Are ethics limited to duty, or does it extend to personal desires?


You are about to graduate from the police academy. You have a friend that works at the same precinct or town to which you are applying. You know that upon your employment with the law enforcement agency, you may be required to take a polygraph test with questions about prior arrests, drug use, or theft. These types of questions are intended to disqualify potential police officer candidates. Your friend tells you to lie on the questionnaire and not to include information from your old college days when you both were arrested for marijuana possession. Although the case was dismissed, you and your friend are concerned that the record of the arrest is still in the court system. Your friend has informed you that this law enforcement agency does not employ the polygraph test; they only use a questionnaire. Your friend informs you that he lied on his questionnaire when he went through the employment application process.

Address each of the following questions:

Are ethics limited to duty, or does it extend to personal desires?

What are the implications of lying on a questionnaire even though the department may not find out the truth?

What would you gain if the truth was told?

If you do tell the truth, would you include the information regarding your friend, explaining that you and your friend were arrested?

Discuss the implications of including your arrest and the implications for including your friend. Use theoretical concepts associated with ethics to help you determine the consequences (good or bad) associated with immoral behaviors and how you formulate your decision.