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  • Question about suitability and employment

    Hello, currently 20 years old and entering my 3rd year of a criminal justice degree. I have no prior traffic citations and no monetary problems with a solid employment history. I have however tried mushrooms once (at the age of 15) and marijuana twice (age of 17). I understand that I made a monumental mistake and it is now complicating my life immensely. I wanted to ask your opinion of what you think the minimum amount of time is before i can apply at a department with a chance of getting hired. Whether there will be enough time from the incidents (all occurring before 18 (if that matters at all?)) when I graduate college or whether I should find an interim career such as the military to have a better chance of getting hired. Also I do not know how many people on here have experience with federal agencies but does a single use of a drug other than marijuana prohibit any employment ever? I also understand that with the economy the way it is currently the chance of getting hired rather than a currently unemployed post certified officer is much tougher. I appreciate the opinions and feedback.

  • #2
    Originally posted by cullen View Post
    H I have however tried mushrooms once (at the age of 15)

    That incident probably toasted you for life.........................................
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    • #3
      so even though it was well before 18, a single time, and post standards allow it (at least in my current state) you still think no department will touch it for a long time?

      Comment


      • #4
        Pretty much.....................................
        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #5
          I disagree with Iowa on this issue. While it might disqualify you from many PDs, I would say not all. For example, my police department would be willing to forgive a single experimental use of a hard drug, especially if it was before age 18. I know several of the surrounding departments are similar. Definitely an uphill battle. But if you keep your life squared away, (work, credit history, ect), you still have a shot at a lot of places.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dingo990 View Post
            I disagree with Iowa on this issue. While it might disqualify you from many PDs, I would say not all. For example, my police department would be willing to forgive a single experimental use of a hard drug, especially if it was before age 18. I know several of the surrounding departments are similar. Definitely an uphill battle. But if you keep your life squared away, (work, credit history, ect), you still have a shot at a lot of places.
            Possibly.


            In IOWA you would be toast.........................per Law Enforcement Academy Council Administrative Rules
            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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            • #7
              Thank you both Iowa and Dingo. I appreciate the different views yall have and the differing standards of both areas. This is why I asked the question here, to get as much knowledge as i could from all aspects.

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              • #8
                Because of the potential for unpredictable flashbacks, I think you will find that most departments auto DQ applicants who have taken hallucinogens at any time in their life, intentionally or accidentally.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                • #9
                  In Illinois you would be DQed almost immediately. I would look for another profession. Best of luck.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                    Possibly.


                    In IOWA you would be toast.........................per Law Enforcement Academy Council Administrative Rules
                    *shrugs* I personally know several people with a history of drugs (although usually very minor as in the OPs case) that have gotten employment with respected police departments. Most recent example is a good friend of mine from high school, he admitted to trying cocaine a couple times 12 years earlier, hasn't done anything illegal since and after 8 years in the Navy he recently got hired by a large city in Virginia

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dingo990 View Post
                      *shrugs* I personally know several people with a history of drugs (although usually very minor as in the OPs case) that have gotten employment with respected police departments. Most recent example is a good friend of mine from high school, he admitted to trying cocaine a couple times 12 years earlier, hasn't done anything illegal since and after 8 years in the Navy he recently got hired by a large city in Virginia
                      Like I said ---------it wouldn't surprise me------------but some states still have a line in the sand about hard drugs
                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                      • #12
                        I've got to go with Dingo on this one. If your state doesn't make it an auto DQ, you still have a chance.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                          Because of the potential for unpredictable flashbacks, I think you will find that most departments auto DQ applicants who have taken hallucinogens at any time in their life, intentionally or accidentally.
                          This reply accurately mirrors the policy of my Agency with respect to the use of a hallucinogen ...even once. You would not be eligible to apply.

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                          • #14
                            Most agencies, at least in my area, require an applicant to be 21 years old. It's great that you're getting a degree, although I'm not sure I would have gone for CJ, especially since you're having doubts that you're even going to be eligible. CJ degrees aren't at all required for LE, and in many cases, a degree in another field makes you a more well-rounded candidate. That said, I don't think you'll be disqualified for that drug usage. Keep your nose clean, finish a degree and apply honestly. Tons of officers had a couple of experimental marijuana events, and a single other experimentation shouldn't DQ you, in my opinion. Our policy does state that seven years must pass between drug use and application, and five drug "events" outside of experimental marijuana use will DQ you. All other drugs CAN lead to a DQ, but it is subjective, and you were very young. So in my area, you could apply at 22.

                            I have no knowledge to add about federal hiring processes. My viewpoint is from a large local metro agency.
                            Last edited by freeride88; 12-14-2011, 10:29 PM.

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                            • #15
                              DEA will not touch you with any history of drug use. Most other federal agencies have fairly standard rules: limited use of marijuana (-10 times), one or two times with hard drugs (provided signifigant time has passed).

                              In short: time since last use is your friend as is 100% candor in the process !
                              Originally posted by SSD
                              It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
                              Originally posted by Iowa #1603
                              And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

                              Comment

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