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  • Background question

    I have a question im soon applying for the city of Pittsburgh police department and although ive got some family members with the department and they've answered my question id still like some other insight from you guys and girls.


    2 years ago(19 at the time) I was on vacation in Maryland where I had gotten in an argument with my girlfriend, I had gotten angry and broke her cell phone and walked away she then jumped on my back punched me in the back of the head clawed my face (all of which was photographed by the police when they arrived) so I then pushed her off of me she didn't fall or anything, but a witness seen me push her so called the police. When the police arrived I was more the cooperative explained what had happened let them photograph me and what not. After that the officer placed me under arrest for simple assault and when I had asked why I was told it was because I was the primary aggressor me breaking the phone had lead to the later events. I kept my cool and went to jail I come to find out my girlfriend refused to press charges so the state of Maryland picked them up. I was released and told I had to reappear a month later for court. I only got a public defender which was a mistake on my part but he told me he thought it was in my best interest to plead guilty because he could get me Probation before Judgement because I was a first time offender with no criminal record. So I did I plead guilty and received community service and 1 year of probation both of which I completed successfully with no problems.


    For those of you who are not familiar with Probation before judgement its the same as ARD or deferred adjudication. So technically there is NO criminal conviction on my record and im currently in the process of getting the arrest expunged from my record. But as ive seen on many police applications have you been convicted of any felonies or class 2 misdemeaners and like all the police officers ive spoken with said I can truthfully answer no ive never been convicted. So I guess my question is will that hurt me or disqualify me? Any insight would be great sorry for the long post run-on sentences and punctuation.
    Last edited by Pghguy412; 01-14-2013, 08:53 PM.

  • #2
    OK, hoping you really desire honest replies. Understand please, I'm going to give this to you one time, and I don't intend to argue with you.

    Let's take a look at the "expungement". It's a non-starter. In a police background investigation there is NO such thing as an expungement. Arrests, convictions, adjudications which have been sealed, expunged, or set aside are routinely accessed by police background investigators.

    You are going to have to fully disclose and explain all the facts and circumstances relative to the arrest and the subsequent disposition of your case in court.

    In a very general sense, which is the only way I (we) can respond to your query, any allegation of domestic violence, or any arrest, even if on another charge, which arises out of a domestic violence situation, will be looked at very critically by any agency to which you apply.

    In your current situation, that would be the Pittsburgh Police Dept. Your situation will be evaluated in light of that department's hiring standards, and an evaluation of your arrest made in light of those standards.

    More specifically, whether or not the arrest/disposition of your case will act to disqualify you will be the decision of the Pittsburgh Police Dept.

    Comment


    • #3
      oh no sir I appreciate your reply no arguing over this way just really looking for peoples 0.2 cents. From what I heard is yes like you've stated when it comes to police departments nothing is really "expunged" and that yes I will have to explain in detail to the investigator. And yes I understand the whole domestic thing and some of the officers in my family had said the fact that there isn't a conviction helps me but the fact I plead guilty to it hurts me. A few of them told me that I should go after the public defender for representing me improperly telling me to plead guilty in exchange for the Probation before judgement deal and that I should have the right to face my accuser? I guess im getting off track here but your answer is it'll probably depend on the agency itself? and thank you for your response

      Comment


      • #4
        You won't receive any better insight or advice, than you did from PhilipCal. Take his thoughts to heart. You will have a lot of explaining to do... Sounds like an unfortunate incident, but, it happened. It is in your past, so be prepared to talk about it. Go from there. Just don't lie. Best of luck to you.
        R.I.P. #2083, You will never be forgotten.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matt. 5:9

        Inmates seem really into counting the number of officers it took to take them down. If only their love of math had blossomed earlier.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pghguy412 View Post
          a witness seen me push her
          The bigger issue to me is your improper use of the past perfect conjugation.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Starfleet Officer View Post
            The bigger issue to me is your improper use of the past perfect conjugation.
            not to sound uneducated I just really don't understand what you ment by that any other way of explaining?

            And to every one else it was definently an unfortunate incident but yes it did happen and I deal with the repercussions all the time I get looked at like some type of monster when people hear domestic violence and not trying to make excuses for my actions but that's not how I was raised or the person I am just a mistake in judgement. I really appreciate every ones advice makes me happy to have made an account every one on the site seems A+

            Comment


            • #7
              As usual I totally agree with PhilipCal

              I do think that you will really need to carefully explain the incident to any and all prospective employers .

              There are going to be some real tough questions asked of you and I can assure you that you WILL BE GRILLED during Background and Interview phases of the process.

              Be aware that some agencies will pass on you -------------just because. That is just because they don't wish to take the chance of something happening down the line and then have your past thrown in their face for hiring you KNOWING that past.

              Is is "fair"................I don't' know, but be aware that it does happen just because.



              OK, now that I have that off my chest and have you thinking that all is lost---------------I highly doubt that you have a "fatal incident" in your past.. Continue your pursuit of the dream and hope for the best.


              Originally posted by Pghguy412 View Post
              . A few of them told me that I should go after the public defender for representing me improperly telling me to plead guilty in exchange for the Probation before judgement deal and that I should have the right to face my accuser? I guess im getting off track here but your answer is it'll probably depend on the agency itself? and thank you for your response
              Actually your public defender did a great job getting you probation before judgement on what is a pretty clear cut case of you breaking her cell phone and physically assaulting her...........(yep pushing her is technically an assault).............

              The witnesses would have probably convicted you in a trial & you would have the crime on your record.....................


              The public defender did exactly what he should have
              Last edited by Iowa #1603; 01-15-2013, 06:33 PM.
              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
                @ iowa I appreciate your input on the public defender because that was how it was explained by the public defender he said I had the chance to go to trial and possibly win and have nothing come of it or have the possibility of facing a jail sentence. Its hard speaking to officers I know personally just for the fact im not sure if there giving me answers I want to hear or the truth none the less again I appreciate the input

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pghguy412 View Post
                  not to sound uneducated I just really don't understand what you ment by that any other way of explaining?
                  It's "A witness saw me push her," not "A witness seen me push her." I'm just giving you a hard time, mostly, though report writing is an important skill for LEO.

                  Other than that, see everyone else's answers. You'll be scrutinized and grilled for it, and your options might be limited, but it will be the totality of the circumstances that are considered.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    oh ok a little chop busting fair enough my 2 English classes start January 28th ill be sure to pay attention lol

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here Comes Mr. Doom And Gloom

                      There are some issues here no one has brought up.

                      When it comes to backgrounds, the fact that your conviction was made to go away is irrelevant. What’s looked at is your conduct. Did the act of getting into an argument with your girlfriend and as a result, losing your temper and breaking her phone meet the criteria for DQ?

                      Based on the incident you describe, my agency would probably DQ you as lacking in the traits of dependability, good judgment, courtesy, ability to work cooperatively with others, and being unwilling or unable to assume the responsibilities and to conform to the conditions of work characteristic of the employment. In other words, through your conduct you have demonstrated that you are not in control of your temper.

                      In addition, law enforcement candidates are evaluated to determine if they are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position. If you break phones when you get pis*ed off, I suspect you are going to get DQed on the psych as possessing one or more of the following disqualifying traits:

                      Commonly behaves with hostility and anger;
                      Unnecessarily confrontational and aggressive;
                      Antagonistic toward fellow officers; e.g., uses abusive, condescending language; disrespectful;
                      Fails to deescalate at conclusion of altercations.
                      Baits people; takes personal offense at comments, insults, or criticism;
                      Provokes suspects and others by officious bearing, gratuitous verbal challenge, or through physical contact;
                      Antagonizes community members and others;
                      Uses profanity and other inappropriate language;
                      Inability to recognize how one’s own emotions/behavior affect situations and others

                      Lastly, I would be concerned about a Federal law called the Lautenberg Amendment. It prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm if they were convicted of certain crimes meeting a very broad Federal definition of domestic violence. This weapons prohibition remains in effect even if the conviction is expunged or made to go away. One of the minimum requirements for being a peace officer is the ability to possess a weapon. I don’t know how the circumstances of your deferred adjudication falls within the meaning of Lautenberg. You will need to consult with legal counsel to sort this one out.



                      ,
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        after I completed probation I went out and purchased a hand gun I have not applied for my concealed carry permit yet but I did get approved for a hand gun if im not mistaken I believe it was question #11 on the form have you ever been CONVICTED of a misdeamenor charge of simple assault or battery domestic violence related or something along those lines and technically no I have not which I answered and was approved for the purchase of the fire arm... is there any way I can find out prior to getting involved in the hiring process if this is a DQ and not waste any of time to just get let down in the end? And even on the agency im applying for it says be free of any CONVICTIONS of felonies or class 2 misdeamenors or higher which I am free of... Like I stated before im not arguing in any way I hope that it does not come off that way I just really don't understand the whole process and just trying to explain my situation to the best to get the replies out of you guys.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                          There are some issues here no one has brought up.

                          When it comes to backgrounds, the fact that your conviction was made to go away is irrelevant. What’s looked at is your conduct. Did the act of getting into an argument with your girlfriend and as a result, losing your temper and breaking her phone meet the criteria for DQ?

                          Based on the incident you describe, my agency would probably DQ you as lacking in the traits of dependability, good judgment, courtesy, ability to work cooperatively with others, and being unwilling or unable to assume the responsibilities and to conform to the conditions of work characteristic of the employment. In other words, through your conduct you have demonstrated that you are not in control of your temper.

                          In addition, law enforcement candidates are evaluated to determine if they are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position. If you break phones when you get pis*ed off, I suspect you are going to get DQed on the psych as possessing one or more of the following disqualifying traits:

                          Commonly behaves with hostility and anger;
                          Unnecessarily confrontational and aggressive;
                          Antagonistic toward fellow officers; e.g., uses abusive, condescending language; disrespectful;
                          Fails to deescalate at conclusion of altercations.
                          Baits people; takes personal offense at comments, insults, or criticism;
                          Provokes suspects and others by officious bearing, gratuitous verbal challenge, or through physical contact;
                          Antagonizes community members and others;
                          Uses profanity and other inappropriate language;
                          Inability to recognize how one’s own emotions/behavior affect situations and others



                          ,
                          and not questioning you at all sir or knit picking your reply in any way. But I do not COMMONLY behave with hostility or anger im NEVER confrontational or aggressive hell I never even got in a scuffle at school. And im happy your giving me this strait forward but it just bothers me a broken cell phone and a shove she didn't even press charges for could possibly ruin a life long dream of mine and I know at the end of the day itll be I to blame its just hard to come to terms with.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As far as Lautenberg is concerned, you would need to speak with a BI from the agency you are applying with. He will have to look at your court docs and because you are in such a gray area, run it by the city attorney for an opinion as to whether you fall within the Lautenberg prohibition criteria.

                            As far as getting into an argument and breaking the phone being an auto background DQ, I don’t know if the BI can give you an upfront answer. Usually they need to interview everyone involved first. That doesn’t happen until you jump through all the hoops (written, oral, physical agility) and get to the background stage. Give it a try and see what he says.

                            Ditto for the psych. It is part of the medical. Federal law (the Americans With Disabilities Act) prohibits an employer from inquiring about medical issues except in connection with a bona fide offer of employment. Again, you won’t get to the psych until you pass the written, oral, physical agility, etc.
                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              damn thank you very much for all your help ive got a question? And I hope not to offend any of you officers in any way shape or form but in the past years ive seen numerous cases of police officers being involved in domestic disputes with very minor repercussions hell about 2 months ago there was an officer from a suburban department of Pittsburgh who was involved in a physical dispute with his spouse and officers from his own department were called out where he assaulted the officers who arrived on scene and on the news all it said was he would have to complete ARD seeings he was a first time offender I think he got required anger management classes and maybe a 2-3 month suspension. Why do the same rules not apply if I cant get a job because of my actions why do those who do it not lose there jobs?

                              Comment

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