When personal integrity is, in fact, compromised (and each manager must make this decision personally), the resignation option separates public service from forced servitude. But before making a rash decision, later regretted, a manager can secure time for deliberation by submitting privately to a self-audit. Redraw the maps in Figure 1.6, and verify the mismatch between “acceptable” and “actual” diamond shapes. If the distortion is either intolerable or unalterable from your office, or both, do what you have to do. An ethical career professional puts the emphasis on the first and third words. There is a quiet heroism in that.
The deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in the United States, which occurred on the morning of April 19, 1995, has special significance for public administrators because the target was government employees, working in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Fully 60 percent of the 168 fatalities and 40 percent of the 647 injured were federal and state government employees in Oklahoma City, the state capital and twenty-ninth most populous U.S. city. Words and numbers inadequately depict the tragic human toll of this unnatural disaster and its intense effect on many lives.
The long, dangerous, and frustrating rescue operation generated significant and complex ethical issues, such as an emphasis on body count as a proxy measure of an incident’s significance and the preeminence of the privacy of survivors and victims’ families over other values. When it comes to emergency management, Waugh and Hy point out,
One of the more telling applications of the fundamental values of a society can be found in how that society responds to risk, particularly risk that may result in major losses of human life and/or property. How society prepares for and invests