At noon today, the city council's Public Safety Committee will meet at City Hall, and among the items on the agenda is "Proposed Adjustments to Sworn Disqualifiers." In short, the committee will discuss whether the Dallas Police Department should lighten up on folks who want to become cops. There are a few minor changes, such as: Applicants can no longer be older than 45 when they take the Civil Service test. And there's one big proposed change.
Right now, you can't become a DPD officer if you've ever been charged with a felony drug offense after the age of 15. But under the proposed changes, you get a pass till you're 21 -- youthful indiscretions and all. Also, they'll be more forgiving if, ya know, you just smoked a little weed when you were a kid; not so much for intravenous drug users. Need an example? Here are two cited in the proposal -- and they seem very, very specific. And, like SAT questions. Also, like pitches for Wire spin-offs. --Robert Wilonsky
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A 38-year old applicant comes in and admits that at age 16, and a junior in high school, he snorted a line of cocaine at an after-prom party. He didn’t like it and never did it again. At 18, after graduating high school, he enlists in the military. He does two tours in the Middle East, earns several good conduct awards, a bronze star, stays 20 years and retires as a master sergeant. He saw the ad for DPD’s military exemption and wants to apply to be a police officer.
A 25-year old comes in to apply. He admits that on his 17th birthday, he remembers the exact day, because it was his birthday, he tried cocaine one time with a friend. He was still in high school and never tried it again. He wasn’t sure at that time what he wanted to be. He graduated college with honors and has been working for a telecom company for 4 years. He was laid off and wants to apply to be a police officer.