(1) All public safety officers who have been hired or employed by any agency or entity in Montana, or who have been certified by POST, or who have attended an MLEA basic class must abide by the code of ethics contained herein.
(2) All public safety officers hired or sworn before this rule's effective date are also bound by the code of ethics contained in this rule. Continued employment as a public safety officer in Montana constitutes an agreement to be bound by this code of ethics. Failure to comply with or violation of any part of the code of ethics may be grounds for denial, suspension, sanction, or revocation of any POST certificate.
(3) The public safety officers' code of ethics is:
(a) "My fundamental responsibility as a public safety officer is to serve the community, safeguard lives and property, protect the innocent, keep the peace, and ensure the constitutional rights of all are not abridged;
(b) "I will perform all duties impartially, without favor or ill will and without regard to status, sex, race, religion, creed, political belief or aspiration. I will treat all citizens equally and with courtesy, consideration, and dignity. I will never allow personal feelings, animosities, or friendships to influence my official conduct;
(c) "I will enforce or apply all laws and regulations appropriately, courteously, and responsibly;
(d) "I will never employ unnecessary force or violence, and will use only such force in the discharge of my duties as is objectively reasonable in all circumstances. I will refrain from applying unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering and will never engage in cruel, degrading, or inhuman treatment of any person;
(e) "Whatever I see, hear, or learn, which is of a confidential nature, I will keep in confidence unless the performance of duty or legal provision requires otherwise;
(f) "I will not engage in nor will I condone any acts of corruption, bribery, or criminal activity; and will disclose to the appropriate authorities all such acts. I will refuse to accept any gifts, favors, gratuities, or promises that could be interpreted as favor or cause me to refrain from performing my official duties;
(g) "I will strive to work in unison with all legally authorized agencies and their representatives in the pursuit of justice;
(h) "I will be responsible for my professional development and will take reasonable steps to improve my level of knowledge and competence;
(i) "I will at all times ensure that my character and conduct is admirable and will not bring discredit to my community, my agency, or my chosen profession."