Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Can I still become a law enforcement officer?

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Can I still become a law enforcement officer?

    Good afternoon everyone my name is Geoffrey, I am currently 22 years old and live in Lakeland, FL. It's been a dream of mine to either become a police officer or correctional officer but I'm mainly leaning towards becoming a CO (honestly I'll be happy landing a job with either or) My father is correctional officer for Miami-Dade County so growing up with him definitely inspired my interest in the law enforcement field. Now for my question, is it still possible for me to become an officer with an arrest record? Basically when I was 18 years old unfortunately my dad hit me several times and I ended up retaliating as self defense, I had many witnesses but at the end of the day I was the one who ended up going to jail. The charges were however dropped and me and my dad are in the process of getting it expunged so there was no conviction.

    Now when I was 20 years old I messed up big time! It was the worse mistake of my life and I kick myself every single day for it. Regrettably while living in Miami, FL I was hanging out with the wrong crowd and got a "Promise to appear" (which is of course technically an arrest) for a misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Since I didn't have any prior problems with drugs and the law they offered me a Drug class course which if I take the charges will be dismissed. Needless to say I took the course and my misdemeanor was dismissed, no conviction. Its been two years since that happened, I haven't smoked nor do I have the desire too since my incident 2 years ago, I have moved away from Miami to Lakeland and its been a great decision, After living with my fiancé and taking care of my sick grandmother I realized college parties and bad choice of friends isn't what is going to help me progress future path. I have matured and I know what needs to be done to make my dream of becoming a LEO a reality. The steps I am going to take are 1. Get my D and G security license. 2. Work for a security job for at least 1 to 2 years. 3. Build my credit score to the 700's (currently low 600's) 4. Self sponsor myself at the academy (already have money saved for that) 5. Apply to surrounding counties in my area once certified.

    Now that you know my story will my arrest record harm my chances of becoming a police or correctional officer even though I have no convictions? Some more information about me if it helps answer my question is, I have some college but no degree, I have a high school diploma, I have a steady job history, the counties I am trying to apply to will be Polk, Hillsborough, and Orange County, and I have a clean driving record.

    Any answers or advice to this will be greatly appreciated and thank you all in advance!

  • #2
    I'm from Miami originally.

    Unless things have changed A LOT, you are going to be towards the bottom. I'm not judging you, only basing it on what you have stated here.
    You will always have to answer "yes" to the arrest questions, even if the arrest is expunged. The fact that the assault was domestic related does not help either. Expungment is not a magic eraser- in fact, the FDLE will have the info in their expungement database - MDPD will query it as part of their BI.
    In a world where other candidates have clean records, you will rank beneath them in the hiring process. Period.
    As for the weed, admitting you tried it is certainly different than a cite for possession. But again, it really is a negative for hiring.

    Also, a security job will not help. At all.

    I don't understand why you cite parties as a reason not to get a college education. That statement makes me wonder about your maturity, and your thought process in general.

    Sorry to be a downer- just telling like it is as you asked.

    SUPPORT COP RUN BUSINESSES!!
    SUPPORT LEO BUSINESSES!



    In 2017, the sales of my LEO related decals allowed me to donate over $350. to LE/ Military related charities... THANK YOU!!! Check them out HERE...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by swat_op506 View Post
      I'm from Miami originally.

      Unless things have changed A LOT, you are going to be towards the bottom. I'm not judging you, only basing it on what you have stated here.
      You will always have to answer "yes" to the arrest questions, even if the arrest is expunged. The fact that the assault was domestic related does not help either. Expungment is not a magic eraser- in fact, the FDLE will have the info in their expungement database - MDPD will query it as part of their BI.
      In a world where other candidates have clean records, you will rank beneath them in the hiring process. Period.
      As for the weed, admitting you tried it is certainly different than a cite for possession. But again, it really is a negative for hiring.

      Also, a security job will not help. At all.

      I don't understand why you cite parties as a reason not to get a college education. That statement makes me wonder about your maturity, and your thought process in general.

      Sorry to be a downer- just telling like it is as you asked.
      Thank you for the reply that really does put me down big time, but its time to take responsibility for my actions. As for parties I didn't mean that I partied a lot, in fact I have only been to maybe 3 at most and realized it isn't my scene. This is not why I left college, I left college because my school counselor asked me why am I in college if I just wanted to be an officer? She told me the money will be better spent going to the academy instead. As for smoking, I will not lie and say I haven't because I want to pass the polygraph test and I want to be honest to my future employer and hope they can respect that. Was I a pot head? No not even remotely close to it. I smoked a couple times socially and mainly stopped not only because I want to be a LEO but also because smoking gives me anxiety. This isn't a perfect world and I am not a perfect person but many people my age makes stupid mistakes but we learn from them. Would you have any advice for me as to help me become a LEO? Or is my future doomed forever? I plan to be an officer when I am 25 which will be five years from my last arrest. If anybody can give me some good advice, I don't want to do anything else as a career beside Law enforcement

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by swat_op506 View Post
        I'm from Miami originally.

        Unless things have changed A LOT, you are going to be towards the bottom. I'm not judging you, only basing it on what you have stated here.
        You will always have to answer "yes" to the arrest questions, even if the arrest is expunged. The fact that the assault was domestic related does not help either. Expungment is not a magic eraser- in fact, the FDLE will have the info in their expungement database - MDPD will query it as part of their BI.
        In a world where other candidates have clean records, you will rank beneath them in the hiring process. Period.
        As for the weed, admitting you tried it is certainly different than a cite for possession. But again, it really is a negative for hiring.

        Also, a security job will not help. At all.

        I don't understand why you cite parties as a reason not to get a college education. That statement makes me wonder about your maturity, and your thought process in general.

        Sorry to be a downer- just telling like it is as you asked.
        Reason why I also though security will help is because on the polk county correction job posting it says preferred experience in corrections or security.

        Comment


        • #5
          There's a number of red flags here. So much so, that you'll have a very long, uphill battle to fight.

          First, the domestic arrest. As stated, an expungement doesn't make it go away. We can still see it and the details of the event. By itself it's a problem but not necessarily fatal to getting hired. More on that later.

          Second, the marijuana cite. In this day and age, not really a big deal most places. Taken all by itself it might not be an issue... given some time. Most places require 5 to 10 years since you're last drug use before you can be considered. Looks like you're only 2 years out.

          Third, your credit score. Again, by itself, credit score isn't the killer it used to be but it's still something to look at in the totality.

          So, that's the big parts taken by themselves. Let's look at the BIG picture though. Two arrests in 4 years, with only 2 years since the last incident. Drug use, college dropout and bad credit. That all paints a picture of someone who is impulsive, immature, and has difficulty maintaining themselves to social standards. If your background came across my desk, I'd mark it Not Recommended for Hire.

          Now, let's talk about what you can do to *maybe* fix your stuff. First, put some years between you and your past. Right now it's all too recent. But you'll need more than just years, you'll need quality years. Finish college, get a good, steady job and keep your nose clean. Maybe find some kind of volunteer work that you truly enjoy and feel engaged with (but do it because you want to, not to pad your resume.) Maybe consider some military time, if you have a heart for service (again, because you want to, not to build yourself up.)

          Originally posted by kontemplerande
          Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
            There's a number of red flags here. So much so, that you'll have a very long, uphill battle to fight.

            First, the domestic arrest. As stated, an expungement doesn't make it go away. We can still see it and the details of the event. By itself it's a problem but not necessarily fatal to getting hired. More on that later.

            Second, the marijuana cite. In this day and age, not really a big deal most places. Taken all by itself it might not be an issue... given some time. Most places require 5 to 10 years since you're last drug use before you can be considered. Looks like you're only 2 years out.

            Third, your credit score. Again, by itself, credit score isn't the killer it used to be but it's still something to look at in the totality.

            So, that's the big parts taken by themselves. Let's look at the BIG picture though. Two arrests in 4 years, with only 2 years since the last incident. Drug use, college dropout and bad credit. That all paints a picture of someone who is impulsive, immature, and has difficulty maintaining themselves to social standards. If your background came across my desk, I'd mark it Not Recommended for Hire.

            Now, let's talk about what you can do to *maybe* fix your stuff. First, put some years between you and your past. Right now it's all too recent. But you'll need more than just years, you'll need quality years. Finish college, get a good, steady job and keep your nose clean. Maybe find some kind of volunteer work that you truly enjoy and feel engaged with (but do it because you want to, not to pad your resume.) Maybe consider some military time, if you have a heart for service (again, because you want to, not to build yourself up.)
            Thank you for the advice. but I didn't drop out of college, I finished my semester and took my school counselor's advice to go to the academy instead. As for credit I wont be applying until my credit score is at least in the 700's. As for drug use Hillsborough county states no drug use within 36 months so do you think I have a better shot with them? That is good advice and if college is a MUST I will gladly finish it, I cant join the military because I have a grandmother I need to take care of right now (Main reason why I moved to Lakeland)

            Now is college mandatory? Or is good credit, stable job history, years between my past, academy graduate enough? I ask this not because I don't want to go back to college but because I work 6 to 7 days a week 10 hours a day (mostly 7 days a week) and I live on my own with my fiancé so have a full time job is necessary to support myself. Correction's academy for me is more realistic because my its only 3 months and my plan was to save up money for 4 months worth of bills, take a leave of absence from work since im covered from savings in the bank, finish the academy, and go back to my current job until I get hired by a department. What do you think sir? thank you

            Comment


            • #7
              You're going to have some significant problems. Let's deal with the altercation with your Father first. Like it or not, this comes under the very broad umbrella of "Domestic Violence". Any agency to which you apply will take a long, hard, critical, look at any issue concerning DV. This applies to both suspects or victims in a DV situation.

              Expungements: In a law enforcement background investigation, Expungments simply do not exist. Nor do records which have been set aside, modified, dismissed, or nol prossed. Each of these situations are routinely and typically accessed by Background Investigators.

              Now the "arrest" for marijuana. While it's entirely possible an agency may find a one time use/experimentation within it's particular "tolerance" policy, you were still technically arrested for a violation of the marijuana/controlled substance laws. Again, with respect to a police background investigation, there is no such thing as an expungement.

              In any application(s) you make, complete honesty concerning your record is an absolute must. I can't make it any plainer than that. Regarding employment in the security field. It will give you no special "leg up" or assistance in reaching your goal(s). Any employment where you exhibit reliability, the ability to be trusted, and where you compile a record of solid job performance will aid you far more than a security gig.

              You've got some rather serious issues going in, and currently you're not the ideal candidate. Time, in the neighborhood of at least three to five years, can be an ally for you. That's time in which you compile a solid work or academic record, and time in which you remain arrest and violation free. Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by geoff0707 View Post

                Thank you for the advice. but I didn't drop out of college, I finished my semester and took my school counselor's advice to go to the academy instead.
                That's dropping out. You didn't finish and left school. The reason is immaterial. You dropped out.

                Originally posted by geoff0707 View Post
                Now is college mandatory?
                I can't speak to Florida, but where I'm from, it is absolutely mandatory. You cannot be certified until you have college. Florida may be different but you'd best find out.

                Originally posted by geoff0707 View Post
                Or is good credit, stable job history, years between my past, academy graduate enough? I ask this not because I don't want to go back to college but because I work 6 to 7 days a week 10 hours a day (mostly 7 days a week) and I live on my own with my fiancé so have a full time job is necessary to support myself.
                I worked two jobs, raised two kids and wife who couldn't work while putting myself through college to get the job I wanted. The first couple years of our marriage, I was almost never home. It was rough, but I did it because I needed to in order to get into this line of work.

                Even if college isn't mandatory in Florida, it shows that a person is dedicated and interested in making this line of a work a career. I can guarantee you if it's not needed to get hired, it will most likely be needed to promote.

                Originally posted by geoff0707 View Post
                Correction's academy for me is more realistic because my its only 3 months and my plan was to save up money for 4 months worth of bills, take a leave of absence from work since im covered from savings in the bank, finish the academy, and go back to my current job until I get hired by a department. What do you think sir? thank you
                What do I think? I think you're spending a LOT of time trying to justify your past and find the path of least resistance to getting what you want. It sounds like my initial assessment of immature, impulsive and not quite ready is spot on.

                Originally posted by kontemplerande
                Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by srt936 View Post

                  that's dropping out. You didn't finish and left school. The reason is immaterial. You dropped out.



                  I can't speak to florida, but where i'm from, it is absolutely mandatory. You cannot be certified until you have college. Florida may be different but you'd best find out.



                  I worked two jobs, raised two kids and wife who couldn't work while putting myself through college to get the job i wanted. The first couple years of our marriage, i was almost never home. It was rough, but i did it because i needed to in order to get into this line of work.

                  Even if college isn't mandatory in florida, it shows that a person is dedicated and interested in making this line of a work a career. I can guarantee you if it's not needed to get hired, it will most likely be needed to promote.



                  What do i think? I think you're spending a lot of time trying to justify your past and find the path of least resistance to getting what you want. It sounds like my initial assessment of immature, impulsive and not quite ready is spot on.

                  like.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SRT936 View Post

                    That's dropping out. You didn't finish and left school. The reason is immaterial. You dropped out.



                    I can't speak to Florida, but where I'm from, it is absolutely mandatory. You cannot be certified until you have college. Florida may be different but you'd best find out.



                    I worked two jobs, raised two kids and wife who couldn't work while putting myself through college to get the job I wanted. The first couple years of our marriage, I was almost never home. It was rough, but I did it because I needed to in order to get into this line of work.

                    Even if college isn't mandatory in Florida, it shows that a person is dedicated and interested in making this line of a work a career. I can guarantee you if it's not needed to get hired, it will most likely be needed to promote.



                    What do I think? I think you're spending a LOT of time trying to justify your past and find the path of least resistance to getting what you want. It sounds like my initial assessment of immature, impulsive and not quite ready is spot on.
                    I am not trying to get out of going to college and I don't think I am being immature, I asked a reasonable question because here in Florida it is not mandatory to have a degree to become an officer so I asked if it was mandatory in my situation where I have an arrest record. That doesn't sound like an immature person to me, that sounds like a man who wants proper information to lead him to his career. I work very hard for my money and I know most of you on here do as well, I asked if college is mandatory for MY situation because if it is not and if it wont help me to become an officer than why would I waste my hard earned money on it unless I was trying to get into another field of work? I am not trying to justify the past, I admit it was a big mistake. not the domestic violence one because it was purely self defense and I had many neighbors as witnesses and yet I still went to jail and my dad feels extremely guilty for hitting me over and over again until I was forced to use self defense because he knows that he was in the wrong. As for the possession yes I was an absolute moron and it was a really dumb mistake and I kick myself every single day for doing that because at the end of the day it was my fault alone and I cant blame anybody for it. I mean no disrespect to you and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to help me out with answers to benefit me. But don't get the wrong idea about me trying to find the easy way out, because I'll do what needs to be done.

                    Now would it be smarter to go into college for a different field than law? So this way I can have a good steady career while waiting for time to pass?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                      You're going to have some significant problems. Let's deal with the altercation with your Father first. Like it or not, this comes under the very broad umbrella of "Domestic Violence". Any agency to which you apply will take a long, hard, critical, look at any issue concerning DV. This applies to both suspects or victims in a DV situation.

                      Expungements: In a law enforcement background investigation, Expungments simply do not exist. Nor do records which have been set aside, modified, dismissed, or nol prossed. Each of these situations are routinely and typically accessed by Background Investigators.

                      Now the "arrest" for marijuana. While it's entirely possible an agency may find a one time use/experimentation within it's particular "tolerance" policy, you were still technically arrested for a violation of the marijuana/controlled substance laws. Again, with respect to a police background investigation, there is no such thing as an expungement.

                      In any application(s) you make, complete honesty concerning your record is an absolute must. I can't make it any plainer than that. Regarding employment in the security field. It will give you no special "leg up" or assistance in reaching your goal(s). Any employment where you exhibit reliability, the ability to be trusted, and where you compile a record of solid job performance will aid you far more than a security gig.

                      You've got some rather serious issues going in, and currently you're not the ideal candidate. Time, in the neighborhood of at least three to five years, can be an ally for you. That's time in which you compile a solid work or academic record, and time in which you remain arrest and violation free. Good luck.
                      Thank you for your reply

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SRT936 View Post

                        That's dropping out. You didn't finish and left school. The reason is immaterial. You dropped out.



                        I can't speak to Florida, but where I'm from, it is absolutely mandatory. You cannot be certified until you have college. Florida may be different but you'd best find out.



                        I worked two jobs, raised two kids and wife who couldn't work while putting myself through college to get the job I wanted. The first couple years of our marriage, I was almost never home. It was rough, but I did it because I needed to in order to get into this line of work.

                        Even if college isn't mandatory in Florida, it shows that a person is dedicated and interested in making this line of a work a career. I can guarantee you if it's not needed to get hired, it will most likely be needed to promote.



                        What do I think? I think you're spending a LOT of time trying to justify your past and find the path of least resistance to getting what you want. It sounds like my initial assessment of immature, impulsive and not quite ready is spot on.
                        Since college would be of help to me as you said I will find a way to do it. Your message has inspired me about raising kids and working two jobs so if you can do it so can I. There is always online school. Now I just need to know if I can go to college for any program? So this way I can work a good job after college in a different field until many years have passed since my last arrest. There are only a few departments in florida that require a degree but apparently it can be any degree and doesn't have to be a law degree. So id just like to double check

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by geoff0707 View Post

                          Since college would be of help to me as you said I will find a way to do it. Your message has inspired me about raising kids and working two jobs so if you can do it so can I. There is always online school. Now I just need to know if I can go to college for any program? So this way I can work a good job after college in a different field until many years have passed since my last arrest. There are only a few departments in florida that require a degree but apparently it can be any degree and doesn't have to be a law degree. So id just like to double check
                          Get a degree in something that will actually be useful. Many believe that CJ degrees will be the best for them if they get into LE. A degree in accounting, chemistry or even foreign languages will be more useful. Not only will they be good for LE jobs, but also in the event that you cannot work LE for whatever reason. Things happen on the job. Officers can be injured and have permanent injuries that would prevent them from performing LE duties. When this happens, it would be great to have some other career path.

                          You seem a bit young (mentally). Rather than taking the advice of seasoned officers and finding ways to "fix" mistakes you've made, you minimize and justify why you messed up. It took me nearly 15 years to get my college degree. Never needed one until I wanted to be a LEO. Couldn't get around the college degree requirement, so I took classes online, nights and weekends to get it done. From what I was told, I could have had a degree in music (mine was in biology) and it wouldn't have mattered. All that matters is that I have a 4 year college degree. In the end, you'll need to figure out what you want to do with your life, then find the means to get there.

                          Good luck!
                          Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HI629 View Post

                            Get a degree in something that will actually be useful. Many believe that CJ degrees will be the best for them if they get into LE. A degree in accounting, chemistry or even foreign languages will be more useful. Not only will they be good for LE jobs, but also in the event that you cannot work LE for whatever reason. Things happen on the job. Officers can be injured and have permanent injuries that would prevent them from performing LE duties. When this happens, it would be great to have some other career path.

                            You seem a bit young (mentally). Rather than taking the advice of seasoned officers and finding ways to "fix" mistakes you've made, you minimize and justify why you messed up. It took me nearly 15 years to get my college degree. Never needed one until I wanted to be a LEO. Couldn't get around the college degree requirement, so I took classes online, nights and weekends to get it done. From what I was told, I could have had a degree in music (mine was in biology) and it wouldn't have mattered. All that matters is that I have a 4 year college degree. In the end, you'll need to figure out what you want to do with your life, then find the means to get there.

                            Good luck!
                            Thank you I appreciate the advice, I'll think long and hard about what degree I want to pursue. I'm sorry if I gave the impression of me trying to justify my mistakes, I understand I messed up and that's okay because I learned from them and they will never happen again. Its all uphill from now, and I'll do whatever it takes to achieve my goal so I appreciate you answering my college question and thanks!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Now, let's talk about what you can do to *maybe* fix your stuff. First, put some years between you and your past. Right now it's all too recent. But you'll need more than just years, you'll need quality years. Finish college, get a good, steady job and keep your nose clean. Maybe find some kind of volunteer work that you truly enjoy and feel engaged with (but do it because you want to, not to pad your resume.) Maybe consider some military time, if you have a heart for service (again, because you want to, not to build yourself up.)
                              This.

                              A degree in accounting, chemistry or even foreign languages will be more useful. Not only will they be good for LE jobs, but also in the event that you cannot work LE for whatever reason.
                              True... as long as you can get good grades. An "A" in CJ beats a "C" in Psychology.

                              What do i think? I think you're spending a lot of time trying to justify your past and find the path of least resistance to getting what you want. It sounds like my initial assessment of immature, impulsive and not quite ready is spot on.
                              Have to agree. My advice is finish college, put some military time under your belt IF YOU WANT TO SERVE NOT TO PAD YOUR RESUME.

                              A lot about the military sucks and if you get disgruntled and screw it up you'll have consequences that follow you for life.

                              Many colleges have police departments that hire students part time as security aids or the like. You do traffic control, escort people to their cars at night and things like that. That type of work would be seen favorably especially if you do well enough to get a recommendation from someone in the department.

                              Do all that and keep your nose clean and you'll have a good chance with many departments.
                              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 12638 users online. 463 members and 12175 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 19,482 at 12:44 PM on 09-29-2011.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X