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  • Driving Record

    My ultimate goal is to become a Police Officer. I have a bachelor degree in criminal justice from psu and participated in 5 police internships throughout my college years. I signed up for my local police academy which starts in a few months. My only concern is my driving record and if it could have a significant effect on getting hired by a department...?!

    For the past 7 years, prior to 2010, I had no traffic violations. Then, starting in December 2010, I received a ticket... and then some... (I'm a PA resident)

    - December 10', disobedient to traffic signal (went on yellow), no points, paid fine.
    - October 13', speeding, no points, paid fine.
    - November 13', speeding, points, paid fine.
    - May 14, seatbelt, no points, paid fine (out of state).
    - September 14', speeding (5 over in speed trap), no points, paid fine.

    It kills me thinking about this because a career in law enforcement is everything I want. I know departments can be strict on applicants driving records, but I hope I'm not doomed here. Also, I really hope I'm not setting myself up to fail by paying for the academy and putting in all the hard work to then be rejected by departments because of my driving history...?!

    I would really appreciate all your comments and/or personal experiences in such case. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bop23 View Post
    My ultimate goal is to become a Police Officer. I have a bachelor degree in criminal justice from psu and participated in 5 police internships throughout my college years. I signed up for my local police academy which starts in a few months. My only concern is my driving record and if it could have a significant effect on getting hired by a department...?!

    For the past 7 years, prior to 2010, I had no traffic violations. Then, starting in December 2010, I received a ticket... and then some... (I'm a PA resident)

    - December 10', disobedient to traffic signal (went on yellow), no points, paid fine.
    - October 13', speeding, no points, paid fine.
    - November 13', speeding, points, paid fine.
    - May 14, seatbelt, no points, paid fine (out of state).
    - September 14', speeding (5 over in speed trap), no points, paid fine.

    It kills me thinking about this because a career in law enforcement is everything I want. I know departments can be strict on applicants driving records, but I hope I'm not doomed here. Also, I really hope I'm not setting myself up to fail by paying for the academy and putting in all the hard work to then be rejected by departments because of my driving history...?!

    I would really appreciate all your comments and/or personal experiences in such case. Thanks.
    That many tickets in a short time will not be good

    My guess is that most agencies are going to want a minimum of 5 yrs between your last citation and advancing your application.

    PERSONALLY I would hold off on the academy until you are closer to being employable.
    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

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    • #3
      Yep, that's gonna hurt you. We wouldn't hire you. I assume an open academy requires you to be sworn in within X amount of time or you have to start the clock over, correct? I agree with Iowa. I think you are wasting your money and your time to go to an academy now.

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      • #4
        I appreciate both of your comments. It's upsetting to think I have to back out of my dream career for this reason.

        @ just joe - The academy I was applying to is through a local community college. I'm pretty sure you are correct on that and I believe it's 2 years? If I were to join the next class in February, I'd graduate in August 2015. Should I have no more moving violations from here on out, maybe the time lapse would be acceptable for some?

        Thanks again for your time and advice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Bop23 View Post
          I appreciate both of your comments. It's upsetting to think I have to back out of my dream career for this reason.

          @ just joe - The academy I was applying to is through a local community college. I'm pretty sure you are correct on that and I believe it's 2 years? If I were to join the next class in February, I'd graduate in August 2015. Should I have no more moving violations from here on out, maybe the time lapse would be acceptable for some?

          Thanks again for your time and advice.
          the only person to be upset with is yourself.............

          In most cases the law that allows pay academies put a time limit on the certification. Basically you are not certified until you finish a FTO program ---and you can't do that unless you are hired.


          5 yrs ticket free is pretty much the standard. I think you would be wasting your money if you don't wait until 2019. It takes an average (nationwide) of 2-5 yrs of applying to get hired.

          If you want to roll the dice before ---------------that of course is your privilege-----------just be aware that the time limits on getting hired are virtually NEVER waived due to the state law involved
          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
            OK, here once more we have an aspiring cop who suddenly seems to have trouble obeying the traffic laws. It's a little late in a long day, but I count four movers in a total of five violations. I doesn't make a flying damn whether or not points were assessed. You've managed to establish what my Agency defines as a "pattern of disregard/disrespect for the law".

            My Agency would NOT select you at this time, and would not even consider you until a minimum of three, but more like five years has passed. In the meantime, you should attempt to build a record of solid citizenship, and arrest free, violation free driving.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yep, you would be out at our department for at least a few years. They will forgive one moving violation in the last 3 years but more than that and you are not DQed but unlikely you will get hired. To many guys out there with no criminal, and no tickets.

              I had one ticket from 7 years before I got hired they gave me a hard time about that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bop23 View Post
                I appreciate both of your comments. It's upsetting to think I have to back out of my dream career for this reason.

                @ just joe - The academy I was applying to is through a local community college. I'm pretty sure you are correct on that and I believe it's 2 years? If I were to join the next class in February, I'd graduate in August 2015. Should I have no more moving violations from here on out, maybe the time lapse would be acceptable for some?
                Thanks again for your time and advice.
                I worked as a background investigator. Your driving record shows a disrespect for the law, lack of consideration for the safety of others, lack of maturity and a lack of responsibility. What makes this situation worse is you claim that being in LE is a life long dream. I know I would not recommend you for hire at this point. Not only would your driving record be a liability to my department it would be an embarrassment if you were involved in a negative incident (doesn't have to be driving related). The press would have a field day with your record once they found out about it (trust me they will).

                My advice is go back to school, and graduate with a different major (can't go wrong with a business degree). Hold down a job with responsibility for five to seven years and then apply with a few agencies. Why? You have to remember that you are competing with people who are very qualified and have none of your negative history.

                If LE is for you, then you will work hard, be responsible and achieve your goal. Nothing worth it is ever easy. Good luck.

                Stay safe.

                Comment

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