Core Values
  • General Order 01-01R16 Use of Force
  • General Order 03-09R3 Disciplinary Procedures
  • General Order 03-10R10 Internal Affairs/Compliant Investigation and Inquiry
  • General Order 03-25 Staff Duty Officer
  • Jones v. City of Hartford, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17340 (Dist. CT 2003)
  • Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • North Carolina General Statute Chapter 17C: North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission
  • North Carolina General Statute § 116-40.5 Campus Law Enforcement Agencies
  • North Carolina State Constitution Article VI, Section 7: Oath
  • Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Code of Ethics, Association of Public Safety Communications Officials
  • Samuels v. Cunningham et al., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14479 (Dist. Del. 2003)
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Disciplinary Action Process
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct Including Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Interpersonal Violence and Stalking
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct Involving a University Employee as the Reporting Party
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Whistleblower Policy

Definitions and Descriptions

Intervene: To come between, whether verbally or physically, to prevent or alter a result or course of events.

Officiously: Objectectionably aggressive in offering one’s unrequested and unwanted services, help, or advice; meddlesome.


I. Oath of Office (Sworn Personnel)

  1. A copy of the oath is given to all newly sworn officers when they are sworn in with the department.
  2. Reference Attachment A: Oath of Office.

II. Law Enforcement Code of Ethics (Sworn Personnel)

  1. Reference Attachment B: Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.

III. Duty to Intervene

  1. All sworn personnel must recognize and act upon the duty to intervene to prevent or stop any member from conducting any act that is unethical and violates UNC-CH Police Department policy and laws. Intervention by another employee could be verbally or require physical contact. Failure to intervene, regardless of location, may subject an employee to disciplinary action.
  2. All members of the department, benefit when personnel make good decisions and do their job to the best of their ability. Preventing misconduct preserves job security and integrity of all members, ultimately protecting members from destroying their careers as a result of misconduct or, in some instances, as a result of a failure to intervene to prevent misconduct by others.
  3. Officer Responsibilities
    1. If aid is required by any individual, ensure that medical attention has been rendered.
    2. Take a preventive approach, whenever possible, if observing behavior that suggests that another member is about to conduct unethical or inappropriate behavior.
      1. Examine the circumstances surrounding the incident to determine the appropriate form of intervention.
      2. Intervene verbally or physically, depending on the circumstances.
      3. (Example: While providing backup for a vehicle stop after a minor traffic violation, you notice the primary officer raising his/her voice and becoming increasing agitated, despite the driver’s cooperative demeanor. To prevent an escalation, you call the officer’s attention to break their agitation, walk up next to the officer, and ask a follow-up question of the driver, to slow down the interaction and give the primary officer a chance to collect themselves, or ask the officer to speak with you away from the vehicle, in order to diffuse the situation.
    3. Take an active approach to intervene to stop any unethical behavior or misconduct, when another member of the UNC-CH Police Department is committing such conduct.
      1. If verbal interventions are not enough to stop the act, physically come between the offending employee and the other individual involved.
    4. Notify a supervisor after conducting any type of intervention, as soon as it is safe to do so. The intervening employee must notify the supervisor by the intervening employee’s work day of the incident.
    5. When a UNC-CH Police Department employee physically intervenes, the intervening employee and the employee allegedly acting unethical must document the incident using the appropriate paperwork (e.g. incident report, use of force report, witness statement to another report, etc.)
  4. Supervisor Responsibilities
    1. Immediately physically separate all employees involved in the incident as soon as the supervisor learns of the incident.
    2. Conduct a preliminary investigation to gather any pertinent information that coincides with the reason of the intervention (e.g. witnesses, body worn camera footage, videos, area canvass, etc.).
    3. Ensure all parties involved in the incident complete the appropriate documentation detailing the circumstances that led to the investigation and what, if anything, occurred once the employee intervened.
    4. Determine whether the action leading to the intervention constitute misconduct, unethical behavior, or potential criminal conduct.
    5. A memo documenting the incident and the circumstances detailing the intervention is completed and submitted to the staff duty officer and the patrol commander by the end of the workday unless special circumstances arise. The staff duty officer and patrol commander will be notified if there is a delay in the completion of any paperwork. Staff duty officer is notified by phone, of the incident, by the investigating supervisor prior to receiving the documentation for the incident.
    6. If appropriate, consider recommending that the employee who intervened receives recognition for their actions.
  5. Staff Duty Officer and Patrol Commander Responsibilities
    1. Review all documentation of the incident that is submitted by the supervisor.
    2. Ensure preliminary investigation and findings have been documented fully.
    3. Make a recommendation that the incident be closed, or referred to one of the following for follow-up investigation as appropriate:
      1. Internal Affairs;
      2. Training;
      3. Employee Assistance Program; and
      4. Early Warning System.
    4. When appropriate, issue a recognition of the positive actions of the member who intervened.

IV. Public Safety Telecommunications’ Code of Ethics (Non-Sworn)

  1. Reference Attachment C: Public Safety Telecommunications’ Code of Ethics.

V. Code of Ethics for Civilian Employees (Non-Sworn)

  1. Reference Attachment D: Code of Ethics for Civilian Employees.

VI. Training

Sworn and non-sworn UNC-CH Police Department employees must take ethics training at least once every two years.

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Article ID: 132099
Thu 4/8/21 9:23 PM
Fri 10/6/23 4:15 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
UNC Police
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Chief of Police
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
11/01/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
08/04/2023 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
08/21/2020 11:38 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
08/21/2020 11:38 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
03/04/2020 12:00 AM