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  • Another "can I get hired if..." Question

    Yes I read the applicants guide to getting hired and yes I read the sticky before posting
    I've also done quite a bit of reading on here and have lurked for a few weeks but can't seem to find a direct answer so I'll ask the question that's been asked a million times and be "that guy"
    I'm applying for a local pd and am mentally preparing for my background investigation and I have 3 things from my teenage years that might raise red flags.
    Marijuana experimentation... Last time I smoked it I was 18, before that I was 16. Probably smoked it 10 times give or take 1 or 2. I honestly can't remember but it wasn't a whole lot.
    Age 16 I did some graffiti over a period of a few months I wrote my moniker around my neighborhood and eventually just stopped doing it
    Age 14 or 15 I shoplifted a few times, got caught by security and never did it again.
    I have no police record except a 2 traffic tickets and one was dropped in court. One for riding in a truck bed and the other for speeding (dropped).
    I have never used any hard drugs.
    I am 21 in a few weeks.

    Will any of this make me in eligible? From what I understand the vandalism and shoplifting would generally be minor offenses but I feel the quantity may be an issue.
    As for the marijuana usage I heard 10 was the magic number but I may be mistaken.

    Thank you and I apologize for the redundant repeat question.

  • #2
    The shoplifting could be a problem. What level of education did you achieve?
    Vandalism at 16, could be a hurdle. I'd suggest you finish your education and put some time between you and the incidents. You don't have 3 years between the time you smoked weed and now, that will be a problem as 3 years seems to be the bare minimum.
    Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Zeitgeist View Post
      The shoplifting could be a problem. What level of education did you achieve?
      Vandalism at 16, could be a hurdle. I'd suggest you finish your education and put some time between you and the incidents. You don't have 3 years between the time you smoked weed and now, that will be a problem as 3 years seems to be the bare minimum.
      I graduated high school, have some college, and have been working full time essentially since I graduated
      I understand the shoplifting and vandalism being issues being that integrity is paramount and those acts show a lack of integrity. I was kind of hoping there's a little le-way for juvenile deviance. Haha
      I've learned much and matured exponentially in the last few years.
      I appreciate the insight.

      Comment


      • #4
        Each agency will have their own standards. Your amount of MJ use is not a DQ with my dept. Assuming something is not an auto DQ, the more time you can put between offense and application, the better off you are.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well first off, 10 times is not "experimentation", 1 time is. Make sure you own up to the number of times and don't label as experimenting. Also, don't claim juvenile deviance as that will make you look like you don't take responsibility for your actions. Graffiti will most definietely be an issue because you are trusted to protect property, not destroy it. If I were you, I would try a reserve program while you finish school and continue building up life experience before applying for a full-time position.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jrd_1980 View Post
            Well first off, 10 times is not "experimentation", 1 time is. Make sure you own up to the number of times and don't label as experimenting. Also, don't claim juvenile deviance as that will make you look like you don't take responsibility for your actions. Graffiti will most definietely be an issue because you are trusted to protect property, not destroy it. If I were you, I would try a reserve program while you finish school and continue building up life experience before applying for a full-time position.
            Oh I don't plan to make excuses when the time comes and the question is asked I'm just supplying the information for this boards consideration.

            Do you think I have a better shot with courts/corrections rather than LE at this time? I'm applying for both.

            Comment


            • #7
              In a LOT of places, Corrections/Courts will be the same, if NOT more stringent on its hiring standards.
              The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

              I Am the Sheepdog.


              "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
              that we are all that stands between
              the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                The biggest thing to remember is that everyone has a past and everyone has done something wrong at some point. They will want to see what you have done to recover from that and show some resiliency. It shouldn't DQ you, but if you aren't hired and considered a "non-select", just go into the reserves and prove yourself for 3 years.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As has been noted to you, the use of marijuana ten times exceeds "experimentation". This use could be an issue with many agencies. Shoplifting "a few times" also could be an issue, as this job is all about integrity.

                  The traffic citations will probably emerge as the least of your concerns, although they too, could be a minor hurdle for you to overcome.

                  Each and every violation you've disclosed to us will have to be disclosed in minute detail to any agency you apply to.

                  Agencies look long and hard at Juvenile adjudications, and make decisions on a case by case basis. Your immediate concern is to put a minimum of at least three years, perhaps five years, between your last violation and your application.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That's mostly the answer I was looking for. I don't mind paying dues. I was just looking for confirmation that my sins were not so great that I was wasting my time and that of everyone involved.
                    Though in order to enter the reserves one must pass the background investigation as well correct? So wouldn't the same offenses be an equal hinderance to a reservist?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When I was about 14/15 I did the same thing - where my brother and I used to hang out in houses that were being built and one time we cause damages. I thought it would be a huge problem but one of the detectives kinda laughed and said he remembered when he did that as a kid too.

                      Basically, each department will look at it differently. Some will have higher standards, some are more forgiving.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As for MJ, depends where you're applying. Washington has lowered the amount of time for it to be DQ. Seattle has it down to one year since your last use.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks reaper that was reassuring.
                          I'm in CA for what it's worth

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I dont see anything that would disqualify you from ever getting in to LE, but I dont see anything that says hire me either.

                            Finish your degree, maintain a solid work history, keep your nose clean, and get involved in things that demonstrate that you are no longer the person you were during your teenage years.

                            Time will be your friend. At your age you are still young enough that I would prefer someone with more life experience. I entered the field at 21 but I wish I had waited longer. Put another two or three years between you and your bad decisions and you will be a much better applicant.
                            In God We Trust
                            Everyone else we run local and NCIC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lady Blue View Post
                              I dont see anything that would disqualify you from ever getting in to LE, but I dont see anything that says hire me either.

                              Finish your degree, maintain a solid work history, keep your nose clean, and get involved in things that demonstrate that you are no longer the person you were during your teenage years.

                              Time will be your friend. At your age you are still young enough that I would prefer someone with more life experience. I entered the field at 21 but I wish I had waited longer. Put another two or three years between you and your bad decisions and you will be a much better applicant.
                              Im currently 21 and have been told that it might be hard for me to get hired at a young age. Can I ask at what age you would have preferred to get into law enforcement?

                              Also, because it takes so long to get into a career in law enforcement anyway is it smart to continue applying now while staying out of trouble and keeping a good job?

                              Comment

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