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Careers: Police/Disqualification of Law Enforcement Employment


Good afternoon Mr. Rogers. I have been looking into becoming a police officer ever since my first year in the Marine Corps. I was a maintenance management specialist by trait, but served most of my 4 year career as an armor and ammo tech. About 2 weeks before my separation date, I was at a going away party with some friends and made a huge mistake by smoking pot. I then failed my drug test. I recieved an Other Than Honorable discharge and am pending an upgrade to a General Discharge. I was just wondering how likely it is that I can still become a police officer. Thank you for your time.

Good afternoon Ryan,

Although I am not Mr. Rogers, I would like to answer your question if I may.

In the state of Florida you are not disqualified from becoming a police officer because of an other than honorable discharge. Most agencies will still give you a chance at applying and going through the process, and your one time use of marijuana should not be too much of an issue. Many agencies will want some time between your use of marijuana and your application, local agencies require two years for one and three years for another. Many of the smaller agencies are willing to take into account your service to this country and although it was a other than honorable discharge, that does not mean a dishonorable discharge, there is a huge difference.

I only speak for the state of Florida but many of those things apply nationwide.

Hope this gives you an idea and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

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Chris Wagoner


I have been a police officer for 30+ years! I am the Police Academy Commander at the Santa Fe College, Institute of Public Safety in Gainesville Florida It is a full service Law Enforcement and Corrections training facility. I can answer most questions concerning law enforcement procedures, law enforcement training and general questions about law enforcment. I can also answer questions about becoming a law enfocement officer. I have a booklet and web page I have written that answers many questions about how to become a police officer called "So you want to be a cop (police Officer) in Florida?", which is free, Google it.. All you have to do is ask. I teach the following subjects: RADAR/LASER, Law Enforcement Driving, Law Enforcement Firearms and Patrol Techniques, Officer Safety, WMD's for Patrol Officers, Application of Law, Communications skills, Dealing with the Mentally and physically handicapped, and many more subjects. I have worked as a subject matter expert for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and helped to write the police curriculum for the State of Florida. I like answering questions about how to become a police officer, and questions about why did an officer do this or that type questions. I also like answering any questions you may have about police work in general. I do not mind helping with homework questions or trying to answer your questions about legal subjects that I have knowledge of. You will never know the answer until you ask! If you do ask a question, PLEASE take the time to at least rate the answer. I do not get paid to answer these questions and do it on my own time. If you ask, please rate it when I answer. Thanks!!! If its a question about becoming a police officer, it may be answered here: My "hobby" website - Military Videos on YouTube and Facebook!!


I am a 30+ year veteran police officer, I am currently the Police Academy Commander of an Academy in North FLorida. I have been training police officers since 1993 and have trained them in all aspects of law enforcement, including firearms, Driving and legal subjects including patrol techniques and others and training all over the world. I have trained over 5000 officers worldwide in the last 16 years of training.

I am a published author in Accident Investigation from the University of North Florida, Institute of Police Technology and Management. Also have written and published on the Internet, "So You Want to be a Cop (Police Officer) in Florida?" you can Google it..

I have 2 degrees, in Criminal Justice.

Awards and Honors
Phi Theta Kappa, plus 50+ Departmental Awards over the years. FBI Directors award for assisting in a Nationwide investigation into Child pornography.

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