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Some Standards Shouldn’t Be Relaxed

Maybe I’m just being old fashioned, but I think some standards should be upheld no matter how tight the job market (subscription):

The Police Executive Research Forum study also noted a drop from 36 percent to 20 percent in recent years of departments that require candidates to have a clean criminal record.

Many departments also subject their recruits to lie-detector tests in which they are asked about their drug use. But cities such as Fort Myers, Fla., are overlooking occasional use of drugs such as Ecstasy and powdered cocaine as long as it was more than five years in the past. Most departments still disallow anyone with a felony conviction.

“It’s different now for the kids. There’s a lot of drugs out there,” said Fort Myers Maj. Glenn Johnson. “I’d hate to rule them out because of that.”

He’d hate to rule out police recruits because of drug use? And only 20% of police departments require candidates to have clean record? To quote a retired law enforcement officer, “What’s wrong with this picture?”