Brooke Lynn Heights is a dispatcher for the Grantham County Sheriff’s Office. Heights works the relief shift that covers the other dispatchers and Badpenny the supervisor, on their days off. At 11:30 a.m., calls coming into police dispatch have slowed down enough that Heights could go grab her lunch from the refrigerator. Heights is the only dispatcher on duty and she has answer calls while eating her lunch. Not long after Heights sat down to eat, Cher A. Secrit, who is a deputy sheriff and works for the Grantham County Sheriff’s Office, walked into the police dispatch area to eat lunch with Heights. Deputy Secrit is a good friend of Heights and happens to be Badpenny’s best friend and roommate. While eating lunch, Heights asked Secrit, “Is Badpenny alright because she has lost quite a bit of weight in the last few weeks?” Secrit replied, “Badpenny told me that she is dating Mitch Dreadford. When I asked her about her weight loss, because it is quite noticeable, Badpenny said she had been stressed out lately and extremely busy getting all the dispatch files ready for the police audit next week.” Heights had a concerned look on her face when she asked Secrit, “Do you think she is using meth since she is dating Dreadford?” Secrit replied, “I had not thought about that until you mentioned it just now.” Heights said, “I am worried that Badpenny may be getting in over her head. When I relieved her the other day; I saw Badpenny was reading a detective’s report from an ongoing drug investigation. I asked her what she was doing, and Badpenny said she was just bored and was perusing some of the officer’s reports.” Secrit replied, “That is concerning because yesterday when I dropped by to see Badpenny while she was dispatching for the University City Police Department; she seemed startled by my arrival. Badpenny quickly closed out of what she was reading on the computer screen. I did not think anything about what Badpenny was doing. However, when Badpenny made the comment that the University City detectives do not write their reports as well as the Grantham County detectives; I knew Badpenny was up to something. Before I could respond, Badpenny lowered her voice and said, listen to this, and she told me what was in the report.” Height ask, “What was in the report?” Secrit replied, “Badpenny told me that while reading the Grantham County Sheriff’s deputy’s report, there was information in the document regarding a federal agent. The agent’s name is Hans Cuff, who works for Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). Agent Cuff is undercover and has infiltrated a local gang. Also, noted in the report was the gang member’s name who gave Agent Cuff information on a large shipment of meth coming into town next week.” Height asked, “What is the name of the gang member? Do we know him?” Secrit said, “Yes, we know the guy; it is Mookie.” Height exclaimed, “Mookie the big-time drug dealer who is a good friend of Dreadford? Oh, this is not good.”
Review the scenario above and write a paper regarding the ethical themes and value systems, both Heights and Secrit face regarding Badpenny’s actions. Discuss how discretion and duty play into this scenario. Also, apply how the code of silence and the blue curtain of secrecy may prevent Secrit and Heights from reporting what each has discovered about Badpenny.