One Youthful Drug Offense OK For Dallas Police Hiring


A last-minute compromise yesterday saved a proposal by Dallas police officials that would allow them to hire people who have experimented with serious illegal drugs, reports the Dallas Morning News. Police applicants who – no more than once – had tried an illegal drug like cocaine may apply for employment if the drug use took place more than 10 years ago and before the applicant’s 21st birthday. A drug injected intravenously is still cause for disqualification. “Remember, we’re not talking about convicted people, not drug addicts,” said Deputy Chief Floyd Simpson. “These are people who just honestly come in, and they say that they did some things as a young person that they want to honestly tell us about.”

Simpson cited a 38-year-old applicant who admitted that, at 16, he snorted a line of cocaine after his prom. The man served two military tours in the Middle East, earned a Bronze Star and retired 20 years later. He could not be hired now. In such cases, said Police Chief David Kunkle, “it seems foolish not hiring them based on that single indiscretion.”


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