The department used to require that those seeking to join the force not have used pot in the past three years, and not more than 25 times in all. But last fall Washington voters legalized marijuana for personal use by adults, and Mayor Mike McGinn said the department should ease up.
McGinn said the city will be hiring 300 new officers over the next five years, and he wants them to reflect the city's populace. The department will reach out to minority communities in an effort to boost interest in becoming police officers.
The department is also making changes to its personal appearance policy. Before, applicants couldn't have face, neck or hand tattoos. Now, applicants with such tattoos will be considered case-by-case.
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