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  • Criminal record

    Hello,

    First post here but I’ve browsed a little bit. I will be 38 years old next month and I’m seriously considering a career in law enforcement. I know, I’ll be the old guy.

    My question is about my criminal record which is a single charge back in 2004, it’s a simple assault charge. Is that disqualifying? I have not been in trouble since then, nor before. I don’t not have the strongest work history, I’ve had 5 jobs in my work history. Do they just look at a certain period or all the way back to job number one? Sorry if that’s a silly question. Outside of criminal record and work history my credit is great, no issues there. Are either of those things disqualifying or would I be okay to submit my application. I am just south of Charlotte, NC and would be applying for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. Thanks for any advice or help with these questions.

  • #2
    I can't speak specifically for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, but a simple assault could be a deal-breaker or it could be a non-issue, depending on a variety of factors (the department, the candidate, and especially the specific circumstances of the incident). The time lapse should at least benefit you.

    As for your work history, yes most departments will ask for your entire work history (which can be challenging for older candidates when you're trying to remember your supervisor's name from the part-time stockboy job you had in high school). I've had more than 5 jobs in my history and it's never been an issue, but recent/adult work history is going to be the most important. If your 5 jobs were in the last 3 years, that's going to be an issue...departments spend a great deal of money on hiring, equipping, and training a new officer, so they have to be a "good investment" financially and candidates who are likely to quit quickly are definitely avoided.
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

    Comment


    • TreeTopFlyer83
      TreeTopFlyer83 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the information. Hopefully they’ll look at the man from the past 15 years and can make an informed decision based off of that guy. Not the young, foolish kid I was.

  • #3
    What was the disposition of the charge?

    You've had five jobs in your entire life? That's not a big deal.

    Comment


    • TreeTopFlyer83
      TreeTopFlyer83 commented
      Editing a comment
      I was found guilty. I was not innocent in the situation at all. But definitely learned a valuable lesson. Good to know on the job side of things as well. Thanks for the information.

  • #4
    It will certainly be a hurdle. It will depend on the exact circumstances of the incident, as well as the standards of the agency you are applying to...

    Comment


    • #5
      Something as small as traffic citations may disqualify some people at some departments while some can get on having a criminal conviction with jail time AND maybe even felonies at other departments. Some departments' standards have been relaxed greatly due to not being able to find enough warm bodies so it will be a hit or miss with the departments you apply for.

      I had a sergeant who wanted to move to another part of Texas with his wife, and the department he applied to wouldn't take him because the wife called 911 on him for a verbal family argument - no crime/no arrest. He was a lieutenant when I retired 5 years ago with my old department, and since he was a really good officer and supervisor, I wouldn't be surprised he hasn't moved up higher in the ranks. Sad that they didn't take him then, but since times have changed, that same department may have welcomed him with open arms during these times. Apply to more than one department and see what sticks.

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by angeredmgmt View Post
        Something as small as traffic citations may disqualify some people at some departments while some can get on having a criminal conviction with jail time AND maybe even felonies at other departments. Some departments' standards have been relaxed greatly due to not being able to find enough warm bodies so it will be a hit or miss with the departments you apply for.
        In Illinois a felony conviction deep sixes you.

        Comment


      • #7
        Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post

        In Illinois a felony conviction deep sixes you.
        In Iowa a "crime of moral turpitude " will also sink the ship

        I see the council debating minor thefts & assaults as Moral Terp cases all the time
        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #8
          Originally posted by TreeTopFlyer83 View Post
          I know, I’ll be the old guy.
          Nah. Plenty of people older than that attend the police academy. I was 43, and my department just sent our CSO to make her a fully sworn officer, she was 39 or 40.

          Career firefighters often become arson investigators and attend in their 50s.

          it’s a simple assault charge.
          Totally depends on the details and what “simple assault” actually means in your jurisdiction. Here in Colorado a Harassment charge is completely different than a 3rd degree Assault charge... but both cover what is called “simple assault”” elsewhere. Details matter, too.

          Call a recruiter and ask, or apply and see what happens. The worst they can do is say no...

          ETA: ...and if they do say no, apply somewhere else. Standards vary between departments and between states.

          Ive seen people hired with DUIs, and not hired with shoplifting. Depends on the department, and the details.
          Last edited by tanksoldier; 01-30-2021, 11:48 PM.
          "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

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