Interview Analysis

Interview Analysis


Unit 6 Assignment

Purdue University Global

Interview Analysis

For this interview James Rohweder and David Bignell were interviewed. James Rohweder works as a probation and parole agent for the state of Wisconsin and also was the chief of police in a small town named Wonewoc. He has had several years of state service and has seen many things in his time. James was chosen not only for his experience but for his willingness to be open minded about change and having his own opinions on ethics. David Bignell is currently a correctional officer sergeant for the Department of human services, he has also worked in state correctional detention facilities. He has had 15 years of state service and has seen many things in the department of corrections (DOC) and with department of human services (DHS) he has a positive attitude and outlook on life especially for seeing the things he has. He was willing to partake on the interview and offer his insights on change and ethical dilemmas. The information I have gathered from their personal and professional opinions plus the knowledge gained from this class will give a new insight to ethical dilemmas in law enforcement.

Starting with James Rohweder, he was asked why are ethics and character so important in law enforcement? He said, “Ethics are important in determining from right and wrong, good and bad, if we as officers or agents did not practice what has been drilled in our head since the academy what good are we”. “Our job is to educate the public on laws and policies and if we are not doing our job we are no good to anyone”. When asking SGT David Bignell is thoughts on ethical and character he stated that, “We need to practice what we preach, ethics define our character, this job is not pretty and most days not fulfilling but it needs to be done”. “Ethical actions and behaviors are never the easiest to deal with, but they will always be worth it.” “There is nothing wrong in doing the right thing”. In these statements from both of these gentleman, I completely agree. They both nailed ethics and character along with passion for the career and doing the right thing.

When asking James and David about their feelings that police are more ethical today or were they more ethical 10 years ago the opinions seemed to be very similar. James being ex law enforcement had quite a bit to say about the matter. He thinks that 10 years ago there was a lot less to worry about then there is today. With advances in technology and everyone having cameras and every single pull over being recorded puts a lot more stress on officers than it did 10 years ago. They are all constantly worried about doing something wrong some are afraid to do the ethical thing which sometimes may reflect poorly on them. He thinks that officers now are having a harder time enforcing laws and policies simply because citizens would not like the outcome and it sparks a rage. David had some similar opinions, but he thinks officers are more ethical now then 10 years ago because with the advances in technology officers are now being forced in to behaving more appropriately and are not getting away with as much stuff as they did years ago. There are less police excessive force cases because everyone is recording routine traffic stops and if the officers misbehave they lose their career over it.

The next question I asked was, “Why do police officers become involved with police misconduct?” Both James and David answered revolved around Money. James said, “It seems that everyone who has been compromised has a price, whether its money, fame, or just feeling more important than others.” “There have been so many good officers that have been put in bad situations and they feel the only way they can get out is by doing one bad thing, well then that bad things turn into another and the cycles keeps going and before you know it you’re in too deep and cannot get out.” David stated that “officers don’t do their job for the money but if the can get their hands on a little extra a lot of them would not hesitate, they would do it”. I am not sure how much I agree with David’s statement it seems that he’s right that officers do not get paid enough for what they do but I do not thing most officers wouldn’t hesitate to become corrupt just to fill and line their pockets. I do agree with James though once you are in too deep it is too hard to get out, how do you back out of doing favors or getting money without some kind of consequence?

The next question asked was do you feel that there is enough training offered in ethics at the police academy level? If not, why is that? James response was “They offer more training now in ethics than they did years ago”. “Police academies are shaping our law enforcement for tomorrow, so the goal is to make sure you create the best officers today.” Policies and procedures are constantly discussed during the police academy you can only talk and discuss it so much, if a person doesn’t have morals or struggles to be ethical odds are it comes from their background and how they were raised and it’s hard to take that out of a person. David had a very similar response to this question he stated, “No matter how much you preach these concepts to the officers during the academy, you never know where they came from, they could be diluted from the start and it could take one wrong even to turn their whole life around and they become corrupt.” Academies need to start fresh from the beginning with morals make sure they everyone is on the same page, it may seem pointless, but I bet it would work.” I asked, David what he meant by breaking it down, he said square one go back to manners talk about pride and what it represents, how to respect others and gain respect.

Piggybacking on the last question I asked both of them Should ethics training be offered as an ongoing process for law enforcement officers? Should ethics training be offered as an ongoing process for law enforcement officers? They agreed that there should be an annual ethics training in law enforcement. They also agreed that all agencies including FBI and CIA should also be providing this training keeps the officers and agents sharp on their ethics and their skills. Officers should also want to keep bettering themselves every day for their job and for their communities that they serve.

The last question that I asked James, and David do you feel that education and/or training in ethics would reduce incidents of police corruption? James initially stated that “There’s always going to be corruption”. Basically, means that no matter how much training or teaching is involved there will always be at least one person doing something shady such as taking bribes, stealing drug money, covering for partners mistakes, excessive force, arresting someone for no reason. It comes down to morals and how you were raised people who grow up in strong homes with supporting families and forgiveness tend to have a better track record for doing the right thing than officers who grow up in a broken home. David said that in his career and working with officers he too agreed that there will always be corruption, I quote “there is always one bad egg in each academy”. Apparently in his experience there is always one person that is predictable and has poor behavior during the academy and yet they make it through but never make it through their probation because of their lack of ethics and mistreatment of citizens.

Based on the interviews I have conducted these gentlemen are very well educated and trained, they both also appreciate their work and are very passionate. In the interview I found out that the lack of ethics is occasionally a problem in law enforcement and there is always going one officer that makes the others look bad regardless of how good the others are. It seems that they both are concerned with the advancement in technology and how it is affecting law enforcement, in some ways good but other ways bad. The bad ways are people constantly filming traffic stops in hopes to catch an officer doing something that will get them in trouble.


Delattre, E. J. (2011). Character and Cops, 6th Edition. [Purdue University Global Bookshelf].Retrieved from

Bignell, D. (2018, July 15). Police Ethics [Personal interview].

Rohweder, J. (2018, July 15). Police Ethics [Personal interview].