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Is there such a thing as being 'TOO honest'?

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  • Is there such a thing as being 'TOO honest'?

    Just got done with sending in my background packet with an agency. One of the questions that I thought was odd was, "Would you arrest your friends if you caught them doing drugs?". yes/no. I checked no because honestly, I wouldn't. If I caught my friends doing drugs I would most likely try talk to them about it and try to get them to stop but I wouldn't throw them in jail for it. They may be idiots but they're still my friends. But I feel like by checking no I kinda screwed myself and maybe I should have checked yes?

    This question isn't the only thing that makes me wonder. I'm not a perfect person, my background isn't squeaky clean. But every mistake I have made was in the past when I was young and dumb, and I have changed and matured a lot since then. But sometimes I feel like those few mistakes that I have made are making it absolutely impossible for me to get hired. And I hear a lot of mixed advice from people including police officers. I hear people tell me "be absolutely truthful and honest throughout the whole process and you'll get hired", "honesty goes a long way, those are the type of candidates we look for", and then I hear actual police officers tell me, when I talked to them about my situation, "oh so you were being TOO honest"..

  • #2
    Integrity is all you have in this profession. You will spend your entire career being judged by others. Those people have to trust you do do the right thing and to tell them the truth.

    Your boss (Chief/Sheriff) gives you a gun and trusts you to go out and not kill everyone in sight. He/She also trusts you to follow the law and the agency policies without a whole lot of direct supervision A judge and/or jury trusts you to tell them the truth. The combined citizens trust you to protect them and to be honest in your dealings with them.

    Tell the truth when you fill out an application for a job as a police officer. If you lie (or stretch the truth) you loose integrity and basically become a crippled officer should you get hired under a lie.
    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


    • #3
      So if you were on patrol & rolled up on a car in a parking lot with someone inside shooting up heroin, you would counsel them if they were you friend and ignore the felony drug possession? But if you don't know the person then they go to jail. According to you, the law is applied differently depending on if you know them. That is favoritism & it is frowned upon.

      What would you do with the drugs? Let them keep it so they can continue to use or maybe OD later on.

      What if you respond to a DV and it is one of you friends who punched his wife leaving a visible injury? Counseling again?

      Look at the big picture of what they were asking.

      Comment


      • #4
        @iowa when it comes to the hiring process, sometimes I feel like it's a big game and I'm playing it like a sucker by going the complete honest route. Let me tell you a story where I felt like a huge sucker. So a couple months back I had a PAT for this department. That day I see this guy who I went to college with also trying out. I know for a fact that this guy went clubbing every other weekend popping mollies and doin ecstasy. on that day we take a preliminary background questionnaire. I disclosed that I smoked Marijuana 3-4 times during my freshman year in college. (BTW this is all that I have done, I have no criminal records or anything). One of the officers pulls me to the side and says, "sorry but our department considers 3 or 4 times more than experimental". Shakes my hand and sends me home. I look over to the field and who do I see? Mr. Party dude stretching and getting ready for the PAT.. Obviously he lied and from what I hear, he's well on his way to the Academy.

        @eaglel I guess I wasn't considering the big picture. Granted this was early in the morning and it was the millionth question towards the end. I thought it was pretty straight forward. And I was thinking mainly about Marijuana. If the question was "would you arrest your friends if they got high on heroin and beat their wives." I would have checked yes.. Lol. So did I screw myself by checking no? Would they look at this one question and throw my file into the trash?

        I honestly don't know what answers I'm looking for here. I know you guys aren't going to tell me that I should be dishonest to get the job, that would be ludicrous. I guess I'm just sort of venting because I'm so frustrated.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rustys View Post
          @iowa when it comes to the hiring process, sometimes I feel like it's a big game and I'm playing it like a sucker by going the complete honest route. Let me tell you a story where I felt like a huge sucker. So a couple months back I had a PAT for this department. That day I see this guy who I went to college with also trying out. I know for a fact that this guy went clubbing every other weekend popping mollies and doin ecstasy. on that day we take a preliminary background questionnaire. I disclosed that I smoked Marijuana 3-4 times during my freshman year in college. (BTW this is all that I have done, I have no criminal records or anything). One of the officers pulls me to the side and says, "sorry but our department considers 3 or 4 times more than experimental". Shakes my hand and sends me home. I look over to the field and who do I see? Mr. Party dude stretching and getting ready for the PAT.. Obviously he lied and from what I hear, he's well on his way to the Academy.

          @eaglel I guess I wasn't considering the big picture. Granted this was early in the morning and it was the millionth question towards the end. I thought it was pretty straight forward. And I was thinking mainly about Marijuana. If the question was "would you arrest your friends if they got high on heroin and beat their wives." I would have checked yes.. Lol. So did I screw myself by checking no? Would they look at this one question and throw my file into the trash?

          I honestly don't know what answers I'm looking for here. I know you guys aren't going to tell me that I should be dishonest to get the job, that would be ludicrous. I guess I'm just sort of venting because I'm so frustrated.
          Well, If you REALLY feel that is the way to get hired----------------------so be it. I know I wouldn't want to work with you if you have that little integrity.

          (I AM venting there rustys-----------)
          not accusing you .


          INTEGRITY is doing the right thing when NO ONE is watching. It means just doing what is right. Your "party dude" has none and at some point in time, Karma WILL get its due.

          Law enforcement is full of people that lied, or otherwise made it through the process by deceit.
          Christopher Dorner
          Drew Peterson
          immediately come to mind
          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
            Background

            As a current Background Investigator and I ask you the question " Would you arrest a friend if they were doing ILEGAL DRUGS" and you answered NO....you would be done. They have laws for you to follow not pick and choose depending on your friendship....... no going to happen in our neck of the woods.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Commish View Post
              As a current Background Investigator and I ask you the question " Would you arrest a friend if they were doing ILEGAL DRUGS" and you answered NO....you would be done. They have laws for you to follow not pick and choose depending on your friendship....... no going to happen in our neck of the woods.
              65465410002313.jpg

              welp I guess into the trash that files going...I knew I messed up when I checked no, but like I said before, it was early in the morning and I was tired and didn't really think the question through. I really hope they at least give me a chance to explain myself before dumping me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Not to down on you more... but your excuse of "it was early in the morning and I was tired" isn't going to cut it. How many times while performing this job are you going to have to make choices, sometimes life and death ones either early in the morning, while you are tired or both?
                Sorry that is just my thought when I read your excuse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by okgr2056 View Post
                  Not to down on you more... but your excuse of "it was early in the morning and I was tired" isn't going to cut it. How many times while performing this job are you going to have to make choices, sometimes life and death ones either early in the morning, while you are tired or both?
                  Sorry that is just my thought when I read your excuse.
                  No need to apologize, but I hardly think my mistake of not fully comprehending one question on a background questionnaire can be comparable to life and death situations. I am fully aware of the responsibilities and stresses police officers have to face, and I wasn't trying to make excuses (even though I did). I was merely saying that it was early, I work 40-45 hours a week, 6 days a week, monday-saturday, I didn't have my coffee, no breakfast, it was the millionth question, I fully agree with what @eaglel said, didn't see the big picture, now I regret checking no, my file is probably going into the trash as we speak. Jeezus sometimes I think you people just like posting for the sake of posting and getting your 2 cents in no matter how redundant or unprogressive it is...Sorry that is just MY thought on your "helpful" post.
                  Last edited by rustys; 09-11-2014, 02:29 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rustys View Post
                    No need to apologize, but I hardly think my mistake of not fully comprehending one question on a background questionnaire can be comparable to life and death situations. .
                    You are missing the point.


                    It's attention to details that are important.

                    Filling out the application and filling it out accurately is part of the process.


                    Originally posted by rustys View Post
                    Jeezus sometimes I think you people just like posting for the sake of posting and getting your 2 cents in no matter how redundant or unprogressive it is...Sorry that is just MY thought on your "helpful" post.
                    I really don't think anyone BEGGED you to come onto this forum and ask your questions. BUT when you do ask a question on this forum you are going to get answers from a very wide range of officers who have a wide range of experience.

                    Our "stock" answer is that you asked the question------------but you don't get to dictate HOW the question is answered
                    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


                    • #11
                      Just as Iowa said, attention to details is important in this job and there are always going to be times you are tired and haven't got to have your coffee.

                      Good luck in the process, none of use know that you answering "no" will be an immediate DQ so hold your head up. I applied to 4 departments before I got hired.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You may get the opportunity to expand on & explain your answer. As a BI (which I have been) I might buy it & pass you on. But I will also tell you I was a rookie officer when I covered an officer who was primary on a DV. She had a visible injury & he waived me off & handled the call himself. He tried to blow it off to protect his friend (suspect). He did his friend a favor, but not the victim. (His career was short.)

                        I won't tell you to give up, but don't get snarky here. BI's will have you log on to social media & forum sites to review your posts. Social media/forum [email protected] will come back to bite you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I hate questions like that ("would you" questions) in questionnaires. Too many variables/different ways people might be coming it. For example, for me, it makes a BIG difference whether or not I'm on duty at the time.

                          But, some departments will ask them, and may wash you out for your answers, and you may find that unfair. But if anyone EVER finds you to be lying, you can kiss any career at ANY department goodbye for good, guaranteed. So no, there is no such thing as too honest. Better to have your honesty keep you from getting one job, than to have your dishonesty keep you from getting ANY job.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eagleI View Post
                            That is favoritism & it is frowned upon.
                            I get that. Police officers officers stand in that thin blue line between order and chaos. If officers don't have integrity then the whole system simply does not work. But like @Starfleet Officer, "I hate questions like that ("would you" questions) in questionnaires. Too many variables/different ways people might be coming it." It's frowned upon but I'm pretty sure it happens often. After all, police officers are human beings. Are you telling me that if you caught your best friend, the guy who you've known since grade school, the guy who stood up for you, bled for you, been on many adventures with you, introduced you to your wife, is the godfather of your kids, doing drugs in a Walmart parking lot, you're going to throw him in the slammer? What if it was your mother? You're going to lock her up to? Because if you don't that's favoritism and a lack of integrity.

                            It's like what I learned in school. "Letter of the Law vs. Spirit of the Law." Police officers are given the power to enforce the laws with their discretion. If I caught an elderly woman speeding past a stop sign, by letter of the law I HAVE to give her a ticket. But if she told me that she has arthritis problems and her house is 100 feet away, giving her a ticket isn't going to solve a thing. As a friend of this hypothetical drug user, I actually have a chance at rehabilitating him more than I would a random person. So this is basically why I chose I "honestly wouldn't arrest my friends if I caught them doing drugs."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rustys View Post
                              Are you telling me that if you caught your best friend, the guy who you've known since grade school, the guy who stood up for you, bled for you, been on many adventures with you, introduced you to your wife, is the godfather of your kids, doing drugs in a Walmart parking lot, you're going to throw him in the slammer?
                              YES-

                              If you can't wrap your mind around that concept----------------you have no place in law enforcement

                              I have supervised EXTREMELY close friends in prison. I have arrested friends.





                              Originally posted by rustys View Post
                              What if it was your mother? You're going to lock her up to? Because if you don't that's favoritism and a lack of integrity.
                              I'd call for backup---

                              BUT, If my mother was enough of an addict that she allowed me to find her in the Walmart parking lot doing drugs............................Yea, I would make sure she got arrested. If she was that out of control she needs intervention ----much more than I could give her because I would have already tried


                              Originally posted by rustys View Post
                              As a friend of this hypothetical drug user, I actually have a chance at rehabilitating him more than I would a random person.
                              No you don't. That is "book learning " theory talking not "real life" practice. An addict is going to use drugs until life in too uncomfortable for them to continue, or they are dead. Putting them in jail is more likely to "rehabilitate them" than counseling them





                              Originally posted by rustys View Post
                              "I hate questions like that ("would you" questions)
                              "Would you" questions are designed to make you think and to see just how honest you really are.

                              No one----------------and I mean NO ONE expects you to answer that you would ticket your mother for speeding or running a stop sign. THAT MY FRIEND defines "Officer Discretion"

                              Where the problem comes in is at High MISDEMEANOR and/or FELONY LEVEL crimes. If you are willing to overlook those crimes (at the FRIEND LEVEL) you just don't have what it takes to make it in this profession-----And more important NO ONE is going to TRUST you .

                              IF you are willing to overlook a felony or Serious Misdemeanor for a friend, how can I trust you not to take a bribe, How can I trust you to have my back IF THAT FRIEND PULLS A GUN ON ME. Would you shoot him to save my life or would you help him?


                              Nope-----you don't have what it takes







                              Originally posted by rustys View Post
                              So this is basically why I chose I "honestly wouldn't arrest my friends if I caught them doing drugs."
                              Your explanation of this answer just proves WHY you should not be hired as a police officer.
                              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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