Read the following scenario and answer the questions at the end. In a 500-750 word paper, write an essay answering each question, using material both from the book and any online source dealing with the ethical issues raised in the scenario.
The Griffin Police Department (GPD), located in Okashawa County, is a medium-sized organization in a Midwestern state, about 10 miles south of Interstate 70. It serves the city of Griffin, population 65,000. There are 165 police officers, together with 40 auxiliary personnel. The department has three detectives and a juvenile unit. Most crime in Griffin is property crime and some delinquency and status offending. The chief of police is Dan Ainsworth, who has been on the job for the past 32 years. Ainsworth has worked his way up through the ranks, starting out as a rookie cop with the GPD and working his way up in rank over the years. Ainsworth has a high school diploma and no college experience. He is now 61, but he plans on working until age 70. He doesn’t plan on doing things differently, since what he has done in the past seems to have worked well. He gets along well with the Griffin mayor and city council. His approval rating is high. His police department is running smoothly, and everyone is doing whatever it is they are supposed to do. Turnover among officers is quite low, since most officers are satisfied with their jobs.
One day an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) pays a visit to Ainsworth. William Frawley has been with the BCI for 12 years and works in the gang task force. Frawley informs Ainsworth that there is a significant and growing methamphetamine problem in and around Griffin, especially on some of the sparsely populated farms in the surrounding countryside. Frawley wants Ainsworth to assign some of his juvenile officers to work with Frawley’s agents as well as some of the Okashawa County Sheriff’s Department juvenile officers in an effort to combat this growing drug problem. The last thing Ainsworth needs right now is the visibility of a major, gang-related drug problem right in his own backyard. Thus far, his own juvenile unit has said nothing to him about drugs and juveniles as major Griffin problems. He says as much to Frawley.
Frawley produces some documents to show that increasing numbers of communities, especially those along major interstate highways such as I-70, have been targeted by juvenile gangs for locating methamphetamine labs for production and distribution. Furthermore, the BCI has an undercover officer pretending to be a gang member. The undercover officer says that Griffin is a major distribution point for much of the methamphetamine and other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin that are making their way to Chicago, Oklahoma City, Detroit, and Omaha. Ainsworth advises Frawley that it seems that the county boys and the BCI seem to have the situation well in hand. Further, Ainsworth can’t spare any of his limited juvenile officers to work on any task force. He says that he doesn’t see how this is his problem anyway, and he believes that the BCI can handle it without his assistance. He says to Frawley, “Listen, Bill, I’ll tell you what. The first inkling my officers have of drugs in Griffin, we’ll get together, have a conference, and decide whether we ought to get involved. Right now, I’d just as soon not bother the mayor or city council and scare them with the idea that drugs are all over Griffin. Let’s just leave things as they are.” Frawley leaves, thinking that he’s not going to get any cooperation from Ainsworth.
Why do you believe Ainsworth is reluctant to become involved in an anti-gang task force to combat the spread of methamphetamine and other drugs in Griffin? Is his decision a personal one or does it involve a concern for his community and its image? What do you think and why?
Since the activities of gang members in and around Griffin appear to be affecting drug trafficking in cities in other states, should the BCI network with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Drug Enforcement Administration to enlist their manpower and assistance in combating this local problem? Why or why not?
Is Dan Ainsworth engaging in ethical relativity? Why or why not? What are the major ethical issues that can be identified in this scenario? List each and discuss them.
Your essay is the summation of your answers to these three questions. Devote approximately 250 words per question. You are not limited in this regard. In short, you may write more if you feel that it would help to explain your rationale more effectively.