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Careers: Police/One Time Drug Use...Hiring Disqualification?


I have several years active duty Military Police experience.  Honorable discharge.  2 deployments - Iraq and Afghanistan.  Current college student.

I recently failed the background screening with a major state agency because I admitted to using drugs while on active duty in the Army.  Details:  20 years old, just returned from first deployment to Afghanistan, returned to duty station in Germany.

A small group of us, otherwise standup, promoted-ahead-of-peers type soldiers drove off to Amsterdam.  I was talked into using marijuana and mushrooms.  We drove back the next day and luckily we were never drug tested.

It was my first and only time using drugs and I hated the feeling.  Nonetheless, the reason I was disqualified from going further was because my status as an active duty "sworn law enforcement"<--his words not mine, Military Police, made the drug use more egregious.

So my question is, do you think this will continue to haunt me?  I am waiting on the word from another local agency right now.  Told them all the same things.   If I keep getting DQ'd I will look elsewhere for a career.  :/

John, sometimes honesty bites you in the butt.  Having said that, I would continue with your pursuit of a law enforcement job.  I would suggest that you get some heavy weight people who will witness on your behalf, i.e., my nephew had the same experience you did in the Air Force.  Other than that one misdeed, he was, and is, an upright person.  I went to New Mexico and went before an oral board to state his case and he ended up with a job with a major agency in New Mexico.  Tell you story with honesty and try to get good people who know you to get on you side and be willing to go to bat at your orals for you.  Good luck!

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Dick Rogers


I`ve spent twenty-five years in law enforcement as a state trooper and deputy sheriff. Retired as a lead homicide investigator. My interest is in answering questions dealing with ethical and moral dilemmas facing officers in the field.

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