Examining Views of Police Chiefs and College Students Regarding Drug Disqualifiers for the Hiring of Police Officers in Arizona

A. Johannes Bottema, Cody W. Telep

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Police applicant disqualification due to prior illegal drug use is a contributing factor to major recruitment and hiring challenges currently facing many American policing agencies. This article explores how chief executives of law enforcement agencies and college students enrolled in criminology courses in Arizona view current statewide police hiring standards related to prior drug use. We use surveys conducted in cooperation with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to examine respondent opinions regarding the preemployment use of marijuana and illicit use of prescription drugs. Generally, we find significant differences between the chief executive and student views. Students, who represent potential policing applicants, typically are in favor of harsher treatment of prior drug use than chief executives, although students are also more open to forgiving marijuana use under certain circumstances. We discuss the implications of these findings for police hiring and suggest potential areas of policy change.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)109-127
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Drug Issues
    Volume51
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2021

    Keywords

    • college students
    • drug use
    • marijuana
    • police chiefs
    • police hiring
    • police recruitment
    • prescription drugs
    • survey

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Psychiatry and Mental health

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Examining Views of Police Chiefs and College Students Regarding Drug Disqualifiers for the Hiring of Police Officers in Arizona'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this