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  • Foreign Travel

    Hi guys. I have two unusualy questions, both of them regarding travel.

    The first is, I have spent a lot of time in Egypt, because my wife is from there, and I wanted to become fluent in Arabic. Do you think this would gretly complicate the background check? Egypt is a good friend of the U.S., but still.

    The second is, because I love to travel, would my watch commander or someone have to give me clearance to travel to another country? What would happen if I wanted to go to a country like Saudi Arabi to go on Hajj?

    Strange questions, but I would greatly appreciate any info or even just your opinions.

  • #2
    I wouldn't think so, I have traveled all over the world and speak two languages besides English. Traveling makes my understanding of different cultures a huge plus during interviews and I have seen that as a big positive getting ranked during the oral boards.

    I have not been hired yet and am in process at several departments, but I would think you can go where you want on your vacation...we are a free society last time I checked. You cannot CC a weapon on any international flights I imagine so there is no need to get permission on that, because it won't happen.

    As with any interview, I would avoid questions about vacation and time off. That is always something that can be asked when you go in to sign your hiring contract. It should be plainly evident through the benifits package your union will have with the city.

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    • #3
      I love to travel and I have been in a similar situation. I worked for two local police departments and they did not care if I traveled to a foreign country. No permission of any kind was required. My travels were not even brought up during my two local PD background investigations nor were my travels looked into at all.

      However, when I worked as a contractor for the federal government and I held a security clearance, they DID care about my foreign travels. I had to disclose every country I have EVER visited. I also had to disclose if my wife, former wife, or girlfriend was a foreign national. The investigator even had me show him my passport so he could compare the stamps with the countries I listed in my SF-86 (personal history form). I cannot say that my background investigation took any longer because of my travels (my interim clearance was granted two weeks after I submitted the SF-86 and my formal clearance came through in about six months) but I know they were looked into.

      When I had my clearance I did not have to get permission to travel, but I had to tell my employer where I was going and why. When I returned I was debriefed about my travels and asked where specifically I went and who I talked to. So to summarize, a local law enforcement agency will most likely not care about any foreign travel but a federal job that requires a security clearance will.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by histfan71 View Post
        I love to travel and I have been in a similar situation. I worked for two local police departments and they did not care if I traveled to a foreign country. No permission of any kind was required. My travels were not even brought up during my two local PD background investigations nor were my travels looked into at all.

        However, when I worked as a contractor for the federal government and I held a security clearance, they DID care about my foreign travels. I had to disclose every country I have EVER visited. I also had to disclose if my wife, former wife, or girlfriend was a foreign national. The investigator even had me show him my passport so he could compare the stamps with the countries I listed in my SF-86 (personal history form). I cannot say that my background investigation took any longer because of my travels (my interim clearance was granted two weeks after I submitted the SF-86 and my formal clearance came through in about six months) but I know they were looked into.

        When I had my clearance I did not have to get permission to travel, but I had to tell my employer where I was going and why. When I returned I was debriefed about my travels and asked where specifically I went and who I talked to. So to summarize, a local law enforcement agency will most likely not care about any foreign travel but a federal job that requires a security clearance will.
        Yup- I too went through that process as a VIP security contractor for close protection. Some countries where you go to do that kind of work are not the garden spots of the world.

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        • #5
          I can't say I'm surprised by having to disclose your travels in order to get a security clearance. MY dad is a sailor and has to tell his CO if he even wants to go to Canada, and his CO can say "no." Thank you for your insight.

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          • #6
            If you are applying for a local law enforcement job and you merely visited Egypt, it should not be a problem on the background. However, if you lived there for any period of time, it could delay your background's completion.

            Many years back I had to do a background on an applicant who lived in Morocco. I promptly put in a request for airline tickets and a travel expense advance, only to be met with laughter. If you lived there, the agency you apply with will no doubt ask the FBI liaison in Egypt to do that portion of your background for them. Because the FBI has other responsibilities and this is not a priority, it could delay completion of your background by several months.

            Getting time off to go to Hajj could be a problem. This is something you would use your vacation time for. Most departments limit the number of officers that can be off on vacation at any one time to avoid understaffing and bidding for vacation time is usually done by seniority. If officers more senior to you claim all the vacation slots during Hajj, you will be out of luck. However, once you have been on long enough to gain seniority, you should be able to claim the desired vacation period each year.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Agreed with L1, I work for a local PD and have traveled out of the country a few times, they don't care about it. I just used my personal or vacation time, so as long as you have the time to use, and can schedule it, you'll have no problem getting the time off.

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              • #8
                ??? ive never even been on an airplane
                Gotta catch em allll.........

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                • #9
                  A department could careless where you go on your vacation, as long as your not doing any illegal activity. Which also includes any activity which may be legal in that country but is illegal in the US. An officer was in the news a few months back for sex with a 15 year old girl. Perfectly legal in the country he was visiting, but as you know, illegal in the US.

                  Knowing another language is always a plus...
                  2wheeldep
                  Forum Member
                  Last edited by 2wheeldep; 05-09-2009, 11:07 AM. Reason: spelling

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                  • #10
                    Like the others said here local PD and SO probably wont care all that much where you plan to go to.

                    As for federal agencies....esp Homeland Security. They care...big time lol.
                    What if quotas did exist?!

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                    • #11
                      Yes, foreign language ability is always a plus. Santa Cruz Sheriff is paying people $0.50/hour for it XD Actually, I don't know, is that good?

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                      • #12
                        I work for a state agency, and I travel out of the country often. I've never even thought about asking permission. I can't see why they would care.
                        You can now follow me on twitter.

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