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  • Diabetes and Law Enforcement?

    I'm looking to make a career switch and become a cop. My best man in my wedding is a cop and his entire family. I asked my friend if haveing Diabetes would be an automatic no for joinging the force. He didn't know. Does anyone out there have an answer? I am a controlled diabetic for the last 11 years, I'm 26 years old with a clean record and a phchology degree. Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    As you well know, there are many degrees to which the adverse effects of diabetes can be controlled. There mere fact of the disease shouldn't be a bar. You would have to be medically certfied to perform, as are all applicants. It's unreasonable to allow someone who has, dispite their efforts, periods in which their mentation is affected. This becomes the key issue.

    This may give you an idea of how ADA is applied:

    Bombrys v. City of Toledo, 849 F. Supp. 1210, 3 AD Cases (BNA) 651 (N.D. Ohio 1993). City rejected applicant for police officer position who had insulin-dependent diabetes.

    Held: In permanently enjoining defendant "from imposing a blanket exclusion of person with insulin-dependent diabetes from employment as police officers...[,]" the court first examined the plaintiff's condition, finding that, except for his diabetes, he had passed all physical examinations. Court found that he was able to control his diabetes by taking insulin. Court then examined the police officer position in the City of Toledo, finding that police officers did not have to work up to 12 hours on a regular basis; that nothing in nature of job prevented on-duty police officers from taking glucose tablet to control low blood sugar; that it was possible for on-duty police officers to safely inject insulin in a matter of seconds while fully clothed; and that persons with insulin-dependent diabetes were in fact serving as police officers without incident. Court reserved for trial the question whether plaintiff was not otherwise qualified because of past diabetic episodes and/or insulin reactions.

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    • #3
      Diabetes

      I was an insulin dependant diabetic for 21 years before I first became a police officer. It all depends on the department you want to go to. Some allow it with little or no questions concerning it, and others disqualify you for it. Federal agencies (FBI, DEA, ATF, etc..) do not accept insulin dependant diabetics. Once again, there are jobs out there for diabetics, so have faith.

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      • #4
        Around here, as long as you can perform the duties, you can be hired (I'm diabetic, so it was the first question I asked the recruiter).

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        • #5
          Check out this site put out by the Department of Justice. It discusses some of the hiring practices for LEO's (related specifically to the ADA).

          http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/copsq7a.htm

          It doesn't mention it specifically, but diabetes is a condition covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

          An interesting thing mentioned - a potential employer can only ask about disabilities, or ask you to take a medical exam AFTER a conditional job offer has been made. That way, if you are denied the job because of a medical condition you will know specifically that that was the reason why.

          Because diabetes is a recognized disability under the ADA, assuming that you are capable of performing all "essential job functions" of the position - and assuming that you can prove that you have control over your condition - you should be accorded the same employment consideration as all other applicants.

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          • #6
            Thank You

            I know where to go if I ever have questions in the future. Thanks for all the great information. You guy's have been a huge help!

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            • #7
              Hi, one of my friends told me that when cholesterol is more than 100 it is too high. I know there are different types of cholesterol. My HDL was at 195. I don't know what this means. I would like to watch my cholesterol but I don't know how to calculate what is good and what is not. Can someone tell me more details about cholesterol and what range mine should be in?
              Alcohol Treatment Program

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              • #8
                There are a lot of diabetic cops on this forum who will probably chime in.

                Standards for a new hire will vary from agency to agency. Take a look at http://www.post.ca.gov/selection/pdf/Endo.pdf It spells out the implications of diabetes for a field officer. Among other things, it shows that the potential risks to officers created by this condition can be considerable. It also indicates that trying to provide "reasonable accommodation" under ADA often creates an undue burden on the employing agency, making reasonable accommodation, unreasonable.

                The easiest thing to do is contact the agencies in question and ask if having diabetes is a medically disqualifying factor with them. If they say it is, it will save you the time and toruble of testing with them and you can move on to another agency that may not be as strict.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                • #9
                  I'm a Type II diabetic and worked the last 8-9 years of my career with it. no problem, just kept an ample supply of my meds with me along with some glucose tabs. One of our biggest collar guys was Type I with a pump and it didn't slow him down.

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                  • #10
                    Like stated above, it depends on the agency. I'm a Type 1 diabetic and take 5-6 shots a day. My agency knew it when they hired me and they have gone out of their way to accommodate me. I make sure I do my part by staying on top of my sugars levels. I currently on our SWAT Team, Bicycle Unit and Honor Guard. Don't let diabetes control you, you control it! Good Luck.
                    Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

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                    • #11
                      We have several in and around here that are diabetic. There was one incident where the officer had his sugar drop and went into the awake blackout. He took off in a county car, hit 3 other cars, kept going, and ended up about 2 hours outside of our JD

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                      • #12
                        One of my best friends is an insulin dependant diabetic, not only is he a fantastic cop, he is one helluve SWAT operator!
                        "I am... reminded of something Cardinal Wolsey once told me. That I should only ever tell the king what he ought to do, not what he could do; for if the lion knows his own strength, no man could control him". Sir Thomas More

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by trinic View Post
                          We have several in and around here that are diabetic. There was one incident where the officer had his sugar drop and went into the awake blackout. He took off in a county car, hit 3 other cars, kept going, and ended up about 2 hours outside of our JD
                          What did your agency do to him?
                          Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

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                          • #14
                            I'm adding my two cents to encourage any diabetic looking for a LE job... I'm a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump. I had to fight hard for almost 3 years to get into the spot that I'm in, but I've recently graduated from the academy and am finishing up on FTO...and it was worth the fight! I have a bag of trail mix and my glucometer on me at all times and I haven't had any problems!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VARAGE View Post
                              I'm looking to make a career switch and become a cop. My best man in my wedding is a cop and his entire family. I asked my friend if haveing Diabetes would be an automatic no for joinging the force. He didn't know. Does anyone out there have an answer? I am a controlled diabetic for the last 11 years, I'm 26 years old with a clean record and a phchology degree. Thanks for your help!

                              It could be a hindrance to your career as you may not be able to eat as many donuts as are required in a standard shift. I would recommend spending your time researching sugar-free alternatives to donuts and bring this information to your employment physical. This will show a true dedication to the job and a willingness to be flexible.



                              Edit: Holy crap this thread is almost 6 years old!
                              Last edited by DetDep; 08-06-2009, 11:08 AM. Reason: Time Machine
                              Magistrate: "Do you have any other pending charges?"
                              Drunk: "Well there's this thing where the cops said I spit blood on them."
                              Me: "Wait a minute, that was me!"
                              Drunk: "Oh... now you like me even less."

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