As representatives of the federal government, the Department of Justice, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, we each serve the American people to the best of our ability, while adhering to the highest of moral and professional standards of conduct at all times. Striving to maintain a set of ethical values, we must understand how ethics affect our personal and professional lives. Toward that goal, students and agents learn that people are pressed toward excellence and ethical behavior not by autocratic direction, but rather by leadership through vision, mission, and values. Such leadership creates a sense of direction and purpose, as well as a set of beliefs as to what is correct behavior in how people approach their work, how they manage their lives internally, and how they relate to the community.
Achieving an understanding of ethics is critical to enhancing professional judgment in that it provides a strong foundation for making wise decisions. In addition, it is important to learn the boundaries for accepted behavior, as established by the Government through the Constitution, as well as laws, regulations, and internal policies.
Ethics is further inculcated into the entire curriculum at the DEA Training Academy, via the "Golden Thread” of Ethics initiative; a concept borrowed from the Australians. The “Golden Thread” of Ethics mandates that each teaching unit at the DEA Training Academy implement specific blocks of instruction using case studies or practical problems based on a variety of ethical dilemmas; challenging up and supporting down the organizational structure, ensuring fairness, and caring about people.
Finally, this new knowledge must be applied to actual behavior. The ethics of the DEA and law enforcement are judged by our collective behavior. This behavior is absolutely essential if we are to maintain the public trust upon which our continued success as an organization depends.