The Dallas Police Department has relaxed its hiring rules oo drug use, says the Dallas Morning News. The 3,180-member department, is on a major push to beef up the force, is trying to compete in a highly competitive job market. Previously, some limited past marijuana use was allowed, but individuals who had used drugs such as cocaine or heroin even once could not be hired. The new policy, which is similar to the one used by the FBI, allows the department to consider hiring applicants who have used small amounts of such drugs on an experimental basis in the distant past.
Before Chief David Kunkle was hired in 2004, Dallas had struggled with flawed practices that resulted in the hiring of officers with questionable pasts and criminal histories. Some fear that the new policy amounts to a lowering of hiring standards. “There are still plenty of good quality candidates without having to allow experimental” use of cocaine, heroin or other serious drugs, said Lt. Rick Andrews, head of the Dallas Police Executive Lodge. “It speaks to your character, or lack thereof,” he said. “I think there’s potential there for less-than-acceptable behavior to creep in.”