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  • California vs. Other States' Police Standards

    Due to some of my past transgressions, which I will list, I know I have no hope of getting hired with any police department in CA, at least for a few more years. I know that CA has the strictest standards for their police and was wondering if I'd have any hope getting hired as a cop in Arkansas, because I am strongly considering moving over there to be with my girlfriend. We both agreed that we'd spend a max of three years there anyway, and in which case I'd hopefully join a department in the Bay Area as a lateral after moving back to CA.

    Questions from the Oakland PD PHS, which I assume would be the same for any dept in CA...

    1) Spent money for illegal purposes - I bought $10 worth of marijuana off a friend once - 3-4 years ago
    2) Driving under the influence - I drove under the influence of marijuana several times, the most recent being 3 years ago. I have driven on several occasions under the influence of alcohol after having ~ 3 drinks, in which cases I was probably under .08, but was under 21 at the time.
    3) Joyriding - A friend showed up at my house after he had taken his Dad's girlfriend's car out, and we took the car out for about 15-20 minutes without incident - 3-4 years ago
    4) Petty theft - There were several occasions at Wal-Mart when I took produce without paying using the self-checker, the total amount probably under $10 - 2 years ago
    5) Possession of alcohol as a minor - I drank before I was 21 (I'm almost 23 now)

    Illegal substance use - have used marijuana approx. 10-15 times, never tried anything else

    Something else I was concerned about - from age 15-17 I was put on Prozac for dysthymia (basically mild depression). Looking back on it, I don't think the medication was really necessary, because psychiatrists tend to give those things out like candy. I do have a letter from the psychiatrist that I saw saying that I am free of any mental health issues (I had to get this for the military because I am/was considering OCS for USMC). I really hope this doesn't DQ me during the mental eval because I honestly feel it's 100% behind me.

    I know all that stuff sounds really bad, on the other hand I do have a BA from a UC, in which I worked for the police department (doing campus security), completed their Citizen's Academy, and did internships for a Congresswoman as well as the governor. My background/driving records are clean, and I've never been fired from a job before.

    Having all that behind me, do I have any chance at all getting hired in another state (specifically AR)? Would they have the same hiring process (polygraph, PHS, etc.)? Any help/insight is appreciated, even if it does shoot down my dreams of being a cop

  • #2
    Just wait for Phil to chime in. To answer thus far, Cali isn't the problem, your background looks bad in all 50 states. Try smaller departments in your area.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
      Cali isn't the problem, your background looks bad in all 50 states.
      I second this; why do you want to be a cop? You seem to be doing a good job of being a criminal, at least a person with obvious integrity issues. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it is always right.
      “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

      Miyamoto Musashi

      “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

      George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

      Comment


      • #4
        First of all, It's a police department... Not the NSA. Second, Give yourself a while to really think this through and see if you really want to go down this path. You going to have trouble for sure passing any polygraph examinatons.
        Captain Square Badge, reporting for duty!.

        Comment


        • #5
          You are admitting to two, and possibly three FELONIES here.......offenses that had you been arrested and convicted for, you would have zero chance of ever being a cop in this country.

          Start looking for another career path.
          The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

          "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

          "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by slamdunc View Post
            I second this; why do you want to be a cop? You seem to be doing a good job of being a criminal, at least a person with obvious integrity issues. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it is always right.
            Is the Congressional seat in your district opening up soon? You could run for that, it pays better than LE.

            Seriously, though, IF all your drugging days are behind you, and you're leading a semi-virtuous life right now. I applaud you. Keep it up and do not let your bad habits catch up to you.

            I got to wonder, though, despite putting down the chronic, are you still drinking to excess? And just because I'm the recovering alcoholic on this forum does not mean that I think that anyone, who still drinks. is an alky-in-denial.
            "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

            Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

            Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by C00LAS1CE View Post
              1) Spent money for illegal purposes - I bought $10 worth of marijuana off a friend once - 3-4 years ago
              2) Driving under the influence - I drove under the influence of marijuana several times, the most recent being 3 years ago. I have driven on several occasions under the influence of alcohol after having ~ 3 drinks, in which cases I was probably under .08, but was under 21 at the time.
              3) Joyriding - A friend showed up at my house after he had taken his Dad's girlfriend's car out, and we took the car out for about 15-20 minutes without incident - 3-4 years ago
              4) Petty theft - There were several occasions at Wal-Mart when I took produce without paying using the self-checker, the total amount probably under $10 - 2 years ago
              5) Possession of alcohol as a minor - I drank before I was 21 (I'm almost 23 now)
              1. You were a principal to a felony. It doesn't matter that it was marijuana - it's still a major issue for a background, especially because it was fairly recent.
              2. Repeatedly driving under the influence is a pretty strong indicator of a substance abuse problem.
              3. Joyriding was taken off the California books many years ago. It is covered under auto theft, which is a felony. That is the second felony to which you were a principal.
              4. Moral turpitude. Someone with a theft history cannot be employed as a peace officer - you need to have absolute integrity.
              5. Not usually much of an issue.

              If the Marine Corps will take you, that would probably be the best route at this time. Get a college education, serve, get discipline and leadership skills, and then re-evaluate what you want to do in life after four or six years. If you still want to be in law enforcement and you have an outstanding military service record, enough time will have passed and you will have shown that you have the integrity and discipline needed to be in law enforcement.
              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                3. Joyriding was taken off the California books many years ago. It is covered under auto theft, which is a felony. That is the second felony to which you were a principal.
                There is Section 10851 of the CA vehicle code....driving without owners consent. You say it was tour friend's dad's car. So be it. It's not the best thinking on your part to go along for the ride, but trust me....no one's on the big yard at the Q for doing the same thing as you've descibed.
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by C00LAS1CE View Post
                  Due to some of my past transgressions, which I will list, I know I have no hope of getting hired with any police department in CA, at least for a few more years. I know that CA has the strictest standards for their police and was wondering if I'd have any hope getting hired as a cop in Arkansas, because I am strongly considering moving over there to be with my girlfriend. We both agreed that we'd spend a max of three years there anyway, and in which case I'd hopefully join a department in the Bay Area as a lateral after moving back to CA.

                  Questions from the Oakland PD PHS, which I assume would be the same for any dept in CA...

                  1) Spent money for illegal purposes - I bought $10 worth of marijuana off a friend once - 3-4 years ago
                  2) Driving under the influence - I drove under the influence of marijuana several times, the most recent being 3 years ago. I have driven on several occasions under the influence of alcohol after having ~ 3 drinks, in which cases I was probably under .08, but was under 21 at the time.
                  3) Joyriding - A friend showed up at my house after he had taken his Dad's girlfriend's car out, and we took the car out for about 15-20 minutes without incident - 3-4 years ago
                  4) Petty theft - There were several occasions at Wal-Mart when I took produce without paying using the self-checker, the total amount probably under $10 - 2 years ago
                  5) Possession of alcohol as a minor - I drank before I was 21 (I'm almost 23 now)

                  Illegal substance use - have used marijuana approx. 10-15 times, never tried anything else

                  Something else I was concerned about - from age 15-17 I was put on Prozac for dysthymia (basically mild depression). Looking back on it, I don't think the medication was really necessary, because psychiatrists tend to give those things out like candy. I do have a letter from the psychiatrist that I saw saying that I am free of any mental health issues (I had to get this for the military because I am/was considering OCS for USMC). I really hope this doesn't DQ me during the mental eval because I honestly feel it's 100% behind me.

                  I know all that stuff sounds really bad, on the other hand I do have a BA from a UC, in which I worked for the police department (doing campus security), completed their Citizen's Academy, and did internships for a Congresswoman as well as the governor. My background/driving records are clean, and I've never been fired from a job before.

                  Having all that behind me, do I have any chance at all getting hired in another state (specifically AR)? Would they have the same hiring process (polygraph, PHS, etc.)? Any help/insight is appreciated, even if it does shoot down my dreams of being a cop
                  Although your question is not specific to Alabama, you'd have just about Zero chance of employment as a Police Officer here. While your internships are commendable, what you have to realize is that they don't negate your prior past conduct. What I honestly recommend for you, is that you continue on the course of responsible citizenship you seem to have established. There are many fields which you can pursue, and in which you can serve society, should that still be your desire.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
                    Just wait for Phil to chime in. To answer thus far, Cali isn't the problem, your background looks bad in all 50 states. Try smaller departments in your area.
                    Why would smaller departments be any different?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by slamdunc View Post
                      I second this; why do you want to be a cop? You seem to be doing a good job of being a criminal, at least a person with obvious integrity issues. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it is always right.
                      First off because it's an extremely honorable profession, doing my internships I realized I could never do a typical 9-5 desk job; I would love to be out on the streets interacting with people, making a positive impact on the community. I've been on several ride alongs, plan on doing more, and I could see myself enjoying a career as a LEO at some point in my life.
                      Last edited by C00LAS1CE; 09-28-2009, 07:53 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                        Is the Congressional seat in your district opening up soon? You could run for that, it pays better than LE.

                        Seriously, though, IF all your drugging days are behind you, and you're leading a semi-virtuous life right now. I applaud you. Keep it up and do not let your bad habits catch up to you.

                        I got to wonder, though, despite putting down the chronic, are you still drinking to excess? And just because I'm the recovering alcoholic on this forum does not mean that I think that anyone, who still drinks. is an alky-in-denial.
                        Why would you think that I ever drank in excess? Like most people my age, I have been a "social drinker" since late high school. I never had any sort of problem with alcohol or anything else; I do not have an addictive personality. As for the congressional seat, the plan was to do that after at least 10 years as a LEO
                        Last edited by C00LAS1CE; 09-28-2009, 08:28 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                          Although your question is not specific to Alabama, you'd have just about Zero chance of employment as a Police Officer here. While your internships are commendable, what you have to realize is that they don't negate your prior past conduct. What I honestly recommend for you, is that you continue on the course of responsible citizenship you seem to have established. There are many fields which you can pursue, and in which you can serve society, should that still be your desire.
                          Are you (and everyone else) saying I won't ever be able to make it as an LEO, or just that I should wait? If so, how many more years before I start applying? Are there any decent paying jobs within a PD that I'd be able to do in order to get related experience? Surely the fact that my last job was working for a police dept gives me some sort of leverage?
                          Last edited by C00LAS1CE; 09-28-2009, 08:06 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ateamer View Post
                            1. You were a principal to a felony. It doesn't matter that it was marijuana - it's still a major issue for a background, especially because it was fairly recent.
                            2. Repeatedly driving under the influence is a pretty strong indicator of a substance abuse problem.
                            3. Joyriding was taken off the California books many years ago. It is covered under auto theft, which is a felony. That is the second felony to which you were a principal.
                            4. Moral turpitude. Someone with a theft history cannot be employed as a peace officer - you need to have absolute integrity.
                            5. Not usually much of an issue.

                            If the Marine Corps will take you, that would probably be the best route at this time. Get a college education, serve, get discipline and leadership skills, and then re-evaluate what you want to do in life after four or six years. If you still want to be in law enforcement and you have an outstanding military service record, enough time will have passed and you will have shown that you have the integrity and discipline needed to be in law enforcement.
                            2) "Repeatedly" is sort of a misleading term. I used marijuana *occasionally* from the age of 17 to 21, in which I happened to drive several times. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but I'm pretty sure each time I did was at least a year apart. I never had a substance abuse problem.

                            As for the Marines, it's really hard for me to go the route because there's a good chance I'd lose my girlfriend (who I plan on marrying within the next few years), aside from the obvious reasons why people don't join the military. Not too mention that it's super competitive right now and I don't think I have a great chance of making it into OCS anyway. As for a college education, I've already got that, and I have no desire to get a master's.
                            Last edited by C00LAS1CE; 09-28-2009, 07:54 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NYCTNT View Post
                              First of all, It's a police department... Not the NSA. Second, Give yourself a while to really think this through and see if you really want to go down this path. You going to have trouble for sure passing any polygraph examinatons.
                              You'd think it was the NSA judging by how thorough the background checks are, including the poly. Before I did my research I had no idea how stringent the standards are for a LEO.

                              Comment

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