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Careers: Police/Background Questions


I have recently started the application process for a city department in Maryland. I was wondering if I have any chance of getting hired with my background. I will skip over all my positives (college degree, years of steady employment, etc..) and get right to the worrisome facts.

I have used marijuana 15 - 20 times in my life. The last time I smoked anything was probably 6+ years ago. Most of my use was in college. I have never used any heavy drugs. However, when I was a freshman in high school (about 2 decades ago) I used my cousin's prescription pills a couple of times. I do not know exactly what I took. My cousin had prescriptions for his tourette syndrome and for behavioral problems. I think he took Thorazine and ritalin and other medications. I took a couple of pills at his birthday party and another 1/2 pill a few days later. Both times I passed out and slept for many many hours. I never did that again.

When I was 9 (yes 9 years old)a teenage cousin of mine convinced me to break into a neighbor's house to steal alcohol. I believe we took a bottle of vodka, a wallet, baseball cards and a jar of pennies. My mother found out and called the police. I was handcuffed and taken to the station (scared me good) but I do not believe I was arrested and I never went to court. Around this age i also stole a candy bar from the gas station and some money from a family member.

Other than some speeding tickets years ago that is the crux of my past indiscretions. Would these eliminate me from becoming a police officer? Should I invest the time the process will take or would it be a waste of the department's time?


  The weed is going to be the biggest issue at the moment.  Md has very strict numbers on that and they have yet to change.   Anything above 15 puts you into a 'red zone'.  At 9 you weren't crimnally responsible so that isn't an issue for the most part.  The prescription pills might red flag you but enough time has likely passed where they aren't a huge deal either.

 All in all I'd say go for it.  

Best of luck!

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Jason Grabill


General Maryland Law Enforcement, Maryland Law & Traffic Law, the Court System. How to start the process to become a Police Officer, different Police careers, the Interview process, General Police career questions


18 Years experience as a local and Federal Police officer. In addition to working "the road", I've worked as an Academy Instructor, Law Digest Compiler for Police Department, Community Policing coordinator, Department Gang officer, Bike Patrol Officer, and Advanced Accident Investigator. I've also served on the SWAT/SRT team, and currently work for the Department of Army Police (Federal Civilian) at Fort Detrick, Frederick Md, as a Sergeant. I'm Certified as a Police and Emergency Medical dispatcher through the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

Police Marksman Association Fraternal Order of Police

South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy
Prince Georges County Maryland Municipal Police Academy, Western Maryland Police Academy
Radar, Portable Breath Test, PR-24 Police Baton, ASP, Police Mountain Bike Certified. Maryland Police Training Commission Basic Instructor Certified. CALEA Certified Field Training Officer (FTO), Advanced Criminal Investigator School, Advanced Crash Investigator School, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch Certified Emergency Police Dispatch, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Emergency Telecommunications Operator.

Awards and Honors
Police Officer of the Year, Prince Georges County Municipal Police Chiefs Association (1995).
City of District Heights Police Officer of the Year, 1995.
Distinguished Service Cross for Valor, 1995 (National Association Chiefs of Police).

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