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  • Looking for an honest assessment of my background

    I know that the officers on this forum get bombarded with requests to review an applicant's/potential LEO's qualifications and background, so I hate to pile on but I do want to get some advice from the forum readers here. I am looking at making a career change from IT into law enforcement and want to get honest opinions on my chances. I have some mistakes and blemishes in my past and that is what concerns me the most.

    Let me tell you a little about me: I am in my early 30s, located in MS and have worked in IT as a systems analyst for 8 years. I have a Master's degree in Public Administration and I currently supervise 3 employees. When my boss is out of the office, I become the defacto supervisor for 12 employees. I have been promoted 3 times in my 8 years with my current employer, which I would like to think speaks to my employer's regard for my ability and work ethic.

    Other things that I would consider a positive: I have no convictions or arrests on my record, as well as no tickets as an adult. I did receive a ticket as part of a wreck as a minor (at the age of 16 for following too close) but I was able to attend driving school to satisfy the ticket. As a result, I am not sure if that ticket would even show up on a background check. I have held employment steadily since the age of 19 with no gaps in my employment history. I have no debt, as I worked two jobs after graduating from college to get my student loan debt paid off and to pay off my car. My credit score is middle-of-the-road, as I have never had a credit card (I am a Dave Ramsey guy) and have only borrowed money for college and for two vehicles.

    Now for the less positive aspects. I don't know what all is covered on the polygraph but, if asked, I would need to say “yes” to the following items:

    1.Porn – yes, I have viewed porn before but nothing that was illegal.

    2.Had alcohol as a minor – yes, like a lot of teenagers, I did drink alcohol as a minor.

    3.Drug use – Alcohol and Nicotine are the only drugs that I have ever tried; I have never smoked marijuana or used any other controlled substances.

    4.Strip clubs – yes, I did spend some time in strip clubs when I was in college; I stopped going after finishing graduate school and moving on to a professional job, as it was time to move on and grow up and be a professional.

    5.Stolen anything – I have never shoplifted from a department store or convenience store but I would have to say “yes” if asked, as I know that I am guilty of taking two drinks or two bags of chips as a teenager if a vending machine malfunctioned and accidentally gave me two items rather than one.

    6.Wrecks – I had one as a minor that I mentioned above; I also hit a deer about 7 years ago and about 3 years ago a guy at a restaurant backed into my parked car while I was inside eating in the restaurant and drove off. I filed a police report for the hit-and-run but didn't make an insurance claim because the damage was very minor.

    7.Cheated on a test – yes, in high school I did cheat on a test but thankfully didn't get caught. It was incredibly stupid of me to have done so, as it could have caused me to fail the class and totally blown my academic career. I never did so in college, as I had started to grow up by that point and was taking responsibility for my work and academic career.


    I also must note that I have no law enforcement experience or military experience, which I must admit worries me a decent bit, as I am afraid that it will serve as a serious handicap when being compared to other applicants by quality, competitive police departments.

    Overall, how would you guys view me? I will say that I am very embarrassed to have admitted the above items to you but, if asked in a polygraph, then I know that I would have no choice but to be truthful to the polygraph administrator. I don't know that any of them outside of having had a couple of wrecks would show up on a background test. My fear is that I wouldn't be considered a competitive candidate and/or that I would be disqualified at some of the better departments in the south, such as Austin, San Antonio, Mesquite, Nashville, etc. I would prefer to find out now if I would have no hope with some of the better departments due to my background.

  • #2
    As the Assistant Chief over the Recruiting Division of the Houston Police Department, how do I view your background? I sure hope you consider us! Check out www.hpdcareer.com we are looking to hire 280-320 officers in 2015. Classes begin in February, May, June and October. Feb, May and June classes offer a $5,000 signing bonus.

    If you are interested, fill out an "Interest Card" on our web site or PM your name and contact information to me and I will have one of our recruiters contact you ASAP.

    AC Vazquez

    Comment


    • #3
      (message deleted)
      Last edited by triniboy05; 11-29-2019, 11:41 PM.
      God never promised that it would be easy, just that he would be there with you every step of the way.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CptCAV View Post
        As the Assistant Chief over the Recruiting Division of the Houston Police Department, how do I view your background? I sure hope you consider us! Check out www.hpdcareer.com we are looking to hire 280-320 officers in 2015. Classes begin in February, May, June and October. Feb, May and June classes offer a $5,000 signing bonus.

        If you are interested, fill out an "Interest Card" on our web site or PM your name and contact information to me and I will have one of our recruiters contact you ASAP.

        AC Vazquez
        Originally posted by triniboy05 View Post
        Depends on the quality of applicants you're paired up against and how many positions are available, but I'd be flabbergasted if you weren't hired somewhere. Your work experience speaks volumes and will go a long way. The other stuff are a dime a dozen issues in most applicants. Just be honest, and you should have no problem.
        Read those answers again.

        You are probably above average as far as a candidate for law enforcement............... As long as you were able to successfully negotiate the hiring process/testing you would most likely have a good chance at being hired someplace
        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


        • #5
          I don't see anything in what you told us that should give you any cause to lose sleep over. Almost everything that you would say yes to is in my background as well. The most important thing is to, as you stated you would, be honest about everything. There are two things in this world that you cannot get back; virginity and integrity. Losing one of those things is a good experience in most cases but the second one never should be.
          In God We Trust
          Everyone else we run local and NCIC

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
            Read those answers again.

            You are probably above average as far as a candidate for law enforcement............... As long as you were able to successfully negotiate the hiring process/testing you would most likely have a good chance at being hired someplace
            What he said

            Comment


            • #7
              Background wise I believe you could be a great fit for a department. However you sound a bit naive at times in your description. I am not sure your personality is right for LE , but hey that's for you and the psychologist to decide. Do some ride alongs in the mean time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ArchwayD View Post
                . I am not sure your personality is right for LE , but hey that's for you and the psychologist to decide. Do some ride alongs in the mean time.
                That's a pretty big leap.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mm92280 View Post
                  I know that the officers on this forum get bombarded with requests to review an applicant's/potential LEO's qualifications and background, so I hate to pile on but I do want to get some advice from the forum readers here. I am looking at making a career change from IT into law enforcement and want to get honest opinions on my chances. I have some mistakes and blemishes in my past and that is what concerns me the most.

                  Let me tell you a little about me: I am in my early 30s, located in MS and have worked in IT as a systems analyst for 8 years. I have a Master's degree in Public Administration and I currently supervise 3 employees. When my boss is out of the office, I become the defacto supervisor for 12 employees. I have been promoted 3 times in my 8 years with my current employer, which I would like to think speaks to my employer's regard for my ability and work ethic.

                  Other things that I would consider a positive: I have no convictions or arrests on my record, as well as no tickets as an adult. I did receive a ticket as part of a wreck as a minor (at the age of 16 for following too close) but I was able to attend driving school to satisfy the ticket. As a result, I am not sure if that ticket would even show up on a background check. I have held employment steadily since the age of 19 with no gaps in my employment history. I have no debt, as I worked two jobs after graduating from college to get my student loan debt paid off and to pay off my car. My credit score is middle-of-the-road, as I have never had a credit card (I am a Dave Ramsey guy) and have only borrowed money for college and for two vehicles.

                  Now for the less positive aspects. I don't know what all is covered on the polygraph but, if asked, I would need to say “yes” to the following items:

                  1.Porn – yes, I have viewed porn before but nothing that was illegal.

                  2.Had alcohol as a minor – yes, like a lot of teenagers, I did drink alcohol as a minor.

                  3.Drug use – Alcohol and Nicotine are the only drugs that I have ever tried; I have never smoked marijuana or used any other controlled substances.

                  4.Strip clubs – yes, I did spend some time in strip clubs when I was in college; I stopped going after finishing graduate school and moving on to a professional job, as it was time to move on and grow up and be a professional.

                  5.Stolen anything – I have never shoplifted from a department store or convenience store but I would have to say “yes” if asked, as I know that I am guilty of taking two drinks or two bags of chips as a teenager if a vending machine malfunctioned and accidentally gave me two items rather than one.

                  6.Wrecks – I had one as a minor that I mentioned above; I also hit a deer about 7 years ago and about 3 years ago a guy at a restaurant backed into my parked car while I was inside eating in the restaurant and drove off. I filed a police report for the hit-and-run but didn't make an insurance claim because the damage was very minor.

                  7.Cheated on a test – yes, in high school I did cheat on a test but thankfully didn't get caught. It was incredibly stupid of me to have done so, as it could have caused me to fail the class and totally blown my academic career. I never did so in college, as I had started to grow up by that point and was taking responsibility for my work and academic career.


                  I also must note that I have no law enforcement experience or military experience, which I must admit worries me a decent bit, as I am afraid that it will serve as a serious handicap when being compared to other applicants by quality, competitive police departments.

                  Overall, how would you guys view me? I will say that I am very embarrassed to have admitted the above items to you but, if asked in a polygraph, then I know that I would have no choice but to be truthful to the polygraph administrator. I don't know that any of them outside of having had a couple of wrecks would show up on a background test. My fear is that I wouldn't be considered a competitive candidate and/or that I would be disqualified at some of the better departments in the south, such as Austin, San Antonio, Mesquite, Nashville, etc. I would prefer to find out now if I would have no hope with some of the better departments due to my background.
                  I think you have a very good background.

                  Most departments like to see work stability because that shows them you will probably stay with them for a while and not jump ship to another dept just because they pay you an extra 2K per year.

                  There are officers on the streets with much worse backgrounds than yours. Some depts. even hire applicants with certain misdemeanor convictions. No officer has a "perfect" background and if you did, LE may not be the best position. You have a great deal of authority as a LEO and you need to be able to empathize with individuals and put yourself in their shoes. Every person does not need to go to jail for every offense committed. If you have no life experience and have never had some minor screw ups, you may not be able to empathize and see things from another's point of view.

                  Bottom line, I think you will make for an above average candidate and if you can articulate yourself through an oral board as well as you did in this post, you should be just fine.

                  PS: I live in TX. I can give you a lot of info on many depts. LE agencies for the most part pay really well here compared to the cost of living. In the Dallas Metrolplex areas you have several depts. with salaries ranging from 50K to 77K There are many officers earning 80K-115K a years with overtime and special details. CptCAV works with Houston PD and I have heard very good things about his dept. He would be a great connection considering he is the Chief of Recruiting.

                  GOOD LUCK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A lack of law enforcement experience is often a desirable characteristic. This way the department knows that THEIR WAY will be YOUR WAY because you don't know any other way. Also I would just point out that when you disclose any errors in judgment you may have had in your past, do not minimize them by making excuses. If you drank underage just say so - there's no need to point out that you're no different than millions of other people. We already know that. That being said I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to find a department willing to hire you.

                    Comment

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