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Out of Line Background Questions ? ? ?

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  • Out of Line Background Questions ? ? ?

    I was looking at some Valley agencies, I'm with a small Dept in SEAZ now and I want to double my salary, and I am noticing a lot of valley agencies have 40 page or more, 200+ questions in their background questionnaire. Now most of the questions probe in greater detail the questions already on the AZPOST PH Form. Its B.S., but for more pay I will do the extra "no" or "DNA", waste of trees and useless info but whatever, i need more money.

    What has given me pause though is, some and as I look at more agencies its quite a few, have started to go wildly out of bounds in both the questions they ask and information they request. There are still questions about credit, and being behind on bills. Some agencies dont even want your application unless you are current on financial affairs. How was link ever made that bad credit equals bad cop?

    There are a lot more factors on the credit angle, and its a small one in comparison to my real beef. My real beef is agencies are now not only asking about your legal internet activity, they are mandating you supply usernames and passwords to legal social networking sites, and e-mail addresses. I take real issue with that, huge issue. Legal internet activity is now a factor in your suitability for Peace Officer? Notice I said **LEGAL** internet activity, asking if you have intentionally viewed, sought out, streamed, or saved anything illegal is within bounds, you know you're not supposed to do that. But theses agencies are mandating you give them your Facebook username, any email addresses you have used, asking if you frequent adult sites then mandating their usernames as well. It goes so far as to ask if you have "scrubbed" your site and what you took off and why.

    Agencies are straying worlds away from the requirements in Arizona's Administrative Code R13-4-105 and R13-4-109 in my opinion. I understand these are minimal standards and agencies allowed to "up" them, but now their asking about legal and protected 1st amendment activity. I know I always heard in the military "we protect freedom and democracy, we dont practice it". It was always kinda hypocritical I thought.

    I wish this were 1 or 2 agencies doing this, would be easy to resolve, nobody would apply and they'd be forced to change their tactics, but it seems to be a pattern in pretty much all the Valley agencies.

    I'm interested to see other's viewpoints ...

  • #2
    It sounds like they are psyching you up as prep for the Poly as well.

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    • #3
      Social media is getting more and more officers (and civilians too), into trouble now a days. As an officer you of all people should be fully aware that the completely legal things people do on these sites is still open to the public and can be used to make you and your employer look bad. Every day I read an article about someone getting fired from their job over what they have legally posted on facebook (quite a few have been articles of people getting fired by their employer after they made anti pd posts by the way, which seems reasonable to me).

      It is 100% legal for you to post whatever you want on your facebook account, and it is 100% legal for an employer to want nothing to do with you if your posts are going to reflect poorly on them. I see nothing wrong with them wanting to look into what kind of crap you post online BEFORE hiring you, instead of waiting until after it becomes an issue. If you do not like it nobody is forcing you to apply for the job, plenty of others will.

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      • #4
        Your concerns are worth noting, but there's a lot of things "legal" that the hiring agency may not want any part of. Nowadays many things are brought up in Court & the media that if not asked, the Dept. could be blind-sided over & that's a problem for anyone. Going to adult websites, bizarre picture sites, etc. may be all perfectly legal & your Right but if it could be proved to be an obsession the dept. would be embarrassed & it could prove indefensible in Court when you testify.

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        • #5
          Don't do stupid stuff on the intardweb and you won't have to worry.
          You want the job? Follow the rules.
          Now go home and get your shine box!

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          • #6
            "It sounds like they are psyching you up as prep for the Poly as well."


            That's exactly what they are doing. Background investigating has morphed into no actual investigation being done, just a pre-screen for the Polygraph. Its lazy and passing the buck ... why investigate when I can ask the question and let the polygraph tell me he's lying?

            Problem is the Polygraph cant tell you he's lying, it tells you a response has been triggered by the question asked, could be that you're lying, could also be that it triggered a memory, bad or good, could be simple nervousness, humor, or misunderstanding the question. The polygraph is smoke and mirrors junk voodoo science and its not a secret anymore.

            There is a reason they never have been allowed as reliable in court, because they are not.
            Last edited by want2banLEO; 01-07-2015, 04:32 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
              Don't do stupid stuff on the intardweb and you won't have to worry.
              You want the job? Follow the rules.
              Funny thing is I don't do stupid stuff on the net, I don't post on public or social networking sites, not a member or follower of any of that crap, my Facebook account is a pseudo acct I use for work to keep tabs on my "clientele".

              I do want the job, and I have followed the rules.

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              • #8
                I wish you good luck in the background process. With all the news focus on "bad cops", I can't blame the departments using all sources of information to make sure you aren't one of the "bad ones".
                My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

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                • #9
                  With your attitude, you are ging to be wanting for a long time...
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

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                  • #10
                    AZPOST is just the minimum requirements, an agency can set their own standards that go higher than POST.

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                    • #11
                      I think agencies believe if you are in serious debt and have bad credit you may be willing to do something illegal as an officer to fix your credit situation. As for social media, people post things that can reflect negatively on their agency. During my background process I had to purchase a credit report and submit it with my background packet. Also while sitting with a background investigator he turned the computer monitor towards me and had me log in to me Facebook. He flipped through my pictures and that was about it. I felt it was intrusive, but it makes sense why they did it.

                      In the end if you are serious about getting the job you'll do whatever they ask of you.

                      Comment

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