1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    How to pass a background investigation:

    In Background investigation 101: There's an old adage; "YOU LIE; YOU DIE."

    Let me say it again, "YOU LIE: YOU DIE." Lying on a background package directly or indirectly or to your BI is an automatic "Kiss of death". If you are caught, you will never, never work in law enforcement again. In C.A. there is a tracking system called "Nemesis" it's basically like your credit report, it list all of the agencies that inquire into your background.....ex: LAPD, LBPD., Santa Ana PD, Huntington Beach PD....etc...etc... this report will show which agencies has made an inquirie about you. Just like your Credit report list which Banks inquired about you.....ex. BofA, Washington Mutual, Wells fargo, etc..etc...

    So for example if you apply to LAPD in 2005 and they did a full background investigation on you, but for some odd reason you failed or did not pass or was DQ for lying, then here are the repercussion.

    If you Lied, your done, you will never work in law enforcement again.

    If you were DQ but they never told you why, (which they never do because of liability) then you can always reapply with another agency and hope that your past "issue" or the reason why you were DQ by LAPD will not apply with the new dept.... Some dept. are more lenient in regards to past mistakes...... while others such as the "big boys" in law enforcement are very stringent. You will ofcourse have to divulge to your new BI that you applied with LAPD in 05, but were DQ'd.

    If you failed your background, but again, do not know why, you can alway reapply and roll the dice again. Failing a background, getting DQ'd or getting a letter from a dept. saying that "were sorry you do not meet our criteria" is not the end of the world. It just means you did not meet their criteria......so you just go and find another dept. I received this letter from at least 3 dept. before I got hired by Long Beach PD.

    I use to think that to pass a Police Background questionaire and a background investigation you have to be either an "angel" or a child at birth with no life experience, and no time for stupid mistakes.

    But after sucessfully passing several Police Background investigation: LBPD, Garden Grove PD, Dominguez HIlls PD, and several others I've come to the conclusion that the only way to pass a background investigation is to be honest and tell the truth. Let the dices fall.

    But as an applicant you have to be realistic. For some of you, you have made some indelible mistakes...... The biggest downfall for applicants is drug usage, bad credit, unstable employment, and lying.

    If you've tried any hard drugs such as (heroin, LSD, Crack, Cocaine, methamphetamine, etc..etc...) odds are you will not get hired. Why? Because of Liability. You made a very, very bad choice. You knew it was wrong, you knew it was a hard core drug, and you knew that it could lead to addiction, and even death, but you still took it or ingest it or smoked it. But, the other reason why they will not hire you is because, they have hundreds of other applicants whom are just as qualified as you are, and they DID Not do hard drugs.

    Also, if you've commited what they call "Crime of Moral Turpitudes" (shocking) such as: Burglary, Grand Theft, Car Theft, Selling drugs, transporting drugs, battery on a spouse or girlfriend, any firearm or weapons arrest etc.....anything, that just makes the ordinary person say "Wow!" you did that....then you can pretty much kiss your dream of becoming a cop/sheriff goodbye. Why? Again, Liability, and they have hundreds of other applicants whom did not commit these type of crimes.

    If you were arrested for vandalism, urinating in public, trespassing, etc..etc... low grade Misdemeanor, this is no big deal. These are what they classified as juvenile, or immature mistakes....and can be overlooked and the dept. will judge you on the basis of your background package. (ex. He/she was 17 and was arrested for vandalism (spray painting), stealing a candy bar, or while in college; urinating in public...) etc....etc... these are all juvenile, and immature acts that most of the public has done one time in there lives. So in essence, it's no big deal. It's only a big deal if you Lie about them, but if you tell the truth, the BI will just shake his/her head and move on to the next questions.
    My background investigator from L.A. county Sheriff told me that there is nothing I can tell him or say that would "shock" him. "Nothing."

    I think I've written enough.
    Good Luck and Test Well!
    Author of: How to become a peace officer by Wayne LeQuang (google it)

    L.B.P.D. Academy #75
    6 month of pain, for a 30 year career.

    visit: youtube.com "Black Monday" Great Video from LASD.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Hayward, California
    Thank you very much for this. I'm about to head head on into backgrounds with a dept. that I love very deeply and want more than anything. Like my uncle (a police officer 33 years told me) just be an open book. It'll make the backgrounds go quicker in most cases, and it will show them that I have strong morals and integrity at least for telling the truth and standing up to my actions of the past.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Behind you.
    What if they DQ you for something you did in your teens or earlier years that you completely forgot about?
    Yeah, you might not be hired by that department but do you still have a shot with other depts for listing something that you forgot, but later found out that, that was the reason for not getting hired by that one department?

    I plan on going to the Towns Police Department I grew up in and seeing if I have anything on record and get a copy of that. I never got a ticket, or went to court/charged with anything. But I did get into a fist fight when I was 10-13 years old (dont remember what year) and they wrote down our names.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Thank you for the information Wayne. You mention that bad credit is a killer... I'm sure this varies by department and based on circumstances. Unfortunatley, there is a difference between a bad credit score and irresponsibly aquiring/repaying debt. I'm applying for LE jobs, and my credit score isn't good. It was perfect and I never neglected a single bill in my life... then divorce hit me and I ended up being saddled with debt, single-income, a kid to raise on my own, and a house which was bought based on TWO-incomes. Many people can probably relate. I'm 34 and proud to say that I managed to keep the house but that meant other debts went unpaid. My ex-wife had [joint]credit card debt as well and I ended up filing bankruptcy to put a final end to the whole situation. Came out back on square one, with my house and kid, and have never been late on anything since. My situation can't be unique, but YES, I know there are applicants applying who never had a divorce, never filed a BK, 800 credit scores, etc. However, I'm assertively tossing my hat in the ring with the hopes that there are some PD's looking for "humans" to deal with humans... life experience and maturity have to carry some value still. Good luck to all those applying, and thanks again for your information. I will always be 100% upfront with this situation and all others when talking to the BI.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2011
    I made it through several steps of the process to be hired as a dispatcher for Orlando P.D. (initial application, typing exam, shadowing, polygraph and interview), and was then DQ'd without explanation. Do you think this will have a bearing on my application with San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.? I haven't the slightest clue as to why I was DQ'd... past drug use maybe? It's been years since I've touched anything... but my credit at the time was bad (now repaired). How much does a DQ for a civilian position with another department affect LE hiring here in Southern California?

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