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  • Do I have a chance?

    I'm a 22 year old female and wanting to be a police officer but I don't know if it's possible. I'd like your opinion on a few concerns

    1) when I was 11 my parents went through an extremely ugly divorce constantly fighting with each other and basically using me and my siblings as pawns to hurt each other. During that time I was so stressed that I stopped eating and eventually was hospitalized and had a feeding tube placed. I fully recovered. Is that going to DQ me?

    2) I have suffered from debilitating migraines (to the point of temporary paralysis). I was prescribed medication to take as soon as I notice signs of a migraine coming on and it will stop it in its tracks so they don't interfere with my life. Only issue is that the migraine medication makes me extremely nauseous so in order to prevent the nausea I need to inject myself with an anti nausea shot before taking the migraine pill and I'm perfectly fine. Is that going to be an issue?

    3) I was rear-ended by a state trooper vehicle that was going too fast and only used lights but no sirens. We ended up settling out of court. I'm afraid no police department will hire me because I sued a cop. Would that be held against me?

    Sorry for all the questions. I didn't want to start a bunch of threads. Do you think I have a chance of getting hired? Thanks

  • #2
    OK, let's take things one at a time.

    In and of itself, your hospitalization at age 11 should not be a disqualifier. However, although you were a child, this was a psychological response to a stressful issue. In most states, every law enforcement candidate is evaluated to determine if they are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position. Whether you can be hired will depend on your mental state at the time of processing, as determined through a series of written and in person psychological evaluation as administered by a licensed psychologist.

    Next, with respect to your migraines, go here http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Neuro.pdf and read the section on Primary Headache Disorders. This will give you an idea of what many law enforcement agencies look at.

    Lastly, the fact that you sued the police should not be a factor for disqualification. However, the basis for your suit might. You sue if you sustain an injury. I'm going to guess that if an accident occurred, it was probably an orthopedic injury. Police work is physically demanding job. People with prior ortho injuries are easily susceptible to reinjury. Even if it is a preexisting injury, the worker's compensation laws of many states make an employer liable to pay for lifetime care if that body part is re-injured again on the job. In addition, ortho injuries are some of the biggest reasons for disability retirement in law enforcement. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury you sustained during the accident, is could serve as a basis for disqualification.

    With all of this said, apply anyway. The worst they can do is turn you down.

    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      None of it will result in a DQ. A doctor would know if your migraines are an issue way better than I would. If the temporary paralysis is sudden, I could see there being problems, but if not it may not be an issue. One again though, I'm no doctor.

      Suing a police officer/department definitely won't DQ you, but you shouldn't be surprised if some departments look negatively on it. Some departments are having the issue where minorities and females love to sue for discrimination if they don't get chosen for a promotion... Or so I've heard. So it's not a DQ at all, but if a department has to choose between you and another applicant they might opt to take the one who doesn't have a civil suit on record. Not grouping all departments into that statement, just pointing out that it may be something you run into.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the reply!

        So the first issue is basically a wait and see what the psych evaluation shows if/when I apply and make it that far in the process.

        The migraines I think are controlled enough where they wouldn't cause problems.

        As far as the accident there shouldn't be any longterm problems or risk of reinjury. I did suffer a whiplash injury to my neck but I was fine after a few weeks and there's no permanent injury or recurring pain or anything. The most serious injury that occurred (don't laugh) was that I bit down on my tongue and severed my lingual artery. They were able to reattach/repair my tongue, but I suffered some complications. For one, I aspirated blood into my lungs which lead to pneumonia and a lengthy hospitalization. It also caused a speech impediment but after speech therapy and three surgeries to reduce scar tissue I sound normal again. I still have not regained all feeling in parts of my tongue and my sense of taste is off. Overall it was a miserable experience but it shouldn't interfere with being a cop or cause workers comp concerns.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Matt N View Post
          None of it will result in a DQ. A doctor would know if your migraines are an issue way better than I would. If the temporary paralysis is sudden, I could see there being problems, but if not it may not be an issue. One again though, I'm no doctor.

          Suing a police officer/department definitely won't DQ you, but you shouldn't be surprised if some departments look negatively on it. Some departments are having the issue where minorities and females love to sue for discrimination if they don't get chosen for a promotion... Or so I've heard. So it's not a DQ at all, but if a department has to choose between you and another applicant they might opt to take the one who doesn't have a civil suit on record. Not grouping all departments into that statement, just pointing out that it may be something you run into.
          Yes I was afraid I would be labeled as sue happy or even biased against police. Never thought of the minority or being female issue but I guess that adds another red flag.

          The migraines do not cause paralysis out of the blue. There are warning signs ("aura") before a migraine starts and if I take mess right away then I don't get any severe symptoms. The paralysis only occurs if a full blown migraine goes untreated for some time. I wouldn't let it get that far. The biggest issue is having to inject myself with the anti nausea medication before taking the migraine meds so if I'm driving I'd probably have to pull over.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PITH95 View Post
            Yes I was afraid I would be labeled as sue happy or even biased against police. Never thought of the minority or being female issue but I guess that adds another red flag.
            Being a female or a minority isn't in issue. To be honest, it's actually a plus. A lot of departments (They'll never say it) will pick a minority or female just to satisfy/prevent people complaining about their lack of diversity. (That's by no means meant to undercut the many qualified minorities and females) I'm just saying that a lot of departments who have that diversity "Problem" are also prone to people suing if they don't get their way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PITH95 View Post
              Thank you for the reply!

              So the first issue is basically a wait and see what the psych evaluation shows if/when I apply and make it that far in the process.

              The migraines I think are controlled enough where they wouldn't cause problems.

              As far as the accident there shouldn't be any longterm problems or risk of reinjury. I did suffer a whiplash injury to my neck but I was fine after a few weeks and there's no permanent injury or recurring pain or anything. The most serious injury that occurred (don't laugh) was that I bit down on my tongue and severed my lingual artery. They were able to reattach/repair my tongue, but I suffered some complications. For one, I aspirated blood into my lungs which lead to pneumonia and a lengthy hospitalization. It also caused a speech impediment but after speech therapy and three surgeries to reduce scar tissue I sound normal again. I still have not regained all feeling in parts of my tongue and my sense of taste is off. Overall it was a miserable experience but it shouldn't interfere with being a cop or cause workers comp concerns.

              Medical and psych issues come at the end of the process. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (Federal Law) a prospective employer cannot inquire about medical issues except in connection with a bona fide offer of employment. This will come after you have successfully passed the written, oral and physical agility, and scored high enough on the list to be reachable. Then, you will get a letter offering you employment subject to you passing a background, medical and psych.

              The migraines are not dependent on whether you think they will cause a problem. It will depend on whether they are such that they meet the department's criteria for DQ. Print out what I gave you, take it to your doctor and ask him to review it. Ask him to pretend he is the police department's physician who is being paid to represent their interests and not yours. Then ask him if, as the police department's doctor, he would approve your hiring based on those standards, knowing what he does about your condition. That will give you a good idea as to where you stand.

              The tongue injury should not be an issue. Whiplash may, depending on what shows on your CT. Soft tissue injuries don't show anything at first, however, after several years, bone spurs can grow around the injured area and herniations can appear.around affected disks Again, it will depend on what your condition has progressed to as determined by the police department's doctor.

              As someone who was in charge of hiring for many years and who had to deal with civil service hearings for people who appealed their DQ, there was no criteria for disqualifying someone because they sued a law enforcement agency. We would have looked like idiots standing in front of a civil service commission saying we DQed an applicant because they sued a police department, and no one was going to perjure themselves and make up a nonexistent basis for DQ in order to cover for the fact that we secretly DQed someone for a law suit.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L-1 View Post


                Medical and psych issues come at the end of the process. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (Federal Law) a prospective employer cannot inquire about medical issues except in connection with a bona fide offer of employment. This will come after you have successfully passed the written, oral and physical agility, and scored high enough on the list to be reachable. Then, you will get a letter offering you employment subject to you passing a background, medical and psych.

                The migraines are not dependent on whether you think they will cause a problem. It will depend on whether they are such that they meet the department's criteria for DQ. Print out what I gave you, take it to your doctor and ask him to review it. Ask him to pretend he is the police department's physician who is being paid to represent their interests and not yours. Then ask him if, as the police department's doctor, he would approve your hiring based on those standards, knowing what he does about your condition. That will give you a good idea as to where you stand.

                The tongue injury should not be an issue. Whiplash may, depending on what shows on your CT. Soft tissue injuries don't show anything at first, however, after several years, bone spurs can grow around the injured area and herniations can appear.around affected disks Again, it will depend on what your condition has progressed to as determined by the police department's doctor.

                As someone who was in charge of hiring for many years and who had to deal with civil service hearings for people who appealed their DQ, there was no criteria for disqualifying someone because they sued a law enforcement agency. We would have looked like idiots standing in front of a civil service commission saying we DQed an applicant because they sued a police department, and no one was going to perjure themselves and make up a nonexistent basis for DQ in order to cover for the fact that we secretly DQed someone for a law suit.
                Thank you for all the info! I'll ask my primary to review the criteria and let me know what he thinks. Maybe he can do a CT scan too to see if there's anything going on with my neck. It would suck (for me and the department) to go through the entire process and then find out there's a medical issue.

                Glad the lawsuit isn't an issue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  These are typical ortho screening criteria for law enforcement http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Musculo.pdf

                  Again, print them out, take them to your doctor and ask him to review them. Ask him to pretend he is the police department's physician who is being paid to represent their interests and not yours. Then ask him if, as the police department's doctor, he would approve your hiring based on those standards, knowing what he does about your condition after looking at your latest scan. That will give you a good idea as to where you stand.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                    These are typical ortho screening criteria for law enforcement http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Musculo.pdf

                    Again, print them out, take them to your doctor and ask him to review them. Ask him to pretend he is the police department's physician who is being paid to represent their interests and not yours. Then ask him if, as the police department's doctor, he would approve your hiring based on those standards, knowing what he does about your condition after looking at your latest scan. That will give you a good idea as to where you stand.
                    Perfect! Thank you so much for your help!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PITH95 View Post
                      Glad the lawsuit isn't an issue.
                      The lawsuit is only going to be an issue if what you tell the hiring department's physician about your injuries does not match what you previously told your own doctors or claimed in your lawsuit.

                      We had an applicant who had sued a business because of a trip and fall accident. That in itself would not have been an issue. However, during medical review he made statements about the nature and severity of his back injury that were inconsistent with what he had claimed in court papers. So clearly, he was either lying and minimizing his injuries to us in order to get hired OR he exaggerated them when he filed his fraudulent lawsuit. We confronted him about the discrepancies and he reluctantly admitted that he had followed his attorney's advice to exaggerate his pain and loss of mobility in order to obtain a higher settlement.

                      Classic case of you can't have your cake and eat it too. Needless to say, we didn't hire him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post

                        The lawsuit is only going to be an issue if what you tell the hiring department's physician about your injuries does not match what you previously told your own doctors or claimed in your lawsuit.

                        We had an applicant who had sued a business because of a trip and fall accident. That in itself would not have been an issue. However, during medical review he made statements about the nature and severity of his back injury that were inconsistent with what he had claimed in court papers. So clearly, he was either lying and minimizing his injuries to us in order to get hired OR he exaggerated them when he filed his fraudulent lawsuit. We confronted him about the discrepancies and he reluctantly admitted that he had followed his attorney's advice to exaggerate his pain and loss of mobility in order to obtain a higher settlement.

                        Classic case of you can't have your cake and eat it too. Needless to say, we didn't hire him.
                        No, I never lied or exaggerated my injuries in court papers or to the doctors or anywhere else. I was honest about the neck pain and never claimed any long term problems. And the tongue injury was obvious. Hard to fake a severed tongue with massive amounts of blood loss. The dashcam video looked like from a horror movie. Lol. According to the doctors the pneumonia was also caused by that injury. I gagged on the blood, vomited and then got all that crap into my lungs. Again nothing that could be faked or exaggerated. Honestly it sucked enough without me having to embellish anything. I had just graduated high school and was headed to a 4 year university on a full soccer scholarship when the accident happened. Lost my scholarship and I couldn't afford the tuition. If this accident disqualifies me from becoming a police officer then it would be another huge disappointment. Hopefully it won't.

                        Btw, did you arrest the applicant for fraud?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PITH95 View Post

                          No, I never lied or exaggerated my injuries in court papers or to the doctors or anywhere else. I was honest about the neck pain and never claimed any long term problems. And the tongue injury was obvious. Hard to fake a severed tongue with massive amounts of blood loss. The dashcam video looked like from a horror movie. Lol. According to the doctors the pneumonia was also caused by that injury. I gagged on the blood, vomited and then got all that crap into my lungs. Again nothing that could be faked or exaggerated. Honestly it sucked enough without me having to embellish anything. I had just graduated high school and was headed to a 4 year university on a full soccer scholarship when the accident happened. Lost my scholarship and I couldn't afford the tuition. If this accident disqualifies me from becoming a police officer then it would be another huge disappointment. Hopefully it won't.
                          Just be honest about everything in the process and let the chips fall where they may. And follow L1's excellent advice! That should give you a pretty good idea where you stand medically. Good luck to you!

                          Btw, did you arrest the applicant for fraud?
                          No. This was an out of state candidate and we forwarded the file to authorities there. I have no idea what they did with it, if anything. We did receive inquiries about him from a few other LE agencies he applied to. I don't think he ever got hired...

                          Comment

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