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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

WSP job applicants’ drug use an issue

Washington State Patrol officials announced the unenviable position Thursday of acknowledging its search to replace retiring troopers has been slowed by applicants who made poor decisions with prescription drugs.

“These candidates may have taken the drugs for legitimate medical conditions, and might well have been prescribed the same drugs had they gone to a doctor,” Capt. Jeff DeVere, commander of the Patrol’s Human Resource Division, said in a news release. “Getting them from a friend is an illegal drug transaction, and will likely disqualify you from employment as a State Trooper.”

Earlier this year, the WSP struggled to find enough applicants who could meet the physical condition requirements. But after getting the word out, several candidates came forward who could complete the requisite number of sit-ups, pushups and timed runs.

But, recruiters found a number of applicants who were using medications prescribed to someone else to care for ailments, such as rolled ankles.

“Go to your doctor, not your roommate,” DeVere said.

The unauthorized prescription drug use, which could lead to felony charges, was discovered in background checks of applicants.

DeVere said the WSP is not concerned “about drugs, of whatever type, that might have been legally prescribed by a doctor.”

The applicants will be required to undergo a medical exam that should determine whether they are fit to perform the duties of a trooper.

Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse joined The Spokesman-Review in 1999. He worked as an investigative reporter for the City Desk and covering federal, state and local courts for many years and is currently the assistant editor for the Business section.

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