LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Smoking pot would no longer be a barrier to being hired as a police officer under legislation introduced Tuesday in Carson City. Cannabis use would also no longer be a cause for decertifying an officer.
But Senate Bill 225 (SB225) takes a hard line on hiring anyone with domestic abuse and or serious discipline on their records. The bill, sponsored by Senator Dallas Harris (D-Clark County), who works as an attorney, takes aggressive steps to keep people out of law enforcement under certain circumstances.
State law would be modified to make a domestic violation conviction a disqualification for employment as a peace officer. It wouldn’t matter if the conviction was sealed or expunged. It also wouldn’t matter if the incident took place in Nevada or another state.
Applicants for peace officer certification must sign an affidavit stating:
- They have not been disqualified from serving as a peace officer
- They have not been discharged, disciplined or asked to resign due to misconduct
- They have not resigned/separated with a misconduct investigation pending.
SB225 also requires checks of national databases to ensure applicants are not listed for violations that would prevent their hiring. The Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission would also track reports regarding officers in Nevada and report charges and resignations.
A report in the national database would be cause to deny employment. Refusal to sign the affidavit would also be cause to deny employment.
Now that medical and recreational use of cannabis are legal, SB225 “prohibits a law enforcement agency from requiring a peace officer to provide an oral or written affirmation attesting that he or she has not engaged in the adult use of cannabis or medical use of cannabis as a condition precedent to employment as a peace officer.”
Law would also be modified so that officers wouldn’t be fired solely for cannabis use.