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How do you overcome certain flaws in your background?

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  • How do you overcome certain flaws in your background?

    I do not have any shame in hiding the following information because it is always listed on my background packets and put out in the open for each department I apply for. However, I want honest answers.

    I am a minority, bilingual and will obtain my BS degree in 2 weeks. I have a pretty stable work history and good credit. I will be 23 years old in September and have never done an illegal drug (experimented or anything). I am quite positive that most neighbors/co-workers/friends have nothing but good things to say about me as I make sure I keep a good image in the community. I have prior Private Security experience (armed) and have done a voluntary community project for the city.

    The major flaws:

    Driving record - 6 tickets (4 speeding, 1 defective equipment, 1 "loud music from vehicle" misdemeanor); One speeding in early 07 originally charged Reckless Driving but was reduced to Speeding 15-19 after court referred driving school (first ticket ever); Two speeding 20+ (not reckless, just speeding charge) in 07/08; One speeding 15-19 in residential area in March '09.
    I know points don't matter but it is a 0 balance if not +1 as I voluntarily took another driving school in November of 2009 and have had no other tickets period since that March '09 ticket.

    Undetected theft from previous employer - I took a bag of a few pieces of clothing (would constitute as petit larceny misdemeanor). However, I "allowed" a couple friends to take a bag each which in turn makes it a felony by a hundred dollars by law ($200 is felony and I believe total would've been like $300 between the 3 of us) I know this and admit it in May of 2007.

    Okay, with that all out there. The typical advice for driving record is keep 3-5 years between your last ticket. Understandable. Now, how do I overcome (if I even can) the previous undetected theft? Also wait several years to show maturity or just don't bother with this career? One agency gave me the advice to reapply in another year and said it was a good thing I was honest and up front about my previous theft. I know nobody's perfect but would like the reassurance (if there is any) that my dreams aren't completely crushed but must be delayed several years. Do you guys know anybody with a few major flaws but were hired anyway? Thanks a lot everybody and thanks for all you do out there. I can only pray that one day I can work alongside you all.

  • #2
    Conspiracy, Burglary, not "petit larceny".
    Free Deke O'Mally!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      What I was saying was that what I did myself was petit larceny and what I allowed to happen constituted as grand larceny felony, yes. I admit it was the dumbest thing I could've done but there is nothing I can do now to change it which is why I ask if there is any way to overcome it and if "time" helps like the driving record.

      Comment


      • #4
        You have probably a few more years to wait.

        Basically all you can do is get a stable job and stay out of trouble. College degree always helps, as does military experience. But neither will promise you a police job.

        Outlook isn't that great in my opinion, but you never know.

        Comment


        • #5
          That's what I was looking for, Dingo, thanks.

          I wasn't planning to apply for another 2-3 years anyway. I've already been rejected by 9 departments, surprisingly most with the driving record being the major concern, not the theft.

          I am definitely staying out of trouble. I have been making sure my foot has been lighter and nose squeaky clean for several years now to help.

          Comment


          • #6
            Let's deal with the traffic violations first. My agency would consider your Motor Vehicle History as evidence of a "pattern of disregard/disrespect for the law. That's a disqualifier. Keep in mind too, that departments aren't so much interested in traffic charges dealt down, dismissed etc. They are concerned with the original charges. Your personal theft, plus allowing others to steal from your employer, constitute serious integrity questions. and could very possibly be a disqualifier. At some point in your application, or during the administration of a Polygraph exam, you'll be asked it you've ever committed a crime or violation for which you were neither arrested or prosecuted. Theft issues always raise questions of personal integrity, especially as they bear on your suitability to be employed as a Police Officer. You should consider too, that many of the applicants with whom you'll be competing, will not bring your issues to the table. They will emerge as far more viable candidates than you will.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
              Let's deal with the traffic violations first. My agency would consider your Motor Vehicle History as evidence of a "pattern of disregard/disrespect for the law. That's a disqualifier. Keep in mind too, that departments aren't so much interested in traffic charges dealt down, dismissed etc. They are concerned with the original charges. Your personal theft, plus allowing others to steal from your employer, constitute serious integrity questions. and could very possibly be a disqualifier. At some point in your application, or during the administration of a Polygraph exam, you'll be asked it you've ever committed a crime or violation for which you were neither arrested or prosecuted. Theft issues always raise questions of personal integrity, especially as they bear on your suitability to be employed as a Police Officer. You should consider too, that many of the applicants with whom you'll be competing, will not bring your issues to the table. They will emerge as far more viable candidates than you will.
              Yes, I understand the driving record showed that pattern and rightfully so. I intend to stay clean and keep the foot light and remain ticket-free. I have "broken the pattern" by staying 2+ years clean after a pattern of 2 a year, then 1 a year, so I intend to keep the next several years clean (and beyond of course).

              Yes, I was offered an opportunity to advance to a polygraph examination and admitted what I just stated here and passed the polygraph. I do not have any hesitation to man up for my wrongs, I just simply want to know if "time" will help the theft situation, too. I mean, it isn't like I can go back and change it. Is it a permanent DQ is really my concern. When the agency that told me apply again in a year, we're glad you were honest that is good, etc. etc. told me this...I thought it was just to be nice because I highly doubt in a year I have a real shot. I plan to put at the least 2 years before my next application.

              Comment


              • #8
                The theft issue is going to remain a major problem, as in an obstacle for you. This is especially true if the dollar amount of the theft(s) you attribute to your friend amount to a felony. It's immaterial from the standpoint of a Background Investigation that you didn't actually commit the theft. You had knowledge of it, and to that extent facilitated it. That is going to emerge as a "killer" with many if not most agencies. The fact that you've been rejected by nine agencies should send a major message to you. You simply are not a viable candidate, and the theft issue(s) aren't likely to be mitigated with the passage of time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PaliBoy20 View Post
                  , I just simply want to know if "time" will help the theft situation, too. I mean, it isn't like I can go back and change it. Is it a permanent DQ is really my concern.
                  The truthful answer is -----------------We don't' know. That is determined by the specific agency to which you are applying.

                  The traffic charges usually will "expire" in about 5 yrs or so................usually. The funny thing about patterns is that a Law Enforcement administrator looks at patterns everyday and tries to figure out ways to break patterns.............the administrator just might feel that giving you a pass due to your past pattern is the right thing to do.

                  Originally posted by PaliBoy20 View Post
                  When the agency that told me apply again in a year, we're glad you were honest that is good, etc. etc. told me this...I thought it was just to be nice because I highly doubt in a year I have a real shot. I plan to put at the least 2 years before my next application.
                  Admitting to committing a felony is often fatal. Yes conspiracy to commit a felony is a felony. You would be permanently disqualified for most larger departments in my state.
                  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


                  • #10
                    In Ohio, that would have been prosecuted as three misdemeanors as long as each person was under the felony amount. I'm just saying that because you shouldn't be too quick to label yourself as an undetected felon if that is not the case. Regardless, stealing from an employer is a huge strike against you and will haunt you for years. That said, a college educated, bilingual minority candidate would be in high demand, so you may find some departments are more forgiving than others and won't require as much time to pass.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you all for the honest answers. I was afraid to hear the "fatal" answer. It's just you have the "be honest at all times about everything" and I was just that. Now, there's a possibility I'd never get hired. It's just hard knowing that one thing you did is going to haunt you the rest of your life and although you've admitted to it being wrong, doing it and learning from it, it still isn't enough. If one can't go back and change what they have done, how do you overcome that obstacle (small vent to myself)?

                      Just_Joe, I am hoping for that very thing. I have a lot of positive qualities about me and a passion and drive for the career that you just simply cannot teach. I am hoping the good outweighs the bad because the good is what I've been consistent with, not the bad (minus the brief irresponsible driving behavior which I have quickly fixed and remain to stay on this ticket-free pattern).

                      PhilipCal, the rejection by nine agencies was indeed detrimental to me. Surprisingly, the majority of the departments stated major concerns with the irresponsible driving record being so recent. One, as I said before, even said for me to apply next year and said it was good I was honest about the previous theft and not to give up. I refuse to give up, whether I reapply in 2 or 5 years.

                      There just has to be a way to prove that this was a poor judgment that occurred just once and that I have made a complete 180 turn around since that day. I guess time will tell me that..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PaliBoy20 View Post
                        There just has to be a way to prove that this was a poor judgment that occurred just once and that I have made a complete 180 turn around since that day. I guess time will tell me that..
                        Be prepared for a very long haul.

                        As far as there having to be a way. Sometimes there just isn't.

                        We must live with our past and our past deeds no matter what they were. Some things are forgivable & some never will be.

                        Often one small mistake will change the path of a person. It is even more so in this profession.

                        Police officers have always been held to a much stricter standard than most other professions. We are called upon to testify in court in front of juries & judges who..............judge us. They must trust the officer and feel they are above reproach. Any smears in an officers background can be the straw that gives the defense or the liberal jurist/juror the opening for weakness.

                        We must play the hand we are dealt.................even if we threw away some good cards and they were replaced by poor ones.


                        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


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PaliBoy20 View Post
                          Thank you all for the honest answers. I was afraid to hear the "fatal" answer. It's just you have the "be honest at all times about everything" and I was just that. Now, there's a possibility I'd never get hired. It's just hard knowing that one thing you did is going to haunt you the rest of your life and although you've admitted to it being wrong, doing it and learning from it, it still isn't enough. If one can't go back and change what they have done, how do you overcome that obstacle (small vent to myself)?

                          Just_Joe, I am hoping for that very thing. I have a lot of positive qualities about me and a passion and drive for the career that you just simply cannot teach. I am hoping the good outweighs the bad because the good is what I've been consistent with, not the bad (minus the brief irresponsible driving behavior which I have quickly fixed and remain to stay on this ticket-free pattern).

                          PhilipCal, the rejection by nine agencies was indeed detrimental to me. Surprisingly, the majority of the departments stated major concerns with the irresponsible driving record being so recent. One, as I said before, even said for me to apply next year and said it was good I was honest about the previous theft and not to give up. I refuse to give up, whether I reapply in 2 or 5 years.

                          There just has to be a way to prove that this was a poor judgment that occurred just once and that I have made a complete 180 turn around since that day. I guess time will tell me that..
                          In your original post, you stated that you wanted honest replies. You've received them. I realize that my replies may be somewhat less encouraging than those of my colleagues, but I'm retired from an agency which enforces extremely stringent employment standards. I have used those standards as a frame of reference in my conversation with you. I further understand that the standards I've referenced are not unique to my agency alone. Some departments may adhere to even more stringent standards, some perhaps more forgiving. In either event, your serious error(s) in judgment will continue to haunt you for years to come. It's my personal view that your theft issues are fatal, and will remain so with respect to you employment in this profession. Your status as a minority, and your proficiency in a second language would normally place you in an advantageous position in a hiring process. Your past actions have pretty well negated those attributes. There has to be a way? As has been noted, sometimes there isn't.Once more, rejection/Disqualification/non select from nine agencies is a distinct indicator that you simply are not a viable candidate.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Undetected theft from previous employer - I took a bag of a few pieces of clothing (would constitute as petit larceny misdemeanor). However, I "allowed" a couple friends to take a bag each which in turn makes it a felony by a hundred dollars by law ($200 is felony and I believe total would've been like $300 between the 3 of us) I know this and admit it in May of 2007.

                            You were an adult when this happened, not a juvenile. It will be a HUGE obstacle to overcome. JMHO
                            "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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                            • #15
                              Don't get me wrong PhilipCal. I appreciate the reply and certainly expected answers such as yours. So thank you.

                              Yes Roadking, an adult I was. Quite possibly the most regretful decision I could've made to start my adult life. It happened though so I cannot dwell on it. Take the punches as they come I suppose.

                              I have nothing to lose to continue applying after several years, so I guess I will just do so.

                              Comment

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