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Yes, more background questions..


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  • Yes, more background questions..

    First off, I just want to say how grateful I am that I have come across this website. I have been reading many of your questions posted and the excellent feedback that most have received. For the most part, the responses here are informative and insightful, so thanks ahead.

    This is my first post and I just wanted your guys’ feedback about my background. I have been going through the hiring process with a local city PD in California for the past four months. The steps I have taken thus far: application, oral interview, polygraph, BI interview, and BI investigation. I am currently awaiting the captain’s approval for my background. It is my understanding that the department physical and psych evaluation will be the last step. This is my first choice agency. I am 28 years of age, and I am currently a full time college student.

    * So far I have my AA in Liberal Arts and Administration of Justice: Law Enforcement Option. I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, with Pre-Law option, and minor in Criminology.

    * I have decent credit.

    * I have had 9 jobs in the past 10 years and I was terminated from 1. (Most of these jobs were “seasonal” jobs)

    * I have never done drugs accept for marijuana and the last time I smoked it, I was under 18 years of age. (I have gotten high under 10 times in my life)

    * I have been arrested 4 times in my life time. First: charged and convicted of assault when I was 16 years of age. (I have never physically struck somebody again in my life since) Second: charged and convicted of DUI when I was 21 years of age. Third: charged with DUI when I was 25 years of age, however charges were dropped. Fourth: arrested for public intoxication last year which resulted in no charges being filed, just 6 hours in the "drunk tank" then release.

    Everything mentioned are main areas of concern for me. All the aforementioned has been confirmed through polygraph and background investigation. I am giving no excuses or explanation to the previously stated unless asked. I want you all to take it as face value and give me honest feedback. All criticism will be much appreciated.

    I really believe my interview went well and my BI liked me. Do BI’s recommend candidates are is their sole purpose to investigate and report there findings?
    Last edited by kid_koala; 09-04-2008, 05:01 AM. Reason: significant typos

  • #2
    So far as I know, according to my process thus far, BI investigators are solely there to investigate and have no say in recommendations or anything of that nature. Hopefully you'll be alright man, keep pushin and don't give up!
    Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.


    • #3
      The job of a BI is twofold. It is to verify whether you possess the minimum stated qualifications for the position and to determine whether there is anything in your personal history that meets the criteria for DQ. It is pretty much pass/fail. In other words, having saved three lives doesn't make up for your having sold drugs for a while when you were in college.

      Unless there are specific educational requirements for the job, having a degree is meaningless as far as the background is concerned.

      Having decent credit is one less DQ criteria to worry about.

      Given that it was at least seven years ago and you were under 18, the marijuana will probably not be an issue.

      The issue with the jobs will depend on a number of factors. One issue will be why you were terminated from the one job and how recent it was. The other issue will be why you kept taking seasonal jobs rather than a full time position. If it was because you were in school full time for the past 10 years, then multiple, seasonal jobs should not be an issue.

      In and of itself, the assault charge at age 16 would not be an issue. However, the two DUIs and the latest public intox arrest suggest you have problems controlling your alcohol use that have spanned several years. The latest arrest is especially troublesome because in California, drunks are usually taken to detox instead of jail. The fact that you were taken to jail suggests you were too unruly for detox.

      So over at least a nine year period you have four arrests, one for assault and three for alcohol related incidents, and one employment termination. At the very minimum, this suggests that you lack the characteristics of sobriety, dependability, and good judgment, all of which are minimum requirements for the job with my agency. Unless you had a really good song and dance for me, I would talking to my superiors about a possible DQ. It wouldn't be a hard and fast DQ, but I would certainly be leaning that way. Again, it would depend on what you had to say for yourself.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


      • #4
        If there's someone just like you, with one less DUI they get the job.

        LE is an Elemination, before it is a Selection

        “All men dream...... But not equally..
        Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
        but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
        for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

        TE Lawrence


        • #5
          L-1, thank-you sir for your feedback. I will make no excuses for my past behavior. I do not see why anyone would want to "sugar coat" or make excuses in regards to their background on this message board. It would be like cheating on an eyesight exam. The matter of the fact is that we are here to seek honest answers so that we can be forthcoming and honest when seeking employment in our chosen profession of law enforcement. Having said that, the following explanations were given too my Polygraph administer and BI:

          * The one job I was fired from was because I sought out employment with a rival company. I had put in my two week notice, but once management caught wind of why I was leaving, they terminated my employment so that I did not have the option to come back. My BI investigated why I was terminated from this company, and found very little information because all previous management had been terminated from the company. Presently there is nobody there that remembers me. Termination from this job was approximately 4 years ago.

          * “Seasonal” work is the only kind of full time work that is available here in my town that pays decent and offers some kind of benefits. Like me, many cannot survive around here on minimum wage. We are a town that predominantly consists of agriculture. I have worked the tomato, garlic and cotton season. Each season of employment lasts an average of 3 months. That was my explanation for why I worked for several different companies.

          * In regards to my arrest for DUI when I was 25 years of age, I was out one night at my girlfriend’s friend. She lived 4 blocks from where I lived. I drove to her place and had several beers. Yes I was intoxicated but not belligerent. I decided to walk home because it was not far. As I walked home, I was stopped by the local PD. The officer that made initial contact with me said he had seen me driving earlier and felt that I had been drinking and driving then. I did not respond to his allegations because I felt I needed no explanation. I was infuriated and was not being cooperative at all when asked to do sobriety tests. I was not drinking and driving so I did not understand why I was being treated as if I had. Perhaps he mistook my being offended as an admission of guilt. You are probably telling yourself, “This doesn’t make sense,” and you’re right, it did not make sense to the judge either. The D.A. dropped the charges.

          * As for my recent public intoxication, I was not cited nor were charges pursued. I was at a restaurant with my cousin, his wife and a few friends. As we left the restaurant, my cousin’s wife was involved in an altercation. Many guys from both parties were trying to break up the fight. When the officers arrived, they took everybody to jail to deter the situation. At the jail, it was determined that it was not our parties fault so we got to leave. None the less, I was arrested.

          How was that for song and dance? Am I wasting my time pursuing a career in LE or should I move to Broadway? I am just being facetious
          Last edited by kid_koala; 09-04-2008, 05:09 AM. Reason: significant typos


          • #6
            What I can say is that the three alcohol related incidents will raise and eyebrow, and rightfully so. One question is that this may show a pattern of behavior or substance abuse. (alcohol)

            Making decisions is a great part of law enfrocment and you should be able to make the right decisions working or not...

            Just apply and try.


            • #7
              Nothing there is an automatic disqualifier, but you have an uphill battle. That's going to raise some eyebrows.


              • #8
                Originally posted by M-11 View Post
                If there's someone just like you, with one less DUI they get the job.

                LE is an Elemination, before it is a Selection

                This is a good answer.

                Koala- I'm not sure what field of LE you're looking into, but you might want to rethink the BA degree. The AA degree is excellent.. but sometimes the BA degree can waste your money and time depending on what you want to do in the future.

                From looking at your past alcohol arrests, you may have to start at the lower paying / high crime departments and work your way up, although I could be wrong.


                • #9
                  I have to concur with L-1's reply. While I can understand your past employment history, and the arrest as a minor, the alcohol related issues would concern me. They're evidence of a pattern which many departments view as "a pattern of disregard /disrespect for the law". Understand, that I'm not accusing you of that, merely citing a reason many agencies would give for either DQing or non-selecting you. Its your decision whether or not to remain in the process. My sense is that you'll have to deal with some serious questions concerning your use of intoxicants.


                  • #10
                    Well I am not sure about CA laws/standards for police officers. However as a background investigator going off ONLY what you gave me I will say this.

                    I am very concerned about your multiple arrests for DWI. Anyone can get one, however multiple arrests are pushing it. Even though you say the second one was dropped, the bottom line is you were still arrested for a reason, which no matter what the court says was you were intoxicated to some degree and behind the wheel.

                    Is it a DQ? Not on its face. However your gong to have serious problems passing the psycological evaluation becasue the doctor is probably going to say you have the potential for substance abuse and thus unfit.

                    In my humble oponion that is
                    The greatest misconception in police work that gets more officers killed is alot of cops are still taught to use the "minimum force necessary". In reality a true professional will always resort to the "Maximum Allowable Force" to resolve a situation. They mean the same thing, however one is a restriction and the other is an empowerment.


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