1. #1
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    Another "do I have a chance" thread - need honest opinions -

    Well, I'm sorry for having to put you through this once again but I need an honest evaluation from the pros here. Thanks in advance for taking a look.

    I am a former sworn officer but for only a short time. I was hired in Dec 05 and got out of FTO in March 06. My probationary status was ended May 06. The agency allowed me to resign rather than be fired. There was never any reasoning or explanation given to me. My opinion is that the reason was not performance based but rather that I was a bit too much of a complainer as I voiced my concerns regarding the agency's lack of progression (at the time no MDT's, all hand written reports, no tasers) in comparison to the surrounding agencies.

    Since then I have experienced a series of humbling events and in my opinion, gained quite a bit of life experience. To be quite frank, I feel as though I am a completely different person than I was five years ago. I got married to a wonderful woman, I moved to TN for a while to be closer to some family, worked for a short time in a DJJ juvenile wilderness therapy camp (residential employment, I couldn't cut it), and have worked a lot of security positions from parking lots to DoD classified materials. However, I have settled in with a security contractor for the past 2.5 years where I have progressed from a line officer (Security Officer 1), to account management, and now I am a site supervisor/trainer (Major) with a crew of five officers under my charge.

    I have worked for a few different employers in different fields. A lot of jobs with less than one year of service before moving on - before my current position. I have two terminations on record: One at 17 years old at a sub shop where a GM fabricated a story regarding a customer complaint against me (to open up a position for her daughter). I was subsequently offered my position again by the owner but could not take the position due to the GM's violation of a high school OJT program rules. The other was at 19 years old where I worked for a home improvement store - I had a disagreement with a manager and just stopped showing up (a major mistake on my part that I deeply regret).

    I have no college or military. I have had two UTC's in my life, one at 15 for riding on the exterior (hanging out of the window) of a vehicle, one at 20 for failure to present DL. No speeding or other moving violations.

    I have 700+ credit with nothing to pay off other than my truck (about $4500 left) and own a condo outright.

    Marijuana use twice at 18 and 19 years old. I do not smoke and seldom do I drink more than one beer/wine a week.

    Now I am trying to get back into LE work in Florida. I had let my certification lapse so I have attended an equivalency of training program and will be taking the SOCE this month in order to recertify.

    The two questions I have are:

    What kind of shot do I have?

    How can I best present my current attributes/training to an agency's hiring board?

    I do not believe I am owed anything and will take the time to prove myself through a reserve program if given the opportunity.

    My dream agency is FWC or a SO's range and water unit but traditional law enforcement would suit me just fine. I was told by an instructor at the EOT program that I should try for the FWC's reserve program and then move into their full time selection process when it becomes available. Do you guys agree with that?

    Again, thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
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    I skimmed your post

    Your first job................if the department terminated you at the end (or during probation), or in your case allowed you to resign..............they HAD to have given you a reason why. Start off with being honest about what you were told at that time.

    Although most probation periods allow the employer to terminate for any reason, there still has to be a reason and that reason is ALWAYS spelled out to the employee......


    You are probably correct in your assumption about being a complainer.................... but I would really think back hard about the meeting where you chose to resign..................

    It sounds like since then you have got your "chit" together..............the only hiccup I see in you getting hired again is your probationary termination. UNFORTUNATELY that is a pretty big hiccup.


    Be prepared for multiple questions and multiple rejections. The fact of the matter is that the job market sucks, there are a glut of "certifiable" or certified people out there competing for what few LEO jobs there are.

    Your prior termination really puts you at a great disadvantage with some of the "super qualified" applicants out there.

    I know I keep talking termination and you talk resignation------------- I want to emphasize the fact that even though you were allowed to resign------when I as a Background Investigator goes to your old agency, I will be told that you resigned while on (or at the end of) probation. RED FLAG. I am going to ask questions AND ask to see your personnel file.

    During that investigation I will find out the reason you were asked to resign..................even if they don't tell me outright the evidence will be available........................

    (off soap box)

    I would concentrate more on finding a way to fully explain why you were let go during probation. A BI would much rather hear it from you first (and have you own and take full responsibility for your past mistakes) than find out about it by outside sources


    Bottom line.........................Is it going to be impossible to get hired as a cop...............No

    Is it going to be extremely difficult...................Yes
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  3. #3
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    I think the best approach to take is to be completely honest about your past and shortcomings and explain that you are now more mature, focused and ready to get back into LE with a greater appreciation of/for the job and understanding of what an employer's expectations are.

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    Thanks, Iowa. I know I'm facing an up hill battle. But I guess its like dumb and dumber because what I hear is "so you're saying there's a chance!".

    You are incorrect in assuming they gave me any articulation or reasoning, though. I too, thought that there had to be some sort of explanation given to me. However, when I went to the station to turn in my equipment I approached a Captain (2IC) and asked "Is there any explanation of why this is happening so I won't repeat my mistakes when I approach another agency?". The Captain shut the door of his office and told me in a very assertive manner that they didn't have to tell me anything, Florida is a right to work state and I was a probationary employee who didn't live up to the standards of that agency.

    Again, I'm completely open and not holding back on anything. If I had been given a reason I'd let it be known. I wish I knew what it was because then I'd be able to really attack that fault in myself.

    At my EOT class I was told by instructors who are LEO's in the same county I worked that unless there was a failure to act or a disciplinary issue that no articulation of reason is necessary and is rarely given and that this is kind of commonplace when probationary employees are involved.

    I also want to clarify that I was going to terminated regardless. It's just that the Chief was gracious enough to allow me to resign first.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by just joe View Post
    I think the best approach to take is to be completely honest about your past and shortcomings and explain that you are now more mature, focused and ready to get back into LE with a greater appreciation of/for the job and understanding of what an employer's expectations are.
    Joe, thanks for the input.

    That's exactly what my approach is right now.

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    Consider going to the Florida sub forum. I believe you'd get a better idea of the job search climate. My dept. is hiring alot of people, but I'm not in Florida. From what I understand, jobs in Florida are very scarce.
    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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    Right to work state or not (Iowa is a right to work state) There will be plenty of documentation in your personnel file if they were preparing to terminate you.


    As an employee----------------you are allowed to view your personnel file.. I would do so. It might cost you a few dollars in "supervision fees" but it would be worth it to you to know what the "had on you". It makes further jobs hunting much easier when you tell the departments what really happened.

    You also are allowed to have copies of anything in your personnel file. The cost of the copies will be at your expense but you can not be denied them


    I tired very hard to leave you with a "yes you have a chance " feeling because you do..........................
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  8. #8
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    I might add....

    When terminating probationary employees we always used the "failure to meet probationary standards" or some other equally ambiguous statement.

    However prior to that the employee had been given numerous indications that their performance was lacking. The individual always knew that we had concerns-----------------even if they refused to admit the fact that the counselings, coachings and "come to Jesus" talks were warnings about their future.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

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    You are correct. The LE job market in Metro Orlando/CFL is not that great right now especially with the shuttle program ending. We know we might have to move a few counties if we plan to stay in CFL.

    The wife and I are not opposed to moving out of state. Its not preferable as she is finishing up a teaching degree down here and is doing well, but the job comes first. Do you mind me asking a few questions about your department? Location and the standards?

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    Well thanks, Iowa, I really do appreciate it.

    It should be known that I was honestly never counseled or disciplined on paper. But there were some things I can think of.

    1) During early FTO I was waiting on the admin office to make me my agency I'd and I made a complaint along the lines of, "geez, can we get this done anytime soon?" It was actually said with a smile and I meant it to be in jest but it POed a long time admin assistant. I was taken to the side and given the, "the general's secretary ranks higher than the colonel" speech and I quickly learned to shut my mouth.

    2) During a graded scenario one evaluator thought I had rolled my eyes at him, I did not, and none of the other people in the evaluation saw what he did. While he did pass me on the exercise he put that I rolled my eyes on his eval paper (three evaluators to a scenario).

    3) Also, in FTO I failed a legal test. I was upset about it at the time but I re took it four days later and passed with flying colors.

    4) Late in FTO I was faced with a possible arrest of a CO for what in all honesty appeared to be an unsubstantiated DV claim with self-injury to the complainant. My current FTO and I agreed that the evidence was not PC against the CO. However, the CPL of our squad who was acting SGT that shift thought the arrest was necessary because the CO would eventually return home - he was at work at the jail at the time. If it makes any difference this was the same guy who thought I had rolled my eyes at him.

    Anyways, I chose not to arrest but I did file the affidavit on behalf of the complainant. It bothered me that I was being told to arrest a CO and subsequently take him to the jail he works at, all because of an unsubstantiated claim from his spouse. It ended up being a big mess with the SO's brass who sent an investigator to interview me. After that interview I asked a 12:39:09 PM if I did the right thing and he said, "You did what you thought was right and you had the right to do that".

    I didn't hear anything else about it until the SAO cleared it for lack of evidence. I was never approached by anybody in my agency about it other than other patrol officer's expressing support or saying, "I'm glad it wasn't my call".

    That's everything I could think of.

    Again, thanks so much everybody. Its great to have a venue like this to ask questions.

    I suppose I should contact that agency and get some copies of my personnel file to see for myself.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
    I skimmed your post

    Your first job................if the department terminated you at the end (or during probation), or in your case allowed you to resign..............they HAD to have given you a reason why. Start off with being honest about what you were told at that time.

    Although most probation periods allow the employer to terminate for any reason, there still has to be a reason and that reason is ALWAYS spelled out to the employee......


    You are probably correct in your assumption about being a complainer.................... but I would really think back hard about the meeting where you chose to resign..................

    It sounds like since then you have got your "chit" together..............the only hiccup I see in you getting hired again is your probationary termination. UNFORTUNATELY that is a pretty big hiccup.


    Be prepared for multiple questions and multiple rejections. The fact of the matter is that the job market sucks, there are a glut of "certifiable" or certified people out there competing for what few LEO jobs there are.

    Your prior termination really puts you at a great disadvantage with some of the "super qualified" applicants out there.

    I know I keep talking termination and you talk resignation------------- I want to emphasize the fact that even though you were allowed to resign------when I as a Background Investigator goes to your old agency, I will be told that you resigned while on (or at the end of) probation. RED FLAG. I am going to ask questions AND ask to see your personnel file.

    During that investigation I will find out the reason you were asked to resign..................even if they don't tell me outright the evidence will be available........................

    (off soap box)

    I would concentrate more on finding a way to fully explain why you were let go during probation. A BI would much rather hear it from you first (and have you own and take full responsibility for your past mistakes) than find out about it by outside sources


    Bottom line.........................Is it going to be impossible to get hired as a cop...............No

    Is it going to be extremely difficult...................Yes
    I'm going to piggyback off of my colleague's reply. Let's go back to the Agency where you had your problems. As a probationary employee, you can be discharged for just about any reason. Without hearing the Dept's side of the issue, it would be impossible for me to make a call there. I have noticed what I consider quite a bit of minimizing, and some blame transferal in your original post. Could these be maturity or judgement issues? Look yourself in the mirror, and then tell me (us). OK. Not saying that your being re-employed in the LE profession won't happen. It will be an uphill fight. Why? Reason one: The economy. "Barry" is scheduled for another dog and pony show later this everning. Believe anything he says, and you're still on pretty good terms with the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny. The economy has glutted the LE hiring pool with many high quality, highly motivated applicants. Many of these are certified Officers who have been furloughed/laid off by agencies down sizing as a result of the still crappy economic picture. You will be competing with these people, and realistically, you have to know,many, if not most of them won't bring your issues to the table. You inquired concerning the possibility of entering the GFC's Reserve Program. I would recommend that you inquire into the possibilities of entering this program. Hopefully, you won't now go the route so many posters do when they ask questions of the type you have. I reference the often argumentive and whinny azzed replies we recieve in response to questions honestly and accurately answered. I wish you the best of luck in your efforts to re enter the LE profession.

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    PhilipCal, I'm not sure I see or rather I am not aware of what you are seeing when you speak of minimizing and blame transferal. This is one thing I want to do away with if it truly exists. So if you wouldn't mind, can you point out where you saw this? I'd really appreciate it.

    And to add, I do not want to be the kind of person who cannot accept honest answers or whine. I read through the recent post where this happened and I see that there is something similar between that poster and I. However, I'm being 100% upfront and honest because I don't want to kid myself or waste anybody's time. So if you guys see that kind of behavior from me please let me know where it is so I can examine it and hopefully get out of my own way!

    Again guys and gals, thanks.

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    In the event you're fortunate to get hired again. My advice to you while you're in field training is to bite your tongue. If you're not being asked to jump off a bridge, you're in no position to complain about anything. NOTHING! Not as a prob ofc. in field training. Out right complaints, rolling your eyes or whatever the case may be. I'd be more incensed over a prob officer rolling his eyes, as opposed to a down right complaint. Mostly because the ink on their application isn't even dry yet. You may mean nothing by it, but who knows what those other officers/supervisors are thinking. Especially these crazy depts where you have zero protection. Behind closed they'll conspire and release you. Thats why its important to keep your mouth shut while on probation early on. Regardless if you agree with it or not. Its a rite of passage every new officer has to deal with. If you intend to have any type of longevity in this work.
    Last edited by Joe159; 09-08-2011 at 10:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepontruckin View Post
    PhilipCal, I'm not sure I see or rather I am not aware of what you are seeing when you speak of minimizing and blame transferal. This is one thing I want to do away with if it truly exists. So if you wouldn't mind, can you point out where you saw this? I'd really appreciate it.

    And to add, I do not want to be the kind of person who cannot accept honest answers or whine. I read through the recent post where this happened and I see that there is something similar between that poster and I. However, I'm being 100% upfront and honest because I don't want to kid myself or waste anybody's time. So if you guys see that kind of behavior from me please let me know where it is so I can examine it and hopefully get out of my own way!

    Again guys and gals, thanks.
    Go back and read, then re read your initial post. Go back to the pre-law enforcement job you were terminated from. If you can't see what I meant, then there's no need in me wasting your time or mine, pointing it out. I didn't reply to you in order to initiate a flame war with you, or engage in a prolonged internet argument. Your chances given the current economy, job outlook, and the competition you'll be facing have been accurately pointed out to you. If you go into an initial interview, or make it to Orals, andattempt to sell them what you've attempted to sell us, I really don't see you making the cut. It's not up to me to look into a mirror for you, it's up to you. Perceptions have everything to do with your chances of again entering this field. Leave the wrong one, and you'll have very effectively dealt yourself out of the picture. This is not something I wish on you. It's something you'll bring on yourself. Re read the replies of my colleagues. Keep in mind that none of us are the ones who will make recommendations, or pass on your fitness to be hired. Many of us have participated in processes as Background investigators, or Oral Board members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe159 View Post
    In the event you're fortunate to get hired again. My advice to you while you're in field training is to bite your tongue. If you're not being asked to jump off a bridge, you're in no position to complain about anything. NOTHING! Not as a prob ofc. in field training. Out right complaints, rolling your eyes or whatever the case may be. I'd be more incensed over a prob officer rolling his eyes, as opposed to a down right complaint. Mostly because the ink on their application isn't even dry yet. You may mean nothing by it, but who knows what those other officers/supervisors are thinking. Especially these crazy depts where you have zero protection. Behind closed they'll conspire and release you. Thats why its important to keep your mouth shut while on probation early on. Regardless if you agree with it or not. Its a rite of passage every new officer has to deal with. If you intend to have any type of longevity in this work.
    I am absolutely 100% with you on this. I never had any right to complain and was completely in the wrong when I did so. I was young(er) and did not think clearly enough to see that I asked for the position and it was my job to fit into the mold. It is definitely a lesson I have taken to heart and an action I will not repeat.

    And while it may not have been my intention to come off as a know it all punk rookie I do see that that was the taste I left. I also now understand that perception of reality is stronger than reality itself.

    Thanks for the reply, Joe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipCal View Post
    Go back and read, then re read your initial post. Go back to the pre-law enforcement job you were terminated from. If you can't see what I meant, then there's no need in me wasting your time or mine, pointing it out. I didn't reply to you in order to initiate a flame war with you, or engage in a prolonged internet argument. Your chances given the current economy, job outlook, and the competition you'll be facing have been accurately pointed out to you. If you go into an initial interview, or make it to Orals, andattempt to sell them what you've attempted to sell us, I really don't see you making the cut. It's not up to me to look into a mirror for you, it's up to you. Perceptions have everything to do with your chances of again entering this field. Leave the wrong one, and you'll have very effectively dealt yourself out of the picture. This is not something I wish on you. It's something you'll bring on yourself. Re read the replies of my colleagues. Keep in mind that none of us are the ones who will make recommendations, or pass on your fitness to be hired. Many of us have participated in processes as Background investigators, or Oral Board members.
    Well I'm kind of at a loss here, PhilipCal. Please believe me when I say I did not intend for any sort of argumentative discussion. I just want to see and understand what you're seeing. I want to own my mistakes for what they are, learn from them and move forward. I apologize if you thought I was trying for anything else. You have been nothing but helpful and I really do appreciate that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepontruckin View Post
    You are correct. The LE job market in Metro Orlando/CFL is not that great right now especially with the shuttle program ending. We know we might have to move a few counties if we plan to stay in CFL.

    The wife and I are not opposed to moving out of state. Its not preferable as she is finishing up a teaching degree down here and is doing well, but the job comes first. Do you mind me asking a few questions about your department? Location and the standards?
    Send me a pm, I'll be glad to discuss my dept......
    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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    Is there a chance that they could have found out something that you hadn't told them before? I've seen guys let go b/c of that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyD View Post
    Is there a chance that they could have found out something that you hadn't told them before? I've seen guys let go b/c of that!
    I suppose there could have been something but I honestly don't know what. Please believe me when I say that I have been up and down racking my brain to come up with anything possible and what you see listed, those are all the things I could think of.

    My gut feeling is that I came off as a young punk know it all rookie who complained too much and would have caused a morale issue. Being that I was in my probationary period there was no reason to let me stay on and possibly cause some inner dissent.

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