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Thread: What will DISQUALIFY me from becoming a police Officer????

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    A GUIDE: What will DISQUALIFY me from becoming a police Officer????

    What will Disqualify me from becoming a police Officer????

    So you want to be a police officer and you want to know if that time you got in trouble for stealing your brothers bike when you were 10 will do it. Well more than likely no. But in order to help those that want to find out if they can still be a cop I will try to make it as easy to understand as I can, and this comes from being on the hiring board and oral board for a few years with a major sheriff’s office, and as a academy commander and hearing every conceivable story there is (although they come up with new ones all the time! ) and as a cop for the last 28+ years.

    Each and every state has its state laws that cover what you have to have to be a cop. States vary in requirements; some say 19 years old, some 21. Some say you have to have this or that, each has its own. You need to look up the particular state (All 50 STates Laws can be found here!!!) you are thinking of being a cop in and read the law carefully. If you meet the minimum standards, then you may qualify by law, but then you need to read those things that will disqualify you also. These are things that may or may not be in the state law;

    1. Being a convicted felon - As convicted felons cannot carry guns in most cases, its hard for the police department to give you one or require you to buy one when its illegal for you to have one! Also domestic violence reports or arrest are a DQ.

    2. Some misdemeanors that involve perjury or false statements - It’s hard to let you swear to tell the truth in court when you have already lied.

    3. Dishonorable discharges from the military. Self explanatory I think

    4. Having a bad driving record - I mean tickets for things like speeding, reckless or careless driving, or other tickets that show disregard for safety. A history of a lot of tickets also is a no go in most cases. Suspended license are usually a tough one also. You should have a clear record for a period of time before you bother to apply or make sure it’s a minor ticket like a taillight out or something. A clear record for 3-5 years will get you by this one, or a minor ticket or two will be OK most of the time. Remember the agency has to trust you with a patrol car that you at times will have to drive in emergency mode, kind of hard to justify that in court when you had reckless driving tickets.

    5. Having bad credit – this one is different for different agencies, but all seem to be looking at it more. If you have bad credit (really bad, bankruptcies, or loads of outstanding debt) you are a liability for bribery or other problems. You may at times in this job find yourself handling large sums of cash and being in debt makes you a liability when doing that. The temptation is too much for some in need.

    6. Drug use – this is one I get questions about a lot. First let me say again each department may be a little different but most are along the same lines. Hard Drugs used even in the last 20 years is a DQ most of the time, heroin, Speed, LSD, addiction to prescription drugs are a few automatics. Most agencies will not touch you if you were dealing drugs at all. I actually had a kid ask me if he was DQ’d if he had dealt pot back when he was a teenager (7 years ago), he just admitted to a felony, so of course you can guess the answer. If you used drugs in the last 3 years or so most agencies don’t like it. If your 5 or more years out, it depends on what it was and how often. Daily usage is a no no, weekly is still not good. Using a couple of times in a 5 year period is better looking.

    7. Past Employment – having 20 jobs in a 5 year period is a no go. You should show some kind of ability to hold a job. Getting fired for failing to show up to work, calling in sick all the time, and having an ex-employer tell us that you were the “worst” employee they ever had does not look to good. Agencies depend on you to show up to work on time and ready to work. So do the other guys/gals on the shift.

    8. If you have a MySpace or Facebook page, make sure it is something you would want your prospective employer to see. They are hiring people (like me) to look them up and give them copies of everything found there. Also do a web search for yourself and any user names that you use or used and see what you find. They are checking things like that. Remember, never write or put anything online that you would not want your Boss to see as he/she just might have seen it already!

    We had several Deputies get fired because of stuff they had put on their MySpace pages. http://www.wesh.com/news/9400560/detail.html

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...pace_page.html

    That’s a rough guide for most places I have heard of or know from firsthand experience. When in doubt you should of course ask the agency you are trying to apply to if something in particular bothers you or your not sure if you are disqualified. It is much better to ask BEFORE you even apply to save yourself the time and money, in addition it will come out in the background if you try to hide something, and that of course is an immediate disqualification.

    If you meet the requirements and you pass the muster, it’s a great profession to be in and getting better all the time. Good luck and STAY SAFE!!!
    Last edited by ShadowWarrior; 01-08-2009 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Added MySpace/Facebook info
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    I have a question about the background investigation: I have heard that the BI will often check with more people than I have referenced. I know that there are some people I've known from the past who would love to get me in trouble (difference of opinions). I also have had a roommate who was a drug abuser (i didn't know it before I decided to rent out the room). I've listed this person's name in the "previous address" section of the application. Would this get me DQ'd? (I got him in trouble for drug use. He'd probably say that I used it also).

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    Quote Originally Posted by TKDBlack View Post
    I have a question about the background investigation: I have heard that the BI will often check with more people than I have referenced. I know that there are some people I've known from the past who would love to get me in trouble (difference of opinions). I also have had a roommate who was a drug abuser (i didn't know it before I decided to rent out the room). I've listed this person's name in the "previous address" section of the application. Would this get me DQ'd? (I got him in trouble for drug use. He'd probably say that I used it also).
    Not necessarily, most of the time the background investigators can spot someone with a grudge, verse someone that has genuine concerns about you. Plus it comes out in the Poly or interview. I would not worry to much about them.
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    Maybe people need to read this also??
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    Great post, great information. Should answer many, if not most questions. Many will still ask though.

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    I asked this question before.

    I illegally used my Sisters Percocet, that I once myself had a prescription for, because my prescription ran out and I just had testicular surgury.

    While that is a felony, do they recognize that I was only using it for a Valid method of pain relief, and not to get high? Besides that, I've never committed a Felony in my life. (I shoplifted a soda when I was 14, but that's not a felony.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jb5722 View Post
    that is a question they will ask you, as to how they respond to your answer that you have illegally used a controlled substance before, I can't tell you, some departments may look at it differently than others.
    I know, and I hope they take it well, besides that, I've never used weed, any other street drug or prescription narcotic that wasn't mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendon View Post
    Besides that, I've never committed a Felony in my life. (I shoplifted a soda when I was 14, but that's not a felony.)
    That depends...

    HOW MUCH SODA WAS IT ?
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    Great Post Shadow Warrior....Thank you Sir.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zamkn View Post
    That depends...

    HOW MUCH SODA WAS IT ?
    A 12oz bottle?

    If it makes anybody feel any better, I recycled the bottle..

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    disapointed in Las Vegas

    I can't say that you can foresee everything when you try for the star. Two years ago, I passed all the tests, physical and written but was only accepted as a correctional officer. I then was told I would not go any further because I had forgotten about an article 15 while I was in the USAF more than 40 years earlier. To top this all off i have just discovered that I had been operating under a diminished mental capacity due to a medical problem that has apparently corrected itself just in the last few weeks. ( I have memory that wasn't there previously, like this forum and so many things, horrible resumes online everywhere). No wonder I had no response, I wouldn't have either. If I brought this to the attention of Metro and Las Vegas corrections after the 2 years that have elapsed would it do any good? Or should I just forget it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvoimat View Post
    ( I have memory that wasn't there previously, like this forum and so many things, horrible resumes online everywhere). No wonder I had no response, I wouldn't have either.
    While this does not answer your question directly, your post brought up something I forgot to add to my original post.

    If you have a MySpace or Facebook page, make sure it is something you would want your prospective employer to see. They are hiring people (like me) to look them up and give them copies of everything found there. Also do a web search for yourself and any user names that you use or used and see what you find. They are checking things like that. Remember, never write or put anything online that you would not want your Boss to see as he/she just might have seen it already!

    We had several Deputies get fired because of stuff they had put on their MySpace pages. http://www.wesh.com/news/9400560/detail.html

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...pace_page.html

    I will edit my original post to include these things. Thanks for reminding me!!!
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    I was the same way I had a lot of jobs from the age of 18 years old until 2 years ago. Now, I have a degree in Criminal Justice, I own a home and, I have been a Reserve Animal services officer for three years. I was terminated only twice in my life when I was younger. Where do I stand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowWarrior View Post
    While this does not answer your question directly, your post brought up something I forgot to add to my original post.

    If you have a MySpace or Facebook page, make sure it is something you would want your prospective employer to see. They are hiring people (like me) to look them up and give them copies of everything found there. Also do a web search for yourself and any user names that you use or used and see what you find. They are checking things like that. Remember, never write or put anything online that you would not want your Boss to see as he/she just might have seen it already!

    We had several Deputies get fired because of stuff they had put on their MySpace pages. http://www.wesh.com/news/9400560/detail.html
    So just out of curiousity, what do you do if the applicants Myspace or Facebook page is private? Do you just move on without worrying about it? Ask the applicant to let you view it? Or is there a way for you to get around those private pages?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester9 View Post
    So just out of curiousity, what do you do if the applicants Myspace or Facebook page is private? Do you just move on without worrying about it? Ask the applicant to let you view it? Or is there a way for you to get around those private pages?
    I simply ask for permission to view them as part of their background investigation, refusal is of course not a good idea since the department wants to see it as part of the application process. Yes that gives them a chance to clean it up, but isn't that the whole point anyway? And I hate to say it, most do not think about it and do nothing. Plus I have several UC accounts that I attempt to get them to approve as a friend, which has always worked sooner or later. But I prefer to tell them who and why I want to view the page.

    I have seen people doing drugs (photos), drinking in access (every photo is a drinking one), talking about doing things illegal and language that would never be used in public. Holding guns like they are gang members and more. If you would not want your Mom to see it, then you shouldn't post it. Simple rule to follow.
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    I’ve been on many hiring panels and have been doing backgrounds for years (not on a large scale as Shadow Warrior). I’d like to add a few comments:

    • Any domestic abuse conviction is a disqualifier.
    • In MN you can’t get your POST license with an assault conviction.
    • Make sure your work history matches your application. I ask for permission to view your social security history and this history had best match your application. All of those W2 forms go someplace.
    • Keep your yard, house and vehicle clean. You never know when I’ll show up unannounced and make a quick assumption of your life and how you will be as an employee.
    • If you lie or “leave something out”, I’ll find it! People like to talk about future cop employees. If I catch you in a lie or a “I forgot about that” I will seek to have you disqualified. There are so many applicants out there that are well qualified that I can be choosey.

    When you apply to a jurisdiction become informed about that agency and city. Learn about it so it doesn't appear as if you are just looking for any old job that comes around. Use the web to do your searches and become informed.

    I will call each and every police agency (city, county, state and university) where you lived to see if they have ever had contact with you. When I ask about police contacts you had best be able to tell me about the contacts and why you where contacted by the police. Agencies keep records and it isn't difficult to get those records. All I need is a signed release and if you don't give it to me you are DQed.

    Be honest and if you have any questions, just ask your background person.
    Last edited by sigcopper; 12-28-2008 at 10:56 AM.

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    Here is the link to the MN POST board. This link will show you what will make it so that you won't get a POST license in MN. I would think other states would have the same.

    http://www.dps.state.mn.us/newpost/P...0Licensure.pdf

    In MN, there isn't a polygraph so one needs to do a very comprehensive background to weed out applicants.
    Last edited by sigcopper; 12-28-2008 at 11:13 AM.

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    As a BI Sigcopper what do you reccomend for me. I got fired from two jobs when I was younger but I managed to get an AA In Criminal Justice, and I have been a Reserve animal services officer almost three years and I managed to keep one paid job for a Year straight before geting hired on full time at another Animal services department. I have also bought a house, now will all this be taking into consideration?

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    Why did you get fired and how long ago did you get fired? Employee theft? Showing up drunk or stoned? Not showing up to work? How long ago....2 years ago? Three years ago? How old are you now and how old were you when you got fired? Some very important questions that will need to be answered before I can even make a comment.

    An AA is good to have along with steady employment but one " ohhh shet" can wipe away all of the good you have done in your life.
    Last edited by sigcopper; 12-28-2008 at 02:20 PM.

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    I got terminated from the first job for attendance issues 7 years ago at age 18. And the other job I was separated from a security company because I was an on-call officer and I didn't pick up a shift for 30 days. They only called me twice to come in and those two times were out of my avalibility while I was working another job full time with benefits.

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    Okay, you are 25 years old, correct? You got fired from a job at age 18 for not showing up to work and you were FIRED from your other job. Why didn’t you show up for this job?

    “Separated” or any other fluffy term always peaks my curiosity more than usual. Call it what it is. You got fired or terminated.

    How long ago was this termination (the second one)? How did your other job work out for you…the one with benefits and was full time? How many jobs have you had since you were 18?

    GENERALLY, I look back in a work history 7 to 10 years, but I ask for all work history back to the age of 18. I usually only go back 7 to 10 years because most of the applicants are in their early to mid 20's thus putting me back to 16 to 18 years of age. We all did some rather stupid stuff back at age 16 to 18 and that's why I don't think we should be hiring cops younger than 23. This in another topic that I won't get into since it really ticks off the younger crowd!

    You will have some explaining to do (just like a lot of other applicants). Nobody is squeaky clean! The big thing is to be honest and when asked tell the truth and explain what you learned out of this termination at age 18 and explain your other situation. Also, be prepared to explain any voids in your work history….any time you went without a job.

    If these are your only “skeletons”, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. What is important is to keep your current job to show a positive work history. If you leave your job, it had best be for a better paying job not because you just didn't want to show up or were drunk or whatever.

    If time permits you might want to volunteer some of your time to any type of an organization. It could be anything. The best would be for any type of an organization that helps the needy….homeless shelter or anything like that.

    Good luck! Keep the questions coming. You are not alone and from what you are telling me, I wouldn't be very concerned. Just be prepared to answer TRUTHFULLY.

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    I didn't show for that job because I was not avalible, my avaliblity was my days off. my deceitful supervisor knew that and he still "separated" I ws not going to walk off of my job Civil service job for a dead end security job. I learned this from both terminations, What I learned from the first termination was to be prompt and show up to work and do my best even when I'm sick. The security job I was separated from was actually this year last month after I came on full time with Animal Services. I just accepted this even though it was wrong on the supervisors part. It is best to be honest and deal with the situation no matter what, the truth will set you free. I have had atleast 25 other jobs and only two terminations.

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    25 jobs? And you are only 25? Now that is a concern.

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    I have confidence I will be fine. I actually had to go through the same background process for Animal Services it took me a few times to apply but I got hired on the 3rd try. I have changed a lot in last few years, and I have done a lot to show maturity. I will still consult with you since you were nice enough to give me pointers. and, by the way I actually Volunteer at the local Probation department mentoring the kids.

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    Seems this thread has had a few reads, a little over 1200.. Glad people are looking it over and hoping it is answering some of their questions. I am workign on a overall guide to "getting hired, throught the process and into the academy guide". Soon to be relaeased to a forum near you!!!
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