The Dallas Police Department put on hold a policy relaxing standards for hiring recruits who experimented with drugs after City Council members said they learned about it through media reports, the Dallas Morning News reports. “We just need to better understand the logic of our Police Department in how they came to it [the policy change],” said Mayor Tom Leppert. About three weeks ago, the police department quietly changed its hiring rules to relax standards related to drug use. Previously, 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, similar to the FBI’s, would allow consideration of hiring applicants who have used small amounts of such drugs on an experimental basis in the distant past. Police have asked that the specifics of the policy not be published out of concern that prospective applicants might not be honest about their drug usage. “It’s not a policy to try to hire less-qualified candidates,” said Police Chief David Kunkle. “In my view, it could result in us hiring better qualified people, because we’ll in theory have more people to choose from.”