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Prior Service (Army) to LEO

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  • Prior Service (Army) to LEO

    Good afternoon everyone, quick background on me: I served 4 years in Active Duty, with one deployment to Afghanistan, and a honorable discharge. However this is where it gets sketchy, in the two and a half years I have been out I have left three jobs without notice, and held 5 total in the last 2 and half years. Without too much details, I left the jobs with my families best interest in mind and sketchy employers (small family owned business) however I am now regretting the decisions I have made. I am returning to a job that I left in good standing (Home Depot) and going to remain there for the remainder of my time in pursuit of a career in LE. Is there any thing else I can do to better my chances in LE?

    Additional information: I am male, 23 years old, 2 little boys, married for 4 years, average credit 650-670 range, never missed a car payment or rent payment (renting last year), 2 speeding tickets in 2014 and 2016, and have smoked marrijuana 2 times in 2017 after getting out of military (legally). I feel like other than work history, my background isn't too bad, just wish I applied straight out of the Army

    Last note, I am currently taking classes at a community college studying sociology, and have my EMT certification.

    Looking for a career in Southern California.


  • #2
    Word of advice: be a firefighter lol! J/K, sort of. Well the leaving your employment without notice is kinda bad especially if it's recent. What are they going to tell a background investigator? I know jobs can be a pain in the you know what, but how's it going to be if your in LE and there's something you don't like (and believe we deal with unpleasantness on a daily). Also, your marijuana use may be too recent for some agencies as well.

    Ways to get better, lets see. Stay at one job and be a good employee. Go to school which you are. In backgrounds there's the mantra of time and distance usually cures most blemishes, they're still gonna be there but if you show that you've grown and mature from it then its a good thing. Anyhow, good luck!
    sigpic

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
    -George Orwell

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    • #3
      Thank you very much! I’ve seen some of your post, and I respect and value your input. As I said, I’m going to school and will focus on that and being a good employee/citizen as I continue to apply. As you said, hopefully with time and maturity I can get in. Thanks again for your response!

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      • #4
        You might want to consider trying to get a job with TSA. You can work part time (20 hours a week) with decent pay (around 20 an hour) and you get TSP matching, Annual Leave and Sick Leave. It’s a federal gig that can get you through college. After that you can try to get on a local or federal agency. If you go federal the time with TSA counts toward retirement (not covered LEO time though) and you can buy you miiItaly time to count also.
        “Right now I'm having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.” - Steven Wright

        US Army MP (95B) 1992-1997
        DOJ Agent/ DHS Officer 1997 to Present

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        • gwot_scout
          gwot_scout commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for your input. Will look into TSA, have not thought about that avenue of approach.

      • #5
        Leaving jobs without notice and job hopping is indicative of someone who does not handle adversity well and is unable to adapt to constantly changing situations, all of which are constants in law enforcement. This is particularly so in our profession where you often feel the department is more against you than is the public. When you consider how much it costs to screen an applicant, sent them through an academy and put them through FTO (close to $100k) no one wants to take a chance on someone who quits just because they are unhappy.

        Until you establish a stable work history (3 to 5 years with one employer) you will not be looked at favorably on the background and there's a good chance you will be DQed.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • gwot_scout
          gwot_scout commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for the straight forward answer!

      • #6
        I'm not a police officer bro, but I'm in a MA unit full of cops with different stories. One of my buddies worked 8 different jobs within 3 years after getting out of the Marines. He joined the Navy reserves and started applying at different agencies. He got rejected by God knows how many agencies. He never gave up, used his GI Bill to pay for a private police academy, got his POST certificate, and applied for school police. He works in Long Beach patrolling a high school. Your situation doesn't sound as bad as his, so idk. Maybe there's hope.

        Just a thought.

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        • gwot_scout
          gwot_scout commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for the encouragement!

      • #7
        Originally posted by gwot_scout View Post
        and have smoked marrijuana 2 times in 2017 after getting out of military (legally).



        Smoking marijuana is not legal.....it is a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

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        • gwot_scout
          gwot_scout commented
          Editing a comment
          Pretty sure it is in California...

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