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Could I become an LAPD cop?


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  • Could I become an LAPD cop?

    This forum has been an unbelievable source of useful information, and I'm lucky I found it. I would appreciate any helpful opinions or advice.

    I would like to start the process for becoming a member of the LAPD.

    Things that may help me:
    - B.S. in Business Management
    - Several years of a variety of work experience (I am 28 years old)
    - Fluency in Korean and English

    Things that I'm worried might work against me in the process:
    - I have lived in Seoul, Korea for my entire life and thus have no background in the U.S. No credit history, no driving record, no references except a couple of relatives in far away states, etc.

    I know that the process is long and can take as much as a year, or more. I don't mind getting a job in So.Cal or somewhere else where housing is cheaper and then coming to LA for tests, etc. However, since I would be leaving behind everything I have here in Korea and moving with nothing but a suitcase to the U.S. with only the LAPD in sight, it would be hard for me to wait forever while the background investigators try to talk to my former employers who don't speak any English.

    What do you think my chances are?

  • #2
    Are you a US lawful permanent resident or citizen? If not, your chances are zero because you can't prove to the US govt that there are no US citizens available for the job and LAPD don't sponsor.
    It is not the critic who counts...


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick reply, co911. Yes I'm a U.S. citizen by blood (father is American) and graduated from U.S. accredited high school and college, so no problem there.


      • #4
        Well Zader, I'll tell you one thing for certain, your written English is gramatically and spelling-wise nearly perfect. You write in English much MUCH much better than most 20-somethings who were born here and post to this and some other forums to which I belong.

        "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."


        • #5
          Thank you EldiabloJoe, that's very kind. My dad made sure I learned English from a real early age.

          It seems the more I read and the more I research, the more I find out about how difficult it is to become a cop. What I'm most worried about is not the written or physical tests, or psych eval or the background check itself, but I'm worried that the investigators will see my apps and say "references are half way around the world? Pffft" and just toss it in the trash.

          If there's anyone who's done a background investigation or is familiar about the process, any info would really be helpful.


          • #6

            Zader, I much agree with the post concerning your English and grammar. No problems there. Well, I'd say go ahead and apply. It's very probable that you'll need to support yourself living in L.A., while you go through the process. Living in So. Cal can be a rather expensive proposition. We have at least one forum member who still does Background inverstigations for LAPD. Hopefully, he'll be able to provide you with more information relative to your situation. Best of luck.


            • #7

              Even though there are difficulties with your background being half-way around the world, there are agencies in SoCal, especially B I G agencies (think: LAPD and LASD) who police areas with significant Korean populations where your background would be a H U G E asset.

              In fact, Asians in general are under-represented in local LE in SoCal, and many would do the extra work your background requires if simply to fill a quota spot.

              LAPD has the largest concentration locally I believe, with Koreatown being situated firmly in their jurisdiction (the area of Olympic/Normandie Avenues).

              Some smaller cities also have large Asian populations, but I don't think any are majority Korean:

              Westminster / Garden Grove / Fountain Valley : Vietnamese
              Irvine: Chinese
              Long Beach: Cambodian
              Gardena: Japanese

              One caveat to your excellent English abilities. A thick accent will make you difficult to understand, and that will have agencies wondering if you can communicate well enough to use the radio.


              "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."


              • #8
                I think one thing you have to look at is the fact that you don't live in America. Unless you do and I'm reading incorrectly here. Many departments, and I'm pretty sure LAPD is one of them, require you be living in the US for 3 of the last 5 years. Some of the people exempt from this is military and government personnel stationed overseas. Unless you fall into one of those categories, I don't think you'll be eligible. You have to realize that when they do Background Investigations they like face to face meetings with people. Again, I didn't see that you mentioned where you live. If you're in the US you'll be fine. But if you're out of the US chances are very slim. Actually saw that you went to HS and college in the US. How long ago was that? And did you stay after finishing?


                • #9
                  Thanks again for all of your replies, they're really encouraging. The project I'm working on for my job now will be finished in August, and I'll probably fly to the States and go in for tests etc. as soon as I can. Hopefully no later than the end of fall.

                  PhilipCal - I've been looking at some housing rental ads on craigslist, and man they're expensive. I have some savings, but I'll either have to secure a job in LA or live somewhere else a little more affordable, and fly or drive in when I need to. I'm not sure if it's the same guy but I do know the site policebackground.net, and I did post a similar question there.

                  ElDiabloJoe - One of the main reasons I'm considering the LAPD is because of the large Korean pop. there, so that I would be able to use my skills and experience. As for the accent, rest your worries I have no accent, Asian or otherwise, I speak English just like a regular American. Before I actually apply I'll make sure I have all the current contact info for references, former employers,etc so that might make the job easier for the BI. Thanks for the info on other nearby cities, I do speak a little bit of Chinese and I'll check them out too.

                  Manstown - I checked out the LAPD recruiting site and it said CA residency is not required, although like you say there might be a U.S. residency requirement. I've lived in the U.S. for only a couple of years in 97~99, so yes I'll make sure I have exact info on their residency requirement. Thanks for the heads up.
                  Last edited by zader; 04-30-2007, 02:30 AM.


                  • #10
                    You may want to check out Garden Grove PD - they have a large Korean District just north of Westminster's Little Laigon area. Good luck, and I hope to see you posting about a new job in So Cal soon!


                    • #11
                      Hey Zader, check this out.. http://www.condascode.net/backgroundforums/ Its a site ran by an LAPD backgrounds Investigator.
                      My LAPD Process
                      PQE - 7/07 - PASSED
                      PAT 1 - 7/24 - PASSED
                      Prelim BI - 7/25 - PASSED
                      Poly - 7/26 - PASSED
                      Oral - 09/15 - PASSED
                      Medical/Written Psych - 09/27 PASSED
                      Backgrounds - In Progress
                      Oral Psych - TBD
                      Cert. & Appointment - TBD


                      • #12
                        Don't worry about the background check. If you have empolyment history in S Korea add it in your application form. Make sure you have the complete address and contact persons. That's what they did on my case and its ok I guess. They can't find much info about me here in the US so they checked my homeland. regarding your credit history, it's ok, that is better than having negative points. Good luck! Is my English and spelling ok??


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