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NYPD Rule on Alcohol Offenses Altered

June 28, 2002
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NYPD Rule on Alcohol Offenses Altered

The New York Times

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said yesterday that the department would no longer hire police recruits who had misdemeanor convictions for drunken driving.

In the past, candidates who had such convictions more than two years before they applied to the department were eligible to become recruits, but only if they passed psychological screening and other reviews, police officials said.

The commissioner's statements came in response to an article in The New York Post yesterday that said 9 members of the current class of 2,800 recruits had been arrested on misdemeanor charges for driving while intoxicated.

Police officials said yesterday that 14 recruits had been convicted of misdemeanor driving-while-intoxicated offenses. The new policy will affect only those 14, who will not be allowed to become police officers, officials said.

In the previous class, which had about 1,600 recruits, about 15 had alcohol-related misdemeanor driving convictions.

The department does not hire people with felony convictions.

In the wake of the case of former officer Joseph Gray, who was convicted in May of manslaughter for killing a family while driving under the influence of alcohol, Mr. Kelly changed the department's policy last month, requiring the firing of any police officers involved in a drunken-driving accident in which someone is seriously injured.

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