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  • Suspicious hiring process

    I applied to my local PD recently and it's a small city within a huge county. I am a veteran and have Military Law enforcement experience. On to this hiring process, The written test required a T-Score of 60 to pass. I didn't get a 60 I got a Tscore of 58 and was kick myself in the butt for it. Here's where it gets weird a few days after this department suddenly lowered it's standards to include T-Scores of 50 or above because they were "seeking a greater applicant pool." At first I thought well great I have a chance again. But then I realized why would a department lower their standards if they wanted more applicants, why not administer a new written and get those that score a 60 or above?They are having another testing cycle next month anyway(Too much common sense). I am well aware of the cronyism and nepotism that run rampant among smaller departments such as this, it even happens in bigger departments(LA sheriffs). I think this is a case of them knowing who they wanted all along and the person didn't acheive a passing grade so they lowered the standard. I say this because I was flawless in the interview with my military background and experience. The questions and my answers were basically the same as an interview I had with another agency just the day before in which I received a 100% score. Yet in this small department I didn't pass the oral. This is highly disappointing to me because I joined the military in a law enforcement specialty to become a police officer and wanted to serve my hometown where I grew up, but I don't have any connections at the department. My friend who was an explorer with this department warned me that they only hire recruits that have connections, but I didn't buy into that until now. At least I got the other department going for me I have my background in 2 weeks which should be good I have all kinds of awards in the military. Sorry for the long post, but I'm just wondering what people on here think of this sudden lowering of department standards is it a case of someone getting a hookup?

  • #2
    It is entirely possible. Agencies have been known to do all sorts of things to game the system.

    One is to lower the minimum qualifying scores. Another is to give greater weight to the oral score (which can be more easily manipulated) than to the written score. Some will make the written pass/fail only and weight the oral as 100% of your score.

    Some will play the banding game, where instead of creating an straight eligible list based on everyone’s scores, people whose scores fall within a certain range go in Band 1, those who fall in the next lower range go in Band 2, the next lower range go in Band 3, etc. By doing it this way, the majority of successful applicants are in the top three bands. Under the Rule of Three you can pick whoever you want from those three bands, so being the best qualified candidate with the highest score means nothing.

    The big tipoff is when the exam announcement says you must apply in person, on one day only, during a two hour window that is usually early in the morning like 6 to 8 AM. Usually that exam announcement is posted on one bulletin board in a city office hallway someplace, so they can say the job was publicly advertised. The only way you will know about it is if you walk by and see it, or if a friend in city hall makes copies and sends them out to others who might be interested. When you see one of those, you know it’s already been decided who is going to get the job.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Just something to note, I was getting consistent perfect scores on interviews for other departments/agencies. I prepped for interviews and knew all the relevant data and spit it out on command. On a recent interview, I was told I was to robotic and militaristic. Fortunately, they let me interview again and I picked up that they wanted to get more of a sense of me personally, not professionally. I was more of myself this time and was hired. It's hard to tell sometimes, don't get discouraged.

      I have applied with 30 some agencies departments and I can tell you each one is different. Some treat you like crap while others couldn't be nicer. Some are unstructured, while others are extremely formal. There is no rhyme or reason. Keep pushing and one will stick.

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      • #4
        Rule of thumb, your military background, espcially military LE doesnt always coincide with civilian Law Enforcement.

        You say you didn't pass this written exam, well move on to another agency. You mentioned you scored a 100 on an oral with another agency? Where on the process are you with them?

        Don't put your eggs in one basket and don't read into everything as well. You can think you are the best candidate and you are selling yourself on here, however each agency sometimes already has who they want in their mind and if has their own process they can go by as well. Sucks I know, but that's life.Best of luck.
        "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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        • #5
          All of the above is good info. While there is no way to know, it is at least possible they lowered the score to include more veterans with military law enforcement backgrounds.

          I have never been involved in hiring, but I suggest presenting your military experience as one aspect of why you are a desirable candidate, but be prepared to list your other characteristics as well. Relying too heavily on the military runs the risk of being thought of as otherwise good, but so are several others. There are lots of veterans looking for jobs now. The job market is tighter now than just about any time in my career. You need to present why you stand out as the best applicant across the board. Police departments are becoming less and less paramilitary. Civilian employers appreciate the military background, but they may be looking for more.

          Military and prior experience helps. In my opinion a college degree helps more, whether it should or should not. An honorable discharge, overseas time while in the military, and you picked up some college credits or better yet an associates degree while you were in, makes you very competitive. Unfortunately, guys getting out of the military, with time overseas, are in abundance. Look for a leg up on your competition.

          The best advice is to keep trying with other agencies. If you do not have a degree, enroll at a community college and start working towards one. Even if it means going part time, I believe it will help.
          Last edited by jnhdrac; 03-10-2013, 07:11 PM.

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          • #6
            I don't think it's fair military gets 10 points in NY. It's life. Keep pushing forward and apply everywhere.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NY Police Man View Post
              I don't think it's fair military gets 10 points in NY. It's life. Keep pushing forward and apply everywhere.
              News flash, most agencies tend to give out point anywhere from 5-10 points for Vets. Not just NY.
              "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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              • #8
                While I don’t doubt the veracity of your take on the situation, some of this is purely anecdotal. You have to accept the fact that agencies are faced with culling through literally hundreds of viable candidates in their quest for the right person. Competition is fierce and while your service is admirable; you are not the only person in the process who has served.

                Keep at it.
                Originally posted by SSD
                It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
                Originally posted by Iowa #1603
                And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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                • #9
                  Really other places do that too?

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                  • #10
                    Veterans in NY get 5 points. Disabled Veterans in NY get 10.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by semper03 View Post
                      . On a recent interview, I was told I was to robotic and militaristic. Fortunately, they let me interview again and I picked up that they wanted to get more of a sense of me personally, not professionally. I was more of myself this time and was hired. It's hard to tell sometimes, don't get discouraged. .
                      Experienced interviewers will point to this time and time again...................it often is not WHAT you answer in a interview as much as HOW you answer it.

                      I wanted to get to know the person-------The paperwork (application etc) had already decided the person was qualified to be hired..................i wanted to know IF I wanted to work with them
                      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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                      • #12
                        But you must pass to get the points and they can be used for promotional exams but only once

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NY Police Man View Post
                          Really other places do that too?
                          Most civil service departments do
                          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NY Police Man View Post
                            Really other places do that too?
                            Again, yes it's not just a NY thing
                            "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As far as the testing goes, it's a whole lot cheaper to simply send out an email saying min points is 50 instead of 60 than it is to do an entirely new test.

                              Like 1603 says, and I've been involved in Oral Boards also, it's not always about the words that come with the answer. Most people involved in Oral Boards are pretty experienced and trained, maybe not specifically trained in hiring interviews, but in interviews in general. You say you answered the questions exactly the same as you did the day before, which makes me think that instead of being personable with your answers, it's possible that you came off as methodical but off-putting.

                              One more thing... if you feel the agency's hiring is a little hinky, and you're doing well in other processes, do you really feel you WANT to work there? I know it's your hometown, but that is definitely not always a good thing. If you're in an area where you can actually continue to live and play in your hometown because you wish to raise your own family there, however work elsewhere so that you're not arresting your high school buddies, that is usually the better situation.

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