Does Prior Use Disqualify Police Candidates
I am happy to hear and report that three police recruits are still in consideration for open New Haven Police positions, even after admitting they had consumed cannabis in the past. As initially reported by the New Haven Independent, three high-scoring candidates remain in contention for the opportunity to become one of New Haven’s Finest. This article however brings up another point that people should be concerned about, specifically what is the New Haven Police Department’s drug policy.
Ex-Tokers Get 2nd Shot At NHPD Badges
After owning up to smoking pot, three top-scoring police recruits almost didn’t get the job — until police commissioners intervened and voted to let their past drug use slide.
In a special meeting at 1 Union Ave. on Tuesday night, the Board of Police Commissioners evaluated a total of 13 candidates who’d flunked the background checks, putting them a vote away from rejection.
The department had moved to eliminate the 13 candidates from a list of potential cadets who had passed a civil-service test and been extended provisional offers.
In a series of split votes, the commissioners spared three applicants who’d gotten high on pot as far as two decades ago.
The commissioners’ votes this week suggest they’re carrying out a new set of rules, instituting a progressive drug policy that affords leniency to those who puffed on marijuana at some point. One recruit who admitted to smoking five years ago got a reprieve, while another who smoked within the last year did not.
“We just looked at the policy, and that’s what we went by,” said Anthony Dawson, the commission’s chair. “It’s changing, it’s changing all over: medical marijuana, all this stuff, some places already had it legalized. We have to look at society the way it is.”
“We’re trying to be reasonable,” Stephen Garcia, another commissioner, jumped in.
“We need numbers,” Dawson went on. “So what is it? What can you take and not take? We’re not trying to treat anyone differently. We’re just trying to look at how do you get the best candidates possible.”
The police maintain that they can’t disclose what’s in the new guidelines without foiling their background checks. They argue that releasing specific timelines for acceptable drug use would encourage applicants to lie to investigators.