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  • Depression

    I have another hiring question, I am now 18 and have been an explorer for nearly a year and I am starting College in the fall.

    Three years ago (15 yoa) I attemped suicide and went through counseling. I am now just fine and I am taking prozac weekly.

    Will this be a hiring problem in the future?

    The only other strikes I have against me are 1/2 a tab of ecstasy, smoked pot twice (really only twice), and I have drank moderetly(sp?).

    Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    Hope this reply doesn't depress you all over again. A couple of things you said you're doing or have done would probably preclude your getting hired in, at least, the 3 dept's I've worked in and numerous others that I know of. First, ever having taken any hallucinagenic drug, was always an automatic disqualifier, due primarily to the potential civil liability of knowingly hiring someone who, someday, might suffer a flashback from it. Second, even though many in-service cops take Prozac or something similar, hiring someone new who is already on it, would be, at a minimum, cause for concern by most agencies. Being that you are young might mitigate this somewhat, especially if you were off anti-depressents for a few years before you applied. Finally, don't expect that you will be told that these are the reasons they won't hire you. Doing so could and has lead to civil suits in today's law sue-happy society. Most PD's and SO's are smart enough not to get themselves in such positions, if they can help it. So, some other reason will most likely be given, if they give you any reasons at all. Sorry, but that's the way it is in many places. Good luck! RW


    • #3
      Well, I'm not sure that any of that would disqualify you outright, but keep in mind that getting hired on is a competitive process. You will be competing against others who do not have these strikes against them.

      Right now you are only eighteen, which in the eyes of a recruiter is very young. You have college ahead of you, so what you do with these next few years will be very important.

      I'm not a psychiatrist, but as you've described you are now using medication to control a medical condition. Is this the permanent solution? (Really this is a question that will be addressed on your medical assessment - which tends to be PASS/FAIL rather than more/less competitive.)

      As for the drug use - you can expect to be asked why you tried these. If it was due to peer pressure, this would demonstrate that you have trouble in peer pressure situations and you will need to prove this is something you have overcome and is no longer a problem before getting hired. If it was simple experimentation, you will face similar questions about respect for the law, responsibility, and your ability to identify dangerous situations.

      The good news is time is on your side. Volunteer, study subjects that will be directly applicable to law enforcement, and do some out-of-school learning as well.

      The badge is not a symbol of authority. It is a symbol of trust put in the person who wears it by the community that person serves. Getting in is about demonstrating that you are worthy of that trust.
      People always tell the truth. The trick is knowing what to listen for.


      • #4
        hey kid. dont listen to that first person. He obviously has no clue aobut the hiring process in MODERN times.

        To say that you cant be hired, or shouldnt be hired based on a medical condition that is sucessfully treated by prescribed medication is not only ILLEGAL (ADA) but UNETHICAL. If that first guy is on any type of selection department that he used to work for.. HES more of a LIABLIITY than YOU would ever be.

        Firstly. You have TONS to offer. Being a dedicated youth in LE is an excellent asset to any department. You know the radio/codes/city/staff... Youd be a great canidate for the academy with all your exposure, have proved yourself a truely honest and couragous person for speaking out about your previous depression( something bigger and bolder than what most cops 20 years older than you would do im sure)... the list goes on and on.

        Secondly. The docs who give you your psych will determine if u are fit for duty, NOT your department. And even if you arent fit for duty straight away.. you can grow and progress.

        Third. Children with emotinal problems are just that. Children. Hence why the diagnosable age for most psych issues is over 18.

        Dont let these people tell u what u can and cant do. Youll be great.
        Last edited by packyourtrash; 05-10-2006, 09:08 AM.


        • #5
          I think that you need to decide what agencies you'd like to work for, then call one of their background investigators and ask him/her. I think everybody who has replied so far has made valid points, although I think Choppy summed it up best.

          Find a department that has a progressive philosophy with its employees. Such a department is more likely to work with you on your depression issue. For me, the drug issue is pretty hard to get past, but maybe departments are hiring people with that kind of history nowadays. I think it's all about Justin finding a department that's compatible with him.

          I think Packyourtrash's optimism is a bit much. His profile says he's an EMT, and he's trying to give advice on police hiring processes. Last I checked, this section is supposed to be for people to ask, and cops to answer. Unless Pytrash personally knows Justin, I don't think he's in a position to talk about how much Justin has to offer for any agency.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Justin
            Three years ago (15 yoa) I attemped suicide and went through counseling. I am now just fine and I am taking prozac weekly.
            In my un-educated opinion, if you are still taking prozac, then you are not fine. Even if you manage to find a dept that would hire you despite taking psychologicial medications, it would damage your credibility on the witness stand or in an internal affairs investigation.

            All it would take is for one person to claim you mistreated them, and the fact that you take prozac would damn you. Again, in my opinion.

            I think mental health medications for police officers should be like a cork in a row-boat: just a temporary solution until you can get the problem fixed.

            I'm not saying come off your meds, but I'd talk to your doctor about seeking alternative treatment to get you off prozac. If non exsist, then I'd look for another line of work.

            Originally posted by Justin
            The only other strikes I have against me are 1/2 a tab of ecstasy, smoked pot twice (really only twice), and I have drank moderetly(sp?).
            Your mental health notwithstanding, some departments may have problem with you taking MDMA(Ecstasy). MDMA is a hallucenegic drug- in the same category as LSD. And hallucenegic drugs have been known to cause flashbacks- even years after taking them.

            I'm not saying you'll never be a cop- but the deck is really stacked against you at the moment.

            Also, Packyourtrash, you are not a police officer, so you have no business even replying let alone giving someone false hopes. Kindly STFU.

            Edit: Good God, Packyourtrash- I just noticed this thread is 3 YEARS OLD. I was going to delete my post, but I figure I'll leave it in case some other... touched person has simliar questions. Pack, stop posting. Please.
            Last edited by Centurion44; 05-12-2006, 02:29 AM.
            You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz


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