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  • Depression DQ'ld

    To set something fairly straight we have people ask here how being treated for mild depression or being on medication for depression will effect their chances of becoming a law enforcement officer.

    To be rather blunt if that is the case you will be DQ'ld at the onset and not make it past the application and written test portion. This is not just my opinion but the opinion of many Cheif's and attornies that represent agencies that do considerable hiring.

    If you are an active law enforcmenent officer and are diagnosed with depression a treatable illness by all medical accounts you likely will be removed from street duty and placed on a desk while the department has you evaluated by their on medical team. You coudl even be placed on medical leave with pay until a determination is made. If it would be determined that your condition no longer exists (hardly ever the case) then you would be returned to duty.

    If it were to be determined you are not "fit for duty" and you do not have the required amount of time in for a medical retirement you would be legally terminated. If you had the time in you would be granted a full medical retirement so go fishnin' and enjoy life.

    Our career choice can trigger depression not actually cause it that muchif you have good coping skills and can "handle" the stress etc.

    So for those that come here wanting to know if Depression will keep them from becoming a police officer. The answer is Yes. WE shoudl not sugar coat it or say maybe or state if under treatment. That's not correct nor fair to a person seeking to spend considerable time educating themself and taking tets and working hard at becoming a police officer only to be told no when early on it was reality they would not be hired anyway.

  • #2
    I disagree. I get depressed every time one of my Captains walks in the room. That doesn't mean I'm unfit for duty. It simply means I think that Captain is a shining example of the incestuous nature of promotions within my agency.

    Blanket rules forbidding the employment of all individuals with a particular disability rarely survive legal scrutiny. In virtually all cases, medical screening decisions must be based on an assessment of specific risk posed by the individual along with the specific physical impairment creating the risk. This evaluation cannot be based upon stereotypes, patronizing assumptions or generalized fears about what might occur. Nor can it be based on speculation about health insurance or workers compensation costs. Rather, it must be based on reasonable medical judgment that itself is based on the most current medical knowledge or the best available objective evidence. Reasonable medical judgment may include input from the applicant, experience of the applicant in previous jobs, documentation from specialists and/or direct knowledge of the applicant.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Just a thought...

      Just a thought...now that they are putting a warning of possible suicidal feelings on these medications to cure mental illness...shouldn't that be enough to keep someone from being hired in a very negative, very depressing, and at most times very stressful, position...people who are taking these medications..IMO...shouldn't be able to work law enforcement...being possibly suicidal...given a gun...and at times the responsiblilty over another human being well being...being ***** on about every day of duty...if you are depressed...and taking medications...find another career...IMO...I hear they are hiring at the post office...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BigT
        Just a thought...now that they are putting a warning of possible suicidal feelings on these medications to cure mental illness...shouldn't that be enough to keep someone from being hired in a very negative, very depressing, and at most times very stressful, position...people who are taking these medications..IMO...shouldn't be able to work law enforcement...being possibly suicidal...given a gun...and at times the responsiblilty over another human being well being...being ***** on about every day of duty...if you are depressed...and taking medications...find another career...IMO...I hear they are hiring at the post office...
        Yeah, and talk about a depressing job! If you're not depressed when you start at the post office, you will be soon after

        I think its too bad that an officer could lose his job, or at least his position, especially if the job has caused the depression. No wonder so many officers are unlikey to get treatment. Untreated depression is worse than treated depression!

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        • #5
          Bodie,

          One thing I learned quickly posting on this board is that things vary from state to state. They might disqualify officers in your area based on mild depression but you can not make the blanket statement that applies everywhere.

          I happen to know multiple officers who are on, or should be on, mild anti-depressants. It has not affected their job status in the least bit.
          Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

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          • #6
            Lets just bet if a person on anti depressants applied to any metro Atlanta agency they won't be hired. Go ahead Atlanta cop make some calls and see.

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            • #7
              If you are human, some of the things you see on the job will make you sad & depress you. This is far different from clinical depression where a person needs meds to cope. If you suffer from clinical depression & are taking meds for such, its a safe bet you will not get hired.

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              • #8
                illnesses

                Bodie
                I guess your agency would disqualify diabetics as they are prone to sugar imbalances if they don't properly medicate. I believe all of this falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mental illness (at any level including depression) is as accepted as any non-debilitating illness if treated with medication. I say if the guy can do the job and is able to perform normally then go for it. My problem or question to him would be if he realizes that by choosing law enforcement, he will subject himself to much more pressures that would increase his need for medication. That is where I would have a problem. Minor depression treated with something such as Prozac or Xannax would not be a problem for me as his partner, FTO or supervisor. I would just hate to see the media frenzy if he were involved in something such as deadly force.....they would eat him alive if he was medicated whether it was a real issue or not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AtlCop
                  I happen to know multiple officers who are on, or should be on, mild anti-depressants. It has not affected their job status in the least bit.
                  ROFLMAO
                  You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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                  • #10
                    ATLCOP make some calls tell the agency you have been diagnosed with depression but your doctor says as long as you take your medication you are okay and you would like to apply to be a cop.
                    Report back here with real reaction.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bodie
                      Lets just bet if a person on anti depressants applied to any metro Atlanta agency they won't be hired. Go ahead Atlanta cop make some calls and see.
                      If you blatantly advertise the fact that you are depressed and on anti-depressant medication then you probably would not get hired. However, I was never even asked that question. The drug test occurs after they've already offered you the job.

                      As I've said, I know more than one officer that is actively taking anti-depressants. Their job status has not been affected in the least bit. One even has rank. How do I know that they are on anti-depressants? They openly talk about their problem.

                      While Georgia is not a right to work state, many departments have civil service protections in place. You would not remove or punish an officer in one of those departments without very good cause or the officer would win.

                      Not every place is Ohio and you are not in charge of hiring for every agency. Worse come to worse in Georgia, you could come off of your anti-depressants, pass your drug test, and go back on anti-depressants after your probationary period. If you did this, you would never even be asked if you were depressed and on medication.
                      Sign here. Press hard. You are making five copies.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AtlCop
                        If you blatantly advertise the fact that you are depressed and on anti-depressant medication then you probably would not get hired. However, I was never even asked that question. The drug test occurs after they've already offered you the job.
                        I don't believe I was ever asked either. I think they may have asked about mental illness. I'm trying to find my old background packet and check for sure.

                        If Bodie says they have 200 applicants fighting it out "Apprentice style" in Ohio for 1 slot then, I'm sure he is right. However in the mid south it was more like 220 applicants fighting it out for 100 positions at the last place I applied.
                        Last edited by Navy Guy; 07-10-2005, 08:28 PM.
                        I know I should feed the trolls but it is just SO hard.

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                        • #13
                          You're right about the southern part of the country some laid off Cleveland cops have moved south and were hired right away. I would like to have a dollar for every leo job I received an offer for south of TN.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bodie
                            ATLCOP make some calls tell the agency you have been diagnosed with depression but your doctor says as long as you take your medication you are okay and you would like to apply to be a cop.
                            Report back here with real reaction.
                            I actually already have to about 5 agencies (two in oregon, two washington and one alaska), and they all said it shouldn't be a problem at all..

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                            • #15
                              Key term is "Shouldn't Be A Problem" they really brushed you off fast.

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