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  • Hoping for info/guidance

    I'm look for guidance on my path into law enforcement. I am 30 years old and just got a letter from a department stating my "application has reached a stage where i would not be hired as a trainee. " This particular department doesn't tell you why so i don't know if it's temporary or permanent. I'll outline my situation and application process and i appreciate any and all feedback. I will lay it out in the form of questions along with background info. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the "perfect" candidate.

    On the application, it asks about what other departments have you applied to. What constitutes applying? Any department you've taken a written test for or the ones where you were called back and turned in background paperwork for consideration? I've taken a # of tests and heard back from some and not from others. I listed on my application the ones where i submitted paperwork following the advice of others. However, on a previous application, i believe i listed departments where i just took a test. Do agencies share info like this and have i made myself seem untruthful? One department gave me a polygraph after passing the written and agility but never had me submit an application with background info. Should that be listed? The result of that was rejection due to drug use. After reading up, it makes sense because i had smoked 1 year prior.

    Also, on a previous application done years ago, i listed my drug use history. Marijuana only and a best guess for time and total use. The most recent application i also listed my marijuana history which was also my best guess for time and total use. Going back to what info agencies share, if there is a discrepancy between the two, how big of a red flag comes up. Not that i'm lying but just trying to be as truthful and accurate as possible. The discrepany isn't like 20 vs 5 but more like 4 vs 6. The dates should be close if not the same as the usage was on an out of country trip but the usage i'm taking a stab at. It was in 04 and 06. How can i reconcile that next time without appearing dishonest?

    For motor vehicle history, i furnished my ny driver abstract. I've never had points but i have had a few convictions for offenses like expired inspection, expired registration, and license plate light out. By a few i mean 2 for the inspection, 1 for the registration, and 1 for the plate light. Never any tickets for speeding or what i would deem reckless. I did have a suspended license which was for an insurance lapse which was converted to restricted license for work and family transport in 2007. It was also suspended for 2 days in 2009 for paying the ticket 2 days after the due date. I was involved in 1 accident where i was rear ended by a drunk driver and i have the police report to support it.

    Criminal history consists of 1 summons which was dismissed for disorderly conduct where i was given the summons for being in the street as opposed to the obstructed sidewalk. This was back in 04 i believe. I have a HS diploma but no college credits. I graduated a year after i was supposed to due to failing two required classes due to absences. My grades could have been much better but i was one that didn't do homework and would cut school. I had regents and AP classes because the teachers knew my potential, but i never performed to it. As for the skipping school, it wasn't to hang out. I had my first child at 16 and i used to cut school to visit my son and his mother in a different city. Im terms of post HS education, the only thing I've gotten was my NY state EMT license.

    Being a young parent, I've been working since HS. I turned in 11 pages of employment history with the dates as accurate as possible as per my SS earnings report. I've been terminated from 4 jobs all before the age of 21. 1 job was for making personal phone calls from the job phone which resulted in a $60 phone bill which i paid. The next job was for not counting inventory as we were to do every night and the count being inaccurate the next day with items missing. The next 2 jobs were more performance related. I only collected unemployment for the last one and it was because the separation was mutual and the employer said they would not contest it. Since 21, I've almost always had a steady full time job even having 2 jobs most of the time as i had my second child at 19 and my 3rd at 24. I'm not married but they all have the same mother. We've just been an off and on HS sweetheart type of thing.

    My credit is terrible. I attribute some of it to ignorance and irresponsibility. I also attribute some of it to hardships of life. I have a total of 7 collection/charge off accounts, 1 judgment, and no active tradelines. I've been trying to clean it up but it's not easy. My girlfriend/fiancé has been out of work for a few years now due to a back injury and subsequent spinal surgery so I'm the only income. I had 2 repossessions and i just finished paying off 1. I even submitted the satisfaction of judgment letter to show that i'm working on it. The total of all is approximately $20,000. I'm sure this looks very bad but the notion that i'm more likely to take a bribe is ridiculous. These accounts are past the point of worrying about due dates. I'm just trying to pay them as i can and i've been trying to avoid bankruptcy as I'm sure that's also frowned upon. My application had no place to list members of my home which would show that i'm supporting 5. They probably just see single as my marital status and assume i just don't care. My address history is long but only because i moved out at 19 with son and then pregnant girlfriend. Aside from having to move back to my parents a few times due to loss of income or relationship issues, I've never been evicted or had rental issues.

    The steps i got to were, written test, physical agility, and written psych/turning in of documents. This place doesn't tell you what you go on your written test aside from you passed and what the next step is. Another department specifically told me i did very well on their test and that it could help me overcome other possible negative areas. I didn't get picked but i feel i was at least given more consideration. On the written psych i think i may have hurt myself. I over analyzed the questions but tried to remain as honest as possible. Example: i generally got good grades in school. T or F Now, i didn't know what to put. I did get good grades when i went and did the work but i didn't have transcripts to support that and i didn't want to seem like a liar trying to make myself look good. Also questions regarding social activities, i answered true to the questions about liking to go out and going to parties. What's so wrong with that? I would think having an outlet is good. It doesn't necessarily mean i go out drinking every night but i didn't want to make it seem like i was a homebody either. Couple that with the question about if my spouse says i don't spend enough time at home to which i answered true. I work almost 2 hours away from home so my work day is all day and she doesn't work. To her, not being home when I'm not working constitutes not spending enough time. Even if i want to go play basketball, not necessarily going to a party. I don't know if these things hurt me but i can see how it can be misinterpreted. With job related questions, they asked about sick time usage. Where i work now, vacation days and personal days are difficult to get especially last minute. Having 3 children and a fiancé who is disabled with a back injury, i sometimes have to call out sick to handle things or to just relax from the chaos. Therfore i answered true to that question.

    The letter i got came very quick so i doubt they verified much. This leads me to believe something really stuck out. I'd like to think it's my credit because i know it's bad. I hoped though they'd at least give me an opportunity to explain things and verify my info. Between my most recent jobs and references, i hoped they would attest to my true character and job performance. Then if the credit was the main issue, i could be put at the back of the pile while i tried to rectify it. It that was the case, will just paying it off be good or do i need to re-establish myself with new positive tradelines and if so, for how long?

    I know this is long and i thank you if you took the time to read it. My kids were excited as was i and this is very disappointing. At 30, I'm not old but i do question if i should continue to try. Having kids young hasn't allowed me to properly prepare for their future which i regret. This is why i want to establish myself in a career position ASAP. Given my overall info, what do you see as my things that can be worked on, have i done myself in with the possible application discrepancy, and should i just forget it and move on. I sometimes regret not doing this in my early 20's before i made certain mistakes. However, i think my life experiences and interaction with many different type of people and situations is something you can't put a price on or teach.

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited by Olskoolblue; 04-08-2011, 06:52 PM.

  • #2
    I'm not one to be nice in this forum and I didn't read your War and Peace novel, so I'll say this: Applying at one agency and being rejected is not the end-all for your aspirations of law enforcement employment. Keep applying until you get hired. I applied to probably 5-6 departments before I got hired. Hang in there.

    I also know that a couple of your questions can be answered by reading other threads....
    sigpic
    Originally posted by Smurfette
    Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
    Originally posted by DAL
    You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

    Comment


    • #3
      Your post was a difficult read, but from what I'm able to gather you have some problems. The first problem concerns the question did you apply? No semantics there, if you turned in a completed application you applied. Background Investigators are especially concerned with apparent/obvious discrepancies in PHS's or similar documents. Yes, applications with other agencies are looked at by BI's. If the discrepancy is minor, and subject to memory, it probably won't be a problem. O T H, if the Investigator senses an attempt at deception, that can work to the detriment of the applicant. At the end of the day, you know your background better than anyone else, and you should have a pretty fair idea of whether or not you meet an agencies standards. Credit is an important consideration in evaluating an applicant, as it's often an indicator of his/her overall responsibility. Accounts which have been charged off, referred to collections, have a history of late payment, will often negatively impact an application. A past Bankruptcy may or may not be a problem, depending upon recency and circumstances. Agencies are particularly interested in how an applicant is handling credit/discharging debt at the time of application. I don't see your problems, at least as you've revealed them, as killers. You should consider though, that the current law enforcement applicant pool contains scores of highly qualified and motivated applicants. People who bring ZERO baggage to the process. It will be against such people that you'll be competing.

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      • #4
        If you fill out an application, this means you applied to an agency. Having alot of debt is very frowned upon, obviously. The economy is bad, as you probably know, and your competition for LEO jobs will be fierce. You've got an uphill battle, especially in the part of the country you're in.
        Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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        • #5
          I did search for some info and i did find some. I wrote my "novel" to try to paint a total picture unlike some others which are limited to "i smoked weed twice, will it disqualify me. " i have applied to more than one agency but i plan on trying this particular one again and i had a few questions.

          Comment


          • #6
            The question of apply is where i ask for clarification. In order to take a written test, you have to fill out a standard application. Does that constitute applying? If you take the test, pass it and then get a background packet to fill out, is that applying? Please note the difference and why I'm asking. I've taken written tests, received passing scores and never got called in to start background work. (Even paid $100 for one, got the score, mid 90's, never heard back) Would i list that as an agency applied to?

            I tried to make my OP as reader friendly as possible. I know it's long but i tried to paragraph it as best i could from my cell phonewhere I'm posting from. Please forgive me if it's on the difficult side.
            Last edited by Olskoolblue; 04-08-2011, 08:35 PM.

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            • #7
              Read the book, it doesn't look good for you. Even with the economy with how it is, your credit is in the toilet and agencies will not be a fan. Not to mention if I read correctly, you admitted to stealing from an employer twice. That's how it looks on paper at least. Although you can tell them what you said here but I don't think it's gonna happen.
              Last edited by USMARINE; 04-08-2011, 08:39 PM.
              "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

              "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

              Originally posted by JasperST
              I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Olskoolblue View Post
                The question of apply is where i ask for clarification. In order to take a written test, you have to fill out a standard application.

                Does that constitute applying? [B]YES NOTE the word in blue above[/B]


                If you take the test, pass it and then get a background packet to fill out, is that applying? YES


                Please note the difference and why I'm asking. I've taken written tests, received scores and never got called in to start background work. Would i list that as an agency applied to?

                I tried to make my OP as reader friendly as possible. I know it's long but i tried to paragraph it as best i could from my cell phonewhere I'm posting from. Please forgive me if it's on the difficult side.
                If you did anything other than ask them a question or if you filled out any paperwork---------you applied for the purpose of a background .
                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


                • #9
                  Let's do this one more time......from the top. Did you apply? If you turned in a completed application, you applied. Period. No semantics, no qualification, you applied. It really is that simple.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                    If you did anything other than ask them a question or if you filled out any paperwork---------you applied for the purpose of a background .
                    ok, i accept that. Now, when going back to reapply, by listing the others, that will be different from the first. How do you think they'll view that? Also, a county civil service test i took is for multiple towns and villages. Of the departments on that list, 1 called me in and had me submit a background packet. I listed that agency as applied to. Do i also list the general civil service test as well?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                      Let's do this one more time......from the top. Did you apply? If you turned in a completed application, you applied. Period. No semantics, no qualification, you applied. It really is that simple.
                      I just wondered if a person who takes 10-15 tests list them all even if they get no other response than a numerical score. The concept is simple but i've heard many different opinions which is why i asked. Thank you for clarifying.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Olskoolblue View Post
                        ok, i accept that. Now, when going back to reapply, by listing the others, that will be different from the first. How do you think they'll view that? Also, a county civil service test i took is for multiple towns and villages. Of the departments on that list, 1 called me in and had me submit a background packet. I listed that agency as applied to. Do i also list the general civil service test as well?
                        List the departments you ACTUALLY filled out paperwork for.........................Yes this will change EVERY TIME you put in a new application.

                        You can always on the explanation page----------state that you took a multiple civil service test

                        You are over thinking this
                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by USMARINE View Post
                          Read the book, it doesn't look good for you. Even with the economy with how it is, your credit is in the toilet and agencies will not be a fan. Not to mention if I read correctly, you admitted to stealing from an employer twice. That's how it looks on paper at least. Although you can tell them what you said here but I don't think it's gonna happen.
                          The phone calls made were ultimately paid for and they were made from NY to PA. I'm not saying it wasn't wrong. The 2nd incident was not me stealing. It was because i neglected to physically count the merchandise that the discrepancy went unnoticed. The owner told the manager to fire whoever got the count wrong.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                            List the departments you ACTUALLY filled out paperwork for.........................Yes this will change EVERY TIME you put in a new application.

                            You can always on the explanation page----------state that you took a multiple civil service test

                            You are over thinking this
                            I agree with the overthinking comment. With the negatives i have, i want to make sure all else is as accurate as possible. I'm not applying anywhere else until i get rid of these collection accounts and i just applied for a secure credit card to rebuild my credit. The only thing different about where i applied would be if i list places where i took a written test but never was given a background packet to complete.

                            I looked at a different thread posted where an officer mentioned the elimination and selection aspect of the recruitment process. I'd like to make it past the elimination point and be given an opportunity to present myself for selection.
                            Last edited by Olskoolblue; 04-08-2011, 09:30 PM.

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                            • #15
                              So you don't have to reread the book, any advice on the drug use discrepancy between agency applications? Marijuana listed as 4 on one and i believe 6 on the other. No intent to lie, but a 6 years later best guess.

                              Also the psych test pertaining to social activities. Is it wrong to enjoy parties, hang out with friends, and like dances? Do they see that as a potential alcoholic in the making? To your knowledge, does a written psych test disqualify you or does it get interpreted in addition to a session with a psychologist?

                              Comment

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