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  • Seeking honest answer, should I apply?

    Hello all,

    I recently became interested in law enforcement as a profession and am wondering based on my background what my chances are at this time.

    The Good: I am 25, Graduated with a BS from CU, and have been working for the same company now for close to 4 years now. I have had a few jobs before that, was never fired and left with good standing from all previous employers. As a seccond job, I am part owner and manager of a local gym that teaches parkour and freerunning. I have never been convicted of any crimes other than traffic violations.

    The Bad:
    - I shoplifted twice when about 10 years old.
    - Tried marijuana twice, once at 18, and once at 19.
    - Have had quite a few traffic violations, mostly speeding, and most at about 10-15 over, never anything more than 20 over. The last speeding violation as far as I can remember was about 1.5 years ago.
    -I have driven drunk once at 18, did not get pulled over, did not crash, but I did drive drunk and realized how dumb it was and never did it again.
    - I was pulled over recently for expired plates, which I simply was not aware of
    - Was pulled over for broken tail light and didn't have a copy of current insurrance, though I am insured
    - A few months ago I took home a tool (flathead screwdriver, worth maybe $5) from work as I knew that it would simply be thrown out anyways (I work for a tech company repairing broken computers, but not one device we repair uses flatheads and we have over 20 flathead screw drivers, the company is very wastefull and will simply throw out stuff we no longer use). Anyways, I realized that despite the fact that it would be thrown out, it was not my property to take, so I brought it back.

    I think that's everything that I can think of. I've been trying to think of every bad thing I've ever done and write it down, as I know I'll be asked in an application process anyways, and I don't want to lie or seem like I'm leaving anything out. Your oppinions are appreciated!

  • #2
    The main red flag that I see is a pattern of traffic violations which agencies see as a pattern of a disregard for the law. You didn't go into much detail on the "quite a few" traffic violations which is fine, but that could range from not that big of a deal to a deal breaker depending on the time frame and the quantity. Most agencies want you to show a pattern of good driving habits for at least a couple years leading up to your applying. The driving drunk at 18 will need to be explained to whatever agency you apply to as well.
    Life's too short for regrets...

    I can learn something from anyone, even if it's what not to do...

    Comment


    • #3
      Check the agency's requirements on what may DQ you. I know some agencies ask that you don't have a moving violation within x amount of years. Nothing seems too serious, just be honest and you should be ok.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by aclimbatize View Post
        Hello all,

        I recently became interested in law enforcement as a profession and am wondering based on my background what my chances are at this time.

        The Good: I am 25, Graduated with a BS from CU, and have been working for the same company now for close to 4 years now. I have had a few jobs before that, was never fired and left with good standing from all previous employers. As a seccond job, I am part owner and manager of a local gym that teaches parkour and freerunning. I have never been convicted of any crimes other than traffic violations.

        The Bad:
        - I shoplifted twice when about 10 years old.
        - Tried marijuana twice, once at 18, and once at 19.
        - Have had quite a few traffic violations, mostly speeding, and most at about 10-15 over, never anything more than 20 over. The last speeding violation as far as I can remember was about 1.5 years ago.
        -I have driven drunk once at 18, did not get pulled over, did not crash, but I did drive drunk and realized how dumb it was and never did it again.
        - I was pulled over recently for expired plates, which I simply was not aware of
        - Was pulled over for broken tail light and didn't have a copy of current insurrance, though I am insured
        - A few months ago I took home a tool (flathead screwdriver, worth maybe $5) from work as I knew that it would simply be thrown out anyways (I work for a tech company repairing broken computers, but not one device we repair uses flatheads and we have over 20 flathead screw drivers, the company is very wastefull and will simply throw out stuff we no longer use). Anyways, I realized that despite the fact that it would be thrown out, it was not my property to take, so I brought it back.

        I think that's everything that I can think of. I've been trying to think of every bad thing I've ever done and write it down, as I know I'll be asked in an application process anyways, and I don't want to lie or seem like I'm leaving anything out. Your oppinions are appreciated!
        You'll be asked if you've ever committed a crime/offense for which you were not arrested or charged. The answer is "Yes". The Marijuana use is well within the tolerance allowed by virtually all LE agencies. Traffic violations. Here's what my agency has to say concerning them. "Any pattern of violations or arrests, which evidence a disregard or disrespect for law will be considered grounds for disqualification". Presently, your Motor Vehicle History is going to be a killer. Any one of the violations, taken by themselves, would not be a problem. The aggregate, the sum total of violations IS a problem. You will need anywhere from three to five years of violation free driving in order to negate your current poor Motor Vehicle History. I also noted considerable minimization and justification in your post. Drop that. You own your screw ups, and thus you take full, as in total responsibility for them. Do any less and you stand a very good chance of being bounced from any process you enter. In the meantime, keep up your efforts at good citizenship. Given some time, you could emerge as a viable candidate.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
          You'll be asked if you've ever committed a crime/offense for which you were not arrested or charged. The answer is "Yes". The Marijuana use is well within the tolerance allowed by virtually all LE agencies. Traffic violations. Here's what my agency has to say concerning them. "Any pattern of violations or arrests, which evidence a disregard or disrespect for law will be considered grounds for disqualification". Presently, your Motor Vehicle History is going to be a killer. Any one of the violations, taken by themselves, would not be a problem. The aggregate, the sum total of violations IS a problem. You will need anywhere from three to five years of violation free driving in order to negate your current poor Motor Vehicle History. I also noted considerable minimization and justification in your post. Drop that. You own your screw ups, and thus you take full, as in total responsibility for them. Do any less and you stand a very good chance of being bounced from any process you enter. In the meantime, keep up your efforts at good citizenship. Given some time, you could emerge as a viable candidate.
          x2

          "quite a few traffic violations " will hurt you. We don't know how many is "quite a few" , nor do we know how long of a period of time your traffic history spans------but it shows a pattern of disregarding the law, which is not a good thing.

          Add on the DUI, expired plates, failing to carry your insurance papers, illegal drug usage, & stealing from your employer.......................................do you see how things add up. Do you see why a law enforcement administrator will have a bit of difficulty selecting you for a position when 99% of the applicants competing with you have stellar records?

          I think the aggregate of your "crimes" will keep you out of the profession for the foreseeable future. Right now throughout the country there is such an abundance of laid off officers, under employed officers, academy graduates, & other candidates who do not carry any baggage that you will face an up hill battle.

          Is that battle insurmountable----------------no, but expect to see a whole of of rejection.
          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


          • #6
            First off, thanks for the straightforward responses.

            Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
            x2

            "quite a few traffic violations " will hurt you. We don't know how many is "quite a few" , nor do we know how long of a period of time your traffic history spans------but it shows a pattern of disregarding the law, which is not a good thing.

            Add on the DUI, expired plates, failing to carry your insurance papers, illegal drug usage, & stealing from your employer.......................................do you see how things add up. Do you see why a law enforcement administrator will have a bit of difficulty selecting you for a position when 99% of the applicants competing with you have stellar records?

            I think the aggregate of your "crimes" will keep you out of the profession for the foreseeable future. Right now throughout the country there is such an abundance of laid off officers, under employed officers, academy graduates, & other candidates who do not carry any baggage that you will face an up hill battle.

            Is that battle insurmountable----------------no, but expect to see a whole of of rejection.
            As far as the traffic violations, I said quite a few because I honestly cannot remember when, where, how many, etc. I just know there are quite a few dating back from when I was 16. How can I go about getting a record of my past violations, the DMV? What about the ones that were "taken off my record." I've read that BIs can still find those, is there any way that I can too? Again I don't want it to seem like I'm leaving anything out on an application.

            I can definitely see how all of that adds up to look like general disregard for the law. I have made mistakes in the past and have learned from them and am trying to distance myself from them.

            I can also see how my explanation of things sounds like minimization which is not my intent, rather trying to explain in full my thinking at the time of the theft. What would be agood way to answer a question about that that explains but doesn't sound like minimizing?

            Lastly, it doesn't look like anybody in my area plans on hiring at all in the foreable future anyways, so it looks like I'll have a decent amount of time to distance myself from my mistakes before even geting a chance to apply. In the mean time, I plan on going on lots of ride-alongs and applying for a sherrif reserve position in one of the closer counties near me.

            Again, thanks for the input. If others have more input, wether more of the same, or new input I'm all ears.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by aclimbatize View Post
              First off, thanks for the straightforward responses.



              As far as the traffic violations, I said quite a few because I honestly cannot remember when, where, how many, etc. I just know there are quite a few dating back from when I was 16. How can I go about getting a record of my past violations, the DMV? What about the ones that were "taken off my record." I've read that BIs can still find those, is there any way that I can too? Again I don't want it to seem like I'm leaving anything out on an application.
              Go down to the DMV office and tell them you would like a copy of your driving record for a job application. Pay whatever fee they require and they will provide you with a copy.

              Originally posted by aclimbatize View Post
              I can definitely see how all of that adds up to look like general disregard for the law. I have made mistakes in the past and have learned from them and am trying to distance myself from them.

              I can also see how my explanation of things sounds like minimization which is not my intent, rather trying to explain in full my thinking at the time of the theft. What would be agood way to answer a question about that that explains but doesn't sound like minimizing?
              Answer with a straight forward explanation of any problems without reasoning. " I did this, that, and the other thing." Reasoning as to why can look like rationalization.

              Originally posted by aclimbatize View Post
              Lastly, it doesn't look like anybody in my area plans on hiring at all in the foreable future anyways, so it looks like I'll have a decent amount of time to distance myself from my mistakes before even geting a chance to apply. In the mean time, I plan on going on lots of ride-alongs and applying for a sherrif reserve position in one of the closer counties near me.

              Again, thanks for the input. If others have more input, wether more of the same, or new input I'm all ears.
              Realize that most reserve positions will also require a background investigation that will mirror that of a regular officer. In my state, the general requirements for Reserve officers are pretty much the same as for a full time officer since Reserves are sworn.


              Good luck
              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


              • #8
                Not a whole lot to add to the others.

                A lot could hinge on your driving record, but as long as the violations weren't too egregious time will help to mend that.

                As stated, you may have an uphill battle, but it is definitely possible for you to succeed (I've seen worse).

                Largest issue is the current economy. If/when the economy returns to a more normal / stable place your chances will increase.

                -V

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good to know, thanks guys! Also, if I apply to an agency and am rejected, does that make it more difficult in the future if I am to apply to the same agency again? I would really love to work in Boulder and would hate to apply too early, be rejected, and have that screw my chances of ever being hired in Boulder.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aclimbatize View Post
                    Good to know, thanks guys! Also, if I apply to an agency and am rejected, does that make it more difficult in the future if I am to apply to the same agency again? I would really love to work in Boulder and would hate to apply too early, be rejected, and have that screw my chances of ever being hired in Boulder.

                    That would depend on why you were "rejected"

                    If you were simply not selected because of more qualified candidates-------------it wouldn't matter one bit.

                    If you were disqualified for a cause---------------that might be fatal-----or might not, depending on the reason.
                    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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