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  • Background guys, How much Drug use is tolerable

    I have graduated up to detective, and have the honor of doing background checks for applicants, along with questionnaires. I am seeing a lot of people coming in with what I consider abnormally high drug use,

    such as this is a hypothetical, but typical mix..

    Marijuana use First use 2010 last use mid 2013 max tried (several) max after 21 (several)

    Acid/Hallucinogenics 1 use 2010
    Ecstasy 10+ since age 21

    My personal huge hangup is drugs I hate them. I have never done / used/ experimented with ANY illegal drugs so I cant say whats experimental vs too much. Asthma blessed me from even puffing pot, so how much is tolerable, vs too much.

  • #2
    Originally posted by AUXOFC74 View Post
    I have graduated up to detective, and have the honor of doing background checks for applicants, along with questionnaires. I am seeing a lot of people coming in with what I consider abnormally high drug use,

    such as this is a hypothetical, but typical mix..

    Marijuana use First use 2010 last use mid 2013 max tried (several) max after 21 (several)

    Acid/Hallucinogenics 1 use 2010
    Ecstasy 10+ since age 21

    My personal huge hangup is drugs I hate them. I have never done / used/ experimented with ANY illegal drugs so I cant say whats experimental vs too much. Asthma blessed me from even puffing pot, so how much is tolerable, vs too much.


    What is your agency standards?

    The question is NOT what is your personal moral standards on drug usage or mine. The question is whether or not the candidate meets the standards FIRST of the state licensing board and then the standards of your agency if they are different from the licensing board

    In my state the
    Acid/Hallucinogenics 1 use 2010
    Ecstasy 10+ since age 21


    Would be an automatic disqualification since by admitting to using those drugs would be admitting to the commission of a felony
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      Agency standards have been fairly lax until our new chief took over and rebuilt .. Now the hard fact is they have to get through me to get to the oral board . I always was under the impression (like you ) since I started in 2003 , cocaine, crack, acid , etc sorry can't be a police officer . Marijuana I ideally want to see 3 years of cleanliness. Maybe now that I'm 40 I'm just getting old ..

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AUXOFC74 View Post
        Agency standards have been fairly lax until our new chief took over and rebuilt .. Now the hard fact is they have to get through me to get to the oral board . I always was under the impression (like you ) since I started in 2003 , cocaine, crack, acid , etc sorry can't be a police officer . Marijuana I ideally want to see 3 years of cleanliness. Maybe now that I'm 40 I'm just getting old ..
        But you still have to follow the agency standards. If your chief has rebuilt them-----you should have clear guidelines as to what he/she will allow.

        That standard NOT yours is what you need to use to move the candidate forward.

        The Acid/ Ecstasy thing above isn't what I BELIEVE-----it is the law. Since the State of Iowa won't license a person who has committed a felony, admission of doing so would preclude the person from hire no matter what I thought of him PERSONALLY.

        3- 5 yrs Marijuana free seems to be the standard now-days for MINIMUM. No agency I know of right now is hiring at minimum standards
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #5
          In many agencies a DQ from the process anywhere along the line can be appealed to the city/county/state civil service agency. When that happens your department has to be prepared to show what criteria the applicant failed to meet and how that criteria has a valid relationship to the job.

          You are going to have to show that your department has a written standard on applicant drug usage and be able to demonstrate why it is reasonable as a DQ criteria. If not, it will appear that you have no policy whatsoever, that the BI is substituting his own personal philosophy for official departmental hiring practice and in doing so is interfering with the applicant's civil service employment rights. In the end both you and your department may wind up in a world of hurt civilly.

          If anything, contact your state's POST organization, find out what their model policy or mandated standard is (if they have one) and adopt that. No doubt they will have already vetted it as being valid and job related.

          OTOH if you are not civil service and employees serve solely at the pleasure of the appointing authority then just about anything goes.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

          Comment


          • #6
            I have found that different agencies have different standards but they are all written down. I was very surprised at drugs that use to be DQ's but are now okay depending on how long ago & how much.

            I would recommend contacting other agencies in your area/state & see what their drug policy is. I know that drug use has become so prominent (including our last 2 Presidents), standards have been lowered.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am actually going to take it from L-1, and see what my first ever employer uses now (back when I was an auxofc) . I felt odd because I had a kid with a lot <15 traffic lines from his young days with over 5 years since the last one. All moving MMs , but a clean bk, and no admitted drug use, and a kid with few traffic >5 convictions but what I would call disqualifying drug use. I had to pass them both along to the sgt for review.. Our traffic standard is well well written, but only goes back 5 yrs .. Thanks guys !

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AUXOFC74 View Post
                I am actually going to take it from L-1, and see what my first ever employer uses now (back when I was an auxofc) .
                Remember though, this is something your agency is going to have to officially and formally adopt in writing as their policy. If they do not, then they have no policy and we get back to the appearance of you substituting your own personal philosophy under color of authority. Again, this opens you up to charges of interfering with applicant's civil service rights.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ours is NO major drugs and no Marijuana use for 7 years. Case closed......

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As has been said, you absolutely MUST have a written and adopted standard/policy to follow. If you don't, you open yourself (personally) and your agency to a HUGE dose of civil liability as someone who was DQ'ed could go find another candidate (through their attorney) with a similar or even different drug history who passed the process and make you justify "why he/she was hired with a drug past and I wasn't".

                    "Making it up as you go along" is absolutely NOT a good way to do business in any field, let alone the law enforcement world.
                    My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We do have a written policy in force.......Absolutely no hard drugs (they are listed) and no marijuana use for 7 years.

                      Comment

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