ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - It's all in the numbers. That sums up the Atlanta police chief's rationale for changing a recruiting policy in the department.
FOX 5 News previously reported the directive to commanders to no longer ask a job applicant if they have used marijuana.
At the City Council Public Safety Panel meeting, Chief Erika Shields explained that three out of five, or 60 percent of the applicants who got rejected acknowledged they smoked pot.
The chief decided to see what can happen if that question is dropped from the process. Shields emphasized she is not sanctioning marijuana use.
If the applicant is offered a position, he or she must pledge they will not smoke while employed with the Atlanta Police Department.
Shields has tried just about everything she can think of to try and boost manpower. Lately, the city has not even had full classes of thirty-five to start the academy class.
There are a number of law enforcement officials who are critical of the Atlanta Police.
Ken Vance, the director of the state standards agency called POST, sees the move as lowering the standard. He adds it could also be a hit to morale because the current officers were held to a higher standard.