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  • Will this affect my chances?

    Hi there and thank you for reading,

    I wanted to know if certain things in my past will impede me from being a Police Officer.

    For starters, I am a 24 year old, somewhat petite, Hispanic woman (5'4" and 140 lbs). I have never been arrested. My only brush with the law was an incident when I bought my first car at 18 years old. I put my mother's license plates on the vehicle in order to drive it home after I bought it. In Florida, this is considered a misdemeanor. In addition, I had not purchased insurance (another misdemeanor) because it was my first time buying a car and I thought a car had to registered in order to get it insured. On my way home I got into a car accident. I was not arrested but I did have to go to court. My Public Attorney asked me to plead "no contest" and the charges were dropped and the judge requested the incident to be removed from my record. I have had multiple speeding tickets but nothing within the last 2 or 3 years.
    I am also a college dropout. I started a degree in Architecture but I had to work as I was taking a full class load so my grades started to plummet.
    The only additional issues I can think of that could arise during the background check is I suspect a previous employer didn't like the fact that I quit my job due to him constantly bullying me and the other female staff, so he seems to be discrediting me with everyone who tries to verify my employment and lastly one of my previous landlords and I did not end on good terms. He wanted to keep my whole deposit because of issues the property had from before I moved in and I told him that if he stole my deposit I would call the building department and inform them of unpermitted construction on his property. I'm afraid they will see this as an ethical problem.
    I do not have considerable debt (800 or so in C.C's which will be paid off by the time the background investigation is done and 12,000 or so left on my car). My credit is average (about 625) and I am bilingual (Spanish and English) and I have never done drugs.

    Sorry for how scattered the above paragraph seems. I just wanted to make sure all of my pros and cons are listed.

  • #2
    Originally posted by annemariepg View Post
    Hi there and thank you for reading,

    I wanted to know if certain things in my past will impede me from being a Police Officer.

    For starters, I am a 24 year old, somewhat petite, Hispanic woman (5'4" and 140 lbs). I have never been arrested. My only brush with the law was an incident when I bought my first car at 18 years old. I put my mother's license plates on the vehicle in order to drive it home after I bought it. In Florida, this is considered a misdemeanor. In addition, I had not purchased insurance (another misdemeanor) because it was my first time buying a car and I thought a car had to registered in order to get it insured. On my way home I got into a car accident. I was not arrested but I did have to go to court. My Public Attorney asked me to plead "no contest" and the charges were dropped and the judge requested the incident to be removed from my record. I have had multiple speeding tickets but nothing within the last 2 or 3 years.
    I am also a college dropout. I started a degree in Architecture but I had to work as I was taking a full class load so my grades started to plummet.
    The only additional issues I can think of that could arise during the background check is I suspect a previous employer didn't like the fact that I quit my job due to him constantly bullying me and the other female staff, so he seems to be discrediting me with everyone who tries to verify my employment and lastly one of my previous landlords and I did not end on good terms. He wanted to keep my whole deposit because of issues the property had from before I moved in and I told him that if he stole my deposit I would call the building department and inform them of unpermitted construction on his property. I'm afraid they will see this as an ethical problem.
    I do not have considerable debt (800 or so in C.C's which will be paid off by the time the background investigation is done and 12,000 or so left on my car). My credit is average (about 625) and I am bilingual (Spanish and English) and I have never done drugs.

    Sorry for how scattered the above paragraph seems. I just wanted to make sure all of my pros and cons are listed.
    Apply and find out. Different standards for different departments.

    Multiple speeding tickets doesn't sound good though. I assume you bought the car from a private person?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by annemariepg View Post
      Hi there and thank you for reading,

      I wanted to know if certain things in my past will impede me from being a Police Officer.

      For starters, I am a 24 year old, somewhat petite, Hispanic woman (5'4" and 140 lbs).
      Your age has nothing to do with your suitability for this profession.

      Your Hispanic origin has nothing to do with your suitability for this profession.

      Your gender has nothing to do with your suitability for this profession.

      But a 5'4" 140-pound female calculates to a BMI of 24, which is borderline overweight.

      This is the definition of the word "petite":

      pe·tite

      /pəˈtēt/

      adjective
      adjective: petite
      • (of a woman) having a small and attractively dainty build.
        "she was petite and vivacious"

      For you to describe yourself as "somewhat petite" calls into question your judgement, perception, and/or honesty. This article describes a petite 5'4" female as 108 pounds. You are 30% over that.

      https://www.livestrong.com/article/2...-petite-women/

      I have never been arrested. My only brush with the law was an incident when I bought my first car at 18 years old. I put my mother's license plates on the vehicle in order to drive it home after I bought it. In Florida, this is considered a misdemeanor. In addition, I had not purchased insurance (another misdemeanor) because it was my first time buying a car and I thought a car had to registered in order to get it insured. On my way home I got into a car accident. I was not arrested but I did have to go to court. My Public Attorney asked me to plead "no contest" and the charges were dropped and the judge requested the incident to be removed from my record. I have had multiple speeding tickets but nothing within the last 2 or 3 years.
      In and of themselves, those things are not deal-killers. They are certainly hurdles, and it will definitely come up during your background. You just need to realize that there are plenty of applicants that do not carry that kind of criminal history and demonstrated judgment problems. The fact that it's been 6 years, is in your favor.

      I am also a college dropout. I started a degree in Architecture but I had to work as I was taking a full class load so my grades started to plummet.
      I am not as concerned about you dropping out, as I am about you coming up with an excuse for everything, even things that don't need excuses.

      The only additional issues I can think of that could arise during the background check is I suspect a previous employer didn't like the fact that I quit my job due to him constantly bullying me and the other female staff, so he seems to be discrediting me with everyone who tries to verify my employment...
      In all candor, my "Scooby Sense" tells me that there is more to that story. Would you like to tell us more about that?

      ...and lastly one of my previous landlords and I did not end on good terms. He wanted to keep my whole deposit because of issues the property had from before I moved in and I told him that if he stole my deposit I would call the building department and inform them of unpermitted construction on his property. I'm afraid they will see this as an ethical problem.
      Based upon the limited amount of information that you have provided, I am unable to tell you whether that is an ethical problem or not. But it does seem like many aspects of your life involve challenges with situations that have rules. There are a LOT of rules in law enforcement, so that's a big thing.

      I do not have considerable debt (800 or so in C.C's which will be paid off by the time the background investigation is done and 12,000 or so left on my car). My credit is average (about 625)
      625 is bad credit. Again, this calls into question your judgement, perception, and/or honesty.

      ...and I am bilingual (Spanish and English)…
      Language skills help. I don't know if it's enough to overcome your other issues, but it's certainly a good thing.

      ...and I have never done drugs .
      Good. If we had to add drug use to your other challenges, I would just tell you to look for another profession. My best advice to you in this area is don't start doing illegal drugs.

      By the way, since you have already put up several red flags regarding potential honesty problems, I will let you know that most law-enforcement hiring processes involve a polygraph examination (lie detector test) and a background investigation more thorough than anything you've probably ever experienced- if there IS illegal drug use in your history, it will probably be found out. Previous drug history may not kill your chances, but lying will absolutely kill your chances...permanently.

      Sorry for how scattered the above paragraph seems. I just wanted to make sure all of my pros and cons are listed.
      No worries. I wish you the best. We need all the help we can get.
      Last edited by Aidokea; 08-13-2019, 09:10 PM.

      Comment


      • annemariepg
        annemariepg commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you so much for your input. I now realize petite was definitely not the ideal word, I just wanted to get across that I'm on the shorter side. When i told my family about my intentions to pursue a job in law inforcement, the first question I was asked is if i was tall enough. I am training vigorously and have recently stared a strict diet in order to get back on track with my weight so i don't see that being too big of an issue. Currently I can pass all aspects of the physical test except for the vertical jump which i have improved on.
        In regards to the issue with my previous employer its basically as I described. On several occasions he had purposely tried to make the other female employees cry, women received less benefits than men, women constantly had to take on the men's workload so they can hang out and I personally was made fun of all the time because of my height. When I quit he told me that me leaving would inconvenience him and he would make sure it was hard for me to get a job.

        Thank you for the correction about my credit. according to my credit monitoring sites, it says it is average so that's why I stated it was average.

        As for landlord issue, When I moved in I notified the Landlord of many issues that needed to be fixed (doors not closing, water leaks, broken front door, squirrels living in the attic) and none of the issues were fixed. When my lease was over he wanted to keep my deposit because of the broken door and water damage which were there before I moved in. As I was living on the property he built a shed within the setbacks of the property so when he threaded to keep my deposit for things that i had not done i threatened to call the building department on him and tell them about the shed. Its something that i regret having done because i feel like it was an ethical issue.

        I know it seems like I'm making excuses for everything. Its a character flaw that has been pointed out to me before and I am working on it. I just wanted to make sure you guys had a clear picture of what happened and why.

      • Aidokea
        Aidokea commented
        Editing a comment
        Understood.

        You don't need to make excuses for your height either. Things will be harder for you because you are small, but there are plenty of police officers your size that can do the job just fine. The biggest difference is that your escalation up the use of force continuum is probably going to be different than, for lack of a better example, a 6-foot tall 200-pound male officer. Whereas the average 6-foot tall 200-pound male officer is going to be able to make good use of hands-on physical control against a 6-foot tall 200-pound male offender, you would probably escalate almost immediately to your Taser in a physical confrontation against the same offender. That doesn't excuse you from being able to go hands-on when necessary, it's just that you're going to escalate sooner, and there's nothing wrong with that, as long as your use of force is justified.

        Regarding your problem with your previous employer, I still sense that there is more to the story, but if you quit because he said some things that hurt your feelings, then what are you going to do when offenders use racial slurs against you, tell you to go back to whatever country they think you came from, make derogatory comments speculating about your sexual orientation, call you a midget, call you fat, and so on? You gotta have pretty thick skin to do this job.

        I wish you the best.

      • Aidokea
        Aidokea commented
        Editing a comment
        By the way, what distance and time standards are involved in the running portion of selection, and what are your run times so far at that distance?

      • annemariepg
        annemariepg commented
        Editing a comment
        The PAT for this department involves a 1.5 mile run in 15:55 or less and I have been doing it on a treadmill with a time of around 14:00. This week I will start running in the neighborhood instead of the treadmill cause I realize everyone runs faster on a treadmill than on pavement. I have to get my body used to the impact and resistance of pavement.
        The sit-ups are 23 in one minute and I am able to do 24-25 and the pushups are 28 in one minute. I have been fluctuating between 25 and 29 so with a bit more training I can get more consistent. The Vertical Jump is 15" min. I have been around 13". I have been doing box jumps and leg workouts to get to ideally get to 16 or 17.
        I want to be able to surpass the requirements so if I'm not at 100% the day of the PAT I can still pass.

        I assume I still have at least one month to train because they haven't sent out the NOE yet. How long after the written test do they usually administer the PAT?

    • #4
      I am an old guy, like 4 great-grandchildren and another one on the way. Really old by most standards.

      I am also a retired cop who spent several years conducting hundreds of background investigations, going over the employment applications, background questionnaires, interviews, credit reports, and doing the reference checks. I will offer a few comments:

      1. Most of your post consists of rationalizations for prior incidents and conduct, attempts to explain why you did what you did because the circumstances forced you to step over the line. Not a good approach, especially when being interviewed by an experienced investigator.

      2. You have knowingly and willfully stepped over the line several times when that served your immediate needs. You need to step up and take responsibility, stop transferring the blame to others involved. Example: as your background investigator I really don't care about your former landlord's building code violations, but I do care about your attempt to extort concessions from the landlord in negotiating your deficiencies as a tenant.

      3. You are female, and that gives you a preferential point in current hiring practice (I am not criticizing public policy, and I am not a chauvinist, I am just observing the current climate in the modern world). You are Latina, which provides another preferential point in the hiring practice (again, not commenting on the rights or wrongs, just observing the facts of modern life). You are 24 years old with a couple of traffic-related misdemeanors and a few speeding tickets, none of which are de facto disqualifying matters. You have a marginal credit score (possibly influenced by landlord-tenant disputes?) which, again, is not immediately disqualifying.

      4. A few suggestions to help you along in life (and perhaps in becoming an officer):

      A. Take ownership of your history and background. Stop making excuses or trying to shift blame; just accept that you have failed in certain aspects of living a responsible life. Make it clear to everyone that you understand your failings and have resolved to never again step over the line, whether in your private life or in your professional life. Be absolutely truthful and straightforward in every interview, every report, every aspect of the process. (This alone will place you well above most other applicants, who will continue to cling to their childish behaviors and expect their background investigators and interview board to just give them hugs and kisses, just like Mommy and their grade school teachers did for so many years).

      B. Get back on track with your education. A course or two per semester in a community college or university program will demonstrate your commitment to your future better than any plea you might offer.

      C. You claim to be bi-lingual in Spanish. That is a very strong point in your favor for hiring purposes. Check to see if your local courts, probation or parole departments, may have a certification program for court-ordered interpreters. Volunteer to serve, volunteer to undergo the certification process, thus gaining another valuable credential.

      Don't be a whiner, try to be a winner.

      Comment


      • annemariepg
        annemariepg commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you so much for your input!
        I was a very impulsive person and I would look for ways to justify my actions which was a very irresponsible and immature way of looking at things. It's a character flaw I have been working on and I guess it came out again while I was trying to explain what happened and why. Because of this issue, I have been reading books about the interviewing process in order for me to make sure I come prepared and avoid sounding immature.

        The police department I am applying to has special testing for Spanish speaking applicants but I will still look into the certification and I am very interested in finding volunteering opportunities.

        The issue with the vehicle was taken out of my record so I don't think that the investigator will find it but I'm thinking in the spirit of transparency, I should mention it anyways. Do you agree?

    • #5
      Yes, I agree. You can expect that whoever conducts your interview and/or background investigation to ask (perhaps repeatedly) if there is anything else in your history that may come to light. Be transparent about everything.

      Very few candidates are completely truthful, and many will lie even when the matter in question is not a critical issue. Being completely truthful will set you apart from the majority.

      Also be aware that the process is not completely "pass or fail". You will be competing against a number of other applicants and the final cut will favor the strongest candidate overall.

      Comment


      • #6
        I see an awful lot of drama in your past that could affect your chances. Your stature is the least of your potential problems

        An administrator might decide to pass should there be other candidates with less baggage .

        Also be aware that the decision to hire in agencies who don't have a pure civil service system is very subjective. The agency CEO can choose who he/she wants .............the person he/she feels will be the best fit for the agency.
        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

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