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Can Having the wrong friends hurt your background? (Trust me it's not what you think!

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  • Can Having the wrong friends hurt your background? (Trust me it's not what you think!

    Hello all,

    I’ve come up against an issue in my background that I was warned about (by my father) but it never came into play until recently. First a little bit about myself which will help you all to understand me and the situation a little more;

    **I’m relatively young (22)
    **I just bought a home
    **Go to graduate school
    **Work a 3/12 at a LE agency as a civilian
    **Just got engaged (….yeah I know….)
    **Help manage the family business

    Now with all of the above I have very little time for socializing as in meeting new people or having a vast array of friends. In all honesty it’s never been a concern of mine. I have a few friends that I’ve known for years that I am very close with but most of my friend base comes from the department that I work at.

    As my department does not have any open positions for LEO, I have begun applying elsewhere (am currently in backgrounds with three agencies). I have completed and passed backgrounds with my first choice, my background is currently (per my BI) on the chiefs desk and I am awaiting a call from him to set up an oral. Hopefully I will get a conditional job offer then.

    During my background I was only questioned on a few minor events (I went to highschool were my dad was the SRO) so I’m pretty squeaky clean. One of the issues was that my references on my PHS and my base of friends were mostly law enforcement officers, and that on average most of them were 5-10 years older than me). My BI told me that it would not effect me but that the department would like to see me aquire a base of friends who are not employed or involved in law enforcement so that I can keep a fair objective on the world, and not let the job “eat me up” or get “burned out.” I’ve been through MULTIPLE backgrounds now (all passed) and this si the first time I was presented with this. I understand where she was coming from but I’ve always looked at it another way. In Southern California, the atmosphere here isn’t one that helps you to develop with a clean nose. In fact my grandmother recently revealed to me of her 13 adult grandchildren, I and one other (who is also in LE) were the only ones that had never been arrested. I’ve known for a while now that I want this profession, and so I putposely placed people around me that I knew also lead clean lives and would support me in my career choice. Coincidentally this happened to me others, mostly LEO’s, employed in LE. I never thought this would hurt me (and luckily it didn’t/hasn't thus far) but I never thought it would be an issue of concern either. What are your thoughts, what should I do different, is the BI’s advice normal? How should I apply this?

    Thanks ~PW
    Last edited by PaperWriter; 09-20-2008, 10:17 PM. Reason: typo and clarification.....
    "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." -President Ronald Reagan

    Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

  • #2
    I wouldn't worry about it....I really don't see how friends in LE can hurt your chances....and if I was a BI I'd more then likely take the word of a fellow LE on someone's character then a non-LE.

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    • #3
      I think the BI was telling you this more for advice on how to handle life outside the job. It is important to have friends outside of law enforcement because it makes it difficult to get away from the job (although I can't say that I have a whole lot that I don't work with), but it shouldn't effect your process.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by StudChris View Post
        I think the BI was telling you this more for advice on how to handle life outside the job. It is important to have friends outside of law enforcement because it makes it difficult to get away from the job (although I can't say that I have a whole lot that I don't work with), but it shouldn't effect your process.
        Yeah and that was how I took it, more as advice than a critique on my background. I'm probably just stressing again for no reason.
        "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." -President Ronald Reagan

        Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

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        • #5
          I think all the BI was trying to tell you is to broaden your horrizons a little. Aquire some friends from other walks of life besides law enforcement. Okay, you've done well in two Backgrounds, so your choice of friends didn't seen to hurt you. The Officer simply made a suggestion. Don't lose any sleep over it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
            I think all the BI was trying to tell you is to broaden your horrizons a little. Aquire some friends from other walks of life besides law enforcement. Okay, you've done well in two Backgrounds, so your choice of friends didn't seem to hurt you. The Officer simply made a suggestion. Don't lose any sleep over it.
            No I'm not worried about this, I'm honestly just curious if this is a common concern. I'm inclined to believe that at that particular moment, the BI took off the "investigator hat" and put on the "let me help you out" hat. At least that is how I took it.
            "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." -President Ronald Reagan

            Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PaperWriter View Post
              No I'm not worried about this, I'm honestly just curious if this is a common concern. I'm inclined to believe that at that particular moment, the BI took off the "investigator hat" and put on the "let me help you out" hat. At least that is how I took it.
              I believe you took it exactly the way she intended it. Continued good luck in your process.

              Comment

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