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Yet another, "Will my past crimes affect my chances?" post


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  • Yet another, "Will my past crimes affect my chances?" post

    The personal history statement I was given didn't have an "undetected crimes" or "questionable activities" section, so I wasn't aware such a thing existed, until I talked to a co-worker whose son was in a different police academy. I asked her what sort of questions he was asked and the "any questionable activities or undetected crimes" bit was revealed to me.

    Unfortunately for me, I was told this 2 full months before my interview, so since then I've been going over everything I've ever done with a fine tooth comb, and remembering so much that its got me worried.

    Its all minor stuff, but two things of note to mention (well now 3 that I've read the below "polygraph" post and found out some of the questions)

    1. I had sex with a 16 year old when I was 19. It was like a month before her 17th birthday. It was entirely consensual and we proceeded to repeat the act a few times after she reached the age of consent, which in my state is 17. Nothing was ever reported but still something to raise they eyebrows.


    2. FTLI. A class "C" misdemeanor, which according to the dept I'm applying with isn't a disqualifier at all on general qualifications but it still happened. It was over 4 years ago, I scraped a parked car and in a moment of weakness and irresponsibility, didn't leave my information. I've always been insanely honest to that point, hell, one other time I gently rear ended another driver, and when they didn't see any damage, they were about to drive off when I called them back and showed them a small dent in their bumper. But it only takes one mistake to make my "honest" record for nothing.

    Those are the two intentional crimes, the worst things I've ever done. (not much in the grand scheme of things, and hardly qualifies me for the title of "Hitler II" but still, its enough to get me worried)

    But now, after reading the polygraph question, I remembered another thing, though it was nothing I did on purpose. I was about 17 and like most 17 year olds, intensely interested in porn. I was downloading a lot of pictures off of IRC (internet relay chat) just randomly choosing file names on the person's F-Server. When I looked through them, I noticed one of the pictures was an extremely underage child.

    I instantly freaked out and deleted the picture. Not only was I disgusted beyond belief but I spend the next week unable to sleep, convinced the FBI was going to bust down my door for having possessed child porn.

    Like I said, this was not intentional. Filesharing uploads on IRC to F-servers are all automated for most people sharing that sort of stuff, so chances are the person I downloaded from didnt know he had it yet. Most pictures have random titles like 0038zt.jpg or something to that effect that dont exactly say what they are.

    But now I've got that to deal with too, and it wasn't even something I was looking for. I think kiddie pornographers should be castrated and shot, having seen one picture was enough to give me nightmares for that kid and stop me from being porn hungry for months. It was gross.

    Is this going to count against me too? Because that would ****ing suck.

    Sorry its so long, thanks for reading

  • #2
    Forget 1. Worry a little about Number 2. and hope every body else applying has a worse record then you do.


    • #3
      so you dont think the kiddie porn thing will count?

      I can't emphasize enough how thats not my thing. It disgusts me, it wasnt my intention to download, and I deleted it immediately.

      *sigh* I just need to get this interview over. I keep remembering different things and worrying about each and every one of them.

      I just plan on fessing up to the above 2 in the initial interview when the question comes up, taking full responsibility and admitting that if it keeps me from becoming a police officer, it's no one's fault but my own.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bodie
        Forget 1. Worry a little about Number 2. and hope every body else applying has a worse record then you do.
        I would have to agree with Bodie on this one. And the internet child porn - I wouldn't really worry about it....it was unintentional and you realized what happened and immediately got rid of it. Accidental viewing shouldn't hurt you.


        • #5
          Prepare to be hammered on your polygraph pre-test interview. If the kiddie porn thing was truly an accident you'd better not deviate one iota from your description of events. If it wasn't an accident then you don't belong in law enforcement.
          Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.


          • #6
            yeah, definitely an accident. Hell they're free to search my computer, all they'd find is some legal porn (I'm 24and single, it would be abnormal if I didn't have any) and some songs I didnt pay for.

            Oh damn. Yet another thing to mention. This is what I mean about stressing.

            Well at any rate, thanks for the input guys.


            • #7
              Your best bet is to lay everything out on the table, it's a lot easier for the department to "overlook" a few minor offenses you did 5-10 years ago then it is to get caught in a few lies on the polygraph.


              • #8
                Is the "undetected crimes" inquiry common for states that use polys?

                Obviously you should supply all the required information and be honest throughout the process...

                OTOH If I knew they would not follow up your answers (to the undetected crimes) with a poly I would not spend hours wracking my brain for every mistake I've ever made. I think most of us in our youth committed minor infractions at one time or another. Your explainations sound reasonable to me but they may view it differently.

                Good luck.
                Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.


                • #9
                  I am in a situation much like yours with a youth record and some deviate things that I have done that have gone unaccounted for.

                  When they gave me the personal history statement to fill out they asked the question: "Have you ever done anything that you would have been arrested for had you got caught?"

                  That opened the door right there and in try to be as honest as possible, I spent a considerable ammount of time searching my memory for every little thing that I have ever done.

                  Needless to say, I listed everything that I could remember at that point which was petty theft, possesion of stolen property, and minor in possession of tobacco and alcohol.

                  Now that I think of it I have also downloaded some music off the internet that I did not own but didn't really think of it as a crime and I didn't think of listing it on the PHS.

                  When I turned my history statement in I was thinking that the SGT would look at it and laugh in rebuke and send me on my way saying I wasn't cut out for law enforement and when he was through looking at it and didn't say anything I was kind of shocked. I knew it was better to declare all then lie and die and sort of expected to be DQ'd but then I asked him if anything that I listed was an absolute disqualifier and he said no which gave me a glimmer of home.

                  On the other side of things, I have 4yrs of impeccable military service, 2yrs of college, a life full of experiences that would benifit me as a LEO, and I am listed number 10 of 104 applicants for the job in which they only have 11 quotas for so far.

                  I figure that if I can get through the oral and the poly I should be good to go and should hopfully have a job with the PD.

                  He asked me about the stuff I did when I was younger and I was almost embarresed to talk about it because some of it was incredibly dumb and does not reflect the type of person I am now. I think he understood...

                  Try not to stress to much and you will be fine I think.. by the way where in Texas are you applying?



                  • #10
                    Well right now with Arlington PD. Going to apply with Austin when they start taking Apps in October as well.

                    Arlington is a good fit because Im not required to get eye surgery. I will get it once I get the job, just because I dont want to be fighting with my contacts while Im wrestling with a suspect, but frankly, eye surgery scares the f*** out of me, so its only something I'll do after I get a law enforcement job.

                    Im at the point right now where Im dividing up Pros and Cons.

                    On the Cons side

                    the stuff I mentioned above (the FTLI being the last major thing, happening like 4 or 5 years ago)

                    Ive smoked pot a few times, the last time being about 2 years ago. the recruiter didn't seem to think that was a huge deal and I decided it was a stupid thing to do anyway so I quit.

                    and I've bought drinks (as in single drinks) for minors who I was dating (19-20) year olds on like 3 separate occassions, all when I was sober and the one driving us both.

                    Other then that, and some shoplifting when I was a kid, I've kept my nose clean. I have no record and since the decision to be a cop and not go to law school (about 10 months ago) I've made it a point to not even be around minors who were drinking.

                    other then that, I received a medical but honorable discharge from the military for chemical sensitivities (basically asthma, nothing that keeps me from running, etc) and I'm tall and skinny

                    But on the Pro side

                    I have a bachelors degree (a reqt with Arlington PD)

                    Im incredibly well spoken and a quick thinker

                    As for the skinny thing, I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and I broke my arm in jiu jitsu pinning a guy who had 40 pounds on me about 6 months ago, so I'm anything but a pushover. Yeah I broke my arm, but I still took him down (freak accident really)

                    Plus they're really into community policing so I went to my university's library and got a copy of the article they based most of their philosophy on. I figure being able to quote from that in the interview might score me some points.

                    Any really, my record is clean. A mistake or two, but I've always kept myself pretty much on the straight and narrow.

                    Im not sure if the undetected crimes thing is on the polygraph for APD, I only know it is for Austin PD where my co-worker's son is now finishing up the academy. But I figure I'll just nip that in the bud by spilling it all in the initial interview if they ask a question about that, and emphasizing that, while it was immature and irresponsible, I'm a different person and I regret it, but even so, if it should keep me from being hired, its my own fault.

                    I realize the past crimes thing is all cumulative though, so while I havent done anything major, and while I've flown straight edge since I've made the decision to be an LEO, I need to address their concerns that my past history might reflect a pattern of behaviour, instead of a series of isolated incidents that no longer are representative of my character.

                    Who is it you're applying with?


                    • #11
                      Since you seem to be psyching yourself out on these matters, I think you need to understand how the polygraph works.

                      The most common form of polygraphy during pre-employment screening is the
                      Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.


                      • #12
                        Yeah.. thats a bunch of crap. I read the DoDPI LEPET and now I don't know how to act when I go in for my poly. Haha... What do I do now??


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