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  • Background questions

    I understand that there are plenty of similar questions in this forum, but I still would like a little more specific advice for my situation.

    OK, Here is a little bit about me. I am 27 years old, I have been in the US Coast Guard for the last five years, and I will be getting out in a year and a half. I have had good marks with the USCG and hold a SECRET clearance(I guess that doesn't matter much). I want to become a police officer when I get out but I have some background issues from before I joined the USCG. I understand that none of these issues, individually would DQ me, but put together it just paints a not so pretty picture.

    1. When I was 17 I got a DUI.
    2. When I was 22 I got a open container ticket and I failed to appear to my court date(I later went to my local PD and turned myself in and paid a fine to the court).
    3. I have 2 moving (other than my DUI) tickets on my driving record, speeding (age 19) and unsafe turn (age 21).
    4. My job history before the USCG was sketchy at best, I have had a total of three jobs with gaps in my employment (being a loser at home) and I was fired for being late from the last job that I had.
    5. My only drug use was pre 18th birthday and was weed and I smoked it 10-20 times in my four years of high school.

    I do have some good things going for me. I am still active duty and I am also taking college classes. I have about 70 units and I am shooting for a BA in CJ. I got married three years ago and have even purchased a house. In addition, my credit is really good. I have done limited LE with the USCG, mostly handling bales of cocain and Marijuana and loading them into our evidence lockers. I have never been late to work the five years I have been in the USCG.

    I understand that my immaturity years ago will potentially hurt or kill my chances, especially the alcohol violations. Do you think that there has been enough time that separates my bad decisions from now for me to get hired? I am willing to be a reserve officer to show that I have matured and can be a full time officer, is that a route that I should go after?

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    You are walking that line. Without your CG service and I'm assuming good records there, I'd say no. Numbers 1,2,and 5 are the bigger issues to overcome. Were I looking at your BG packet on my desk, I wouldn't can you automatically, but we'd have to talk about the MJ use...you're borderline on excessive use. As for 1 and 2...the best you can do is own and not even try to explain it as anything other than sheer immaturity. You have a chance, but remember that you are/will be competing against those w/ better backgrounds.

    edited to add: Thank you for your service, Sir.
    sigpic

    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for your service.

      FTA would be one of my concerns as well as the MJ usage............more than experimental.

      Good luck
      "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
        You are walking that line. Without your CG service and I'm assuming good records there, I'd say no. Numbers 1,2,and 5 are the bigger issues to overcome. Were I looking at your BG packet on my desk, I wouldn't can you automatically, but we'd have to talk about the MJ use...you're borderline on excessive use. As for 1 and 2...the best you can do is own and not even try to explain it as anything other than sheer immaturity. You have a chance, but remember that you are/will be competing against those w/ better backgrounds.

        edited to add: Thank you for your service, Sir.
        +1

        Comment


        • #5
          #1. The DUI is 10 yrs old and MIGHT not be too much of a problem............maybe

          #2 The FTA is a serious infraction that will raise red flags---------mostly because you were an adult at the time it happened.

          #5 Is most likely a killer.

          Rather than preach or scold, I will simply post the drug usage policy for the Iowa Department Of Public Safety (Iowa State Troopers/DCI/DEA/Fire Marshal). This policy is similar to many large departments around the country...............although many have different thresholds.

          http://www.dps.state.ia.us/commis/pr...ications.shtml

          To determine whether you meet the Department's drug policy, please answer the following questions:

          *Have you used marijuana at all within the last two years?
          * Have you used marijuana more than a total of 15 times in your life?
          * Have you used any other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) at all in the past 10 years?
          *Have you used an other illegal drug (including anabolic steroids after February 27, 1991) more than a total of five times in your life?
          * Have you ever sold any illegal drug for profit?
          *Have you ever used an illegal drug (no matter how many times or how long ago) while in a law enforcement or prosecutorial position, or in a position which carries with it a high level of responsibility or public trust?

          If you answered YES to any of the above six questions, you are immediately disqualified and should NOT apply for a peace officer position with the Department of Public Safety.

          Other conduct not specified will be evaluated
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you guys for all of your responses. I knew that my FTA was going to be a huge issue that I would have to overcome. To be honest, I am very surprised about the MJ issue. I am from California, and I know a handful of officers that work for various agencies (around the SF Bay Area) and that it was really never a huge issue. Is it possible that the departments are more lax about prior drug use, specifically MJ? I do know that the laws in CA are more lax than most states(possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is an infraction, with a max $100 fine). Do you think that going the unpaid reserve route will help, since there would be less invested in me? I would love to stay in school to finish my BA while working as a reservist. Please keep the info coming, it is really helping me out. Thank you, again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
              You are walking that line. Without your CG service and I'm assuming good records there, I'd say no. Numbers 1,2,and 5 are the bigger issues to overcome. Were I looking at your BG packet on my desk, I wouldn't can you automatically, but we'd have to talk about the MJ use...you're borderline on excessive use. As for 1 and 2...the best you can do is own and not even try to explain it as anything other than sheer immaturity. You have a chance, but remember that you are/will be competing against those w/ better backgrounds.

              edited to add: Thank you for your service, Sir.
              I see two problems for you. They've both been noted, but I want you to understand their likely negative impact on your hiring prospects. First the FTA. There is simply no excuse for that. Add to that, the fact that you were an Adult at the time. The use of Marijuana 15-20 times pushes the tolerance envelope considerably, and would be a definite DQ with my Agency. It's possible that you'll have an outside chance with some departments. As has been noted, your competition will be enormous. Currently in LE, there is a glut of candidates chasing relatively few jobs. If you're eligible for re-enlistment in the Coast Guard, you might explore that option, even up to and including retirement. You'd still be young enough to compete for LE jobs, and providing your Service Record looks good, you'd be a far more viable candidate. Sincere thanks for your service.

              Comment

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