Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said yesterday that the department
would no longer hire police recruits who had misdemeanor convictions for
In the past, candidates who had such convictions more than two years
before they applied to the department were eligible to become recruits,
only if they passed psychological screening and other reviews, police
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
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
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.