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Background Review Request -- Semto


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  • Background Review Request -- Semto

    Good evening:

    I have recently decided to redirect my career path into law enforcement. I am waking up late to my calling, but I am hoping late is better than never. After reviewing other posts on this forum as well as background history forms, I wrote up the following biography. I also made notes on how to improve on my weak areas. I have a few questions:

    * What additional actions should I take to improve?
    * With work on my weak areas, could I still become a competitive candidate?
    * How do recruiters view older applicants? I saw that some agencies such as NYPD cutoff recruits at 35 years old, but I couldn't find an age limit for agencies near San Diego.

    Please let me know your thoughts and any questions you may have. Thank you in advance for your time and your advice.

    32 y/o (33 in Feb.)
    Latino (Puerto Rican) male
    Married, no kids
    1999 - 2006: Lived in central Texas
    2006 - now: Living in the San Diego, CA area

    AA degree. Major: American Sign Language Interpreting
    (I also completed coursework in Mass Communication/Journalism.)
    Plan to improve: obtain certificate in Spanish Translation/Interpreting

    American Sign Language - professionally fluent
    Spanish - conversationally fluent
    Plan to improve: Learn Spanish vocabulary specific to law enforcement.

    EMPLOYMENT (Since 2006)
    2011 - current: Hired as a sign language interpreter dispatcher for a non-profit organization.
    2009 - 2011: Recruited to work for a real estate company as an accounting assistant.
    2006 - 2009: Upon moving to CA, worked for an IT help desk.

    Election worker (up to precinct inspector) with County Registrar of Voters for five elections
    Six months as a volunteer experience with a non-profit organization (which later hired me as for the interpreter dispatcher).

    None. (I grew up on Army bases and considered joining. I allowed myself to get talked out of it by a recruiter who insisted I would likely be discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".)

    Plan to improve: I will apply as a volunteer (non-reserve) with San Diego PD to learn more about law enforcement.

    I have a clean record regarding felonies and misdemeanors. I did receive two citations in the last ten years:
    - approx. 2008 (did not have current insurance card in the car)
    - 2013 (cell phone use).
    I accepted responsibility when the police officers discussed the citations with me, and I paid all relevant fines on time.
    Improvements made: I keep updated updated insurance cards in the car. I also attended a CHP presentation on distracted driving and no longer handle my phone while driving.

    I wear eyeglasses for nearsightedness. I am otherwise healthy for average civilian. I don't drink or smoke. I have never smoked or used any drugs (including marijuana).
    Plan to improve: I will switch to soft contacts. I will Work out to improve fitness to LE standards.

    2012 - Bankruptcy (discharged). Reason: I was financially illiterate, made poor choices with credit cards, and purchased a condo with my fiance (now my husband). The housing bubble burst within six months, and my fiance lost his job within the year. We tried to avoid bankruptcy by paying bills with only my income while he searched for work. I failed, so we had to file. Huge life lesson learned.
    Plan to improve: educating myself on budgets and credit to avoid ever having this experience in the future. I have not taken out any new credit cards or loans. I am Working out a payment plan with the new company holding my student loan debt.

    2006 - present: I have great references here in California.
    Pre-2006: I have the contact information for my places of employment in Texas, but not for any former coworkers.
    Plan to improve: ??? I need advice on how to resolve the pre-2006 coworkers issue.

  • #2
    Your age won't be a problem. Cut-offs seem largely to be an East Coast thing where they do exist. The recent bankruptcy will be a hurdle.

    Good luck.


    • #3
      What he ^^^^^^ said

      FYI resumes are rarely used in law enforcement hiring, what your first hurdle will be in MOST agencys in California is a Civil Service Test
      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


      • #4
        I appreciate your responses, Nathan571 and Iowa #1603. I agree that the bankruptcy is a hurdle in my background. I will need to keep working to improve my credit. Hopefully with time that hurdle will decrease.

        On a good note, I feel confident about passing a Civil Service Test. I generally do well on written exams. I took the practice POST test and correctly answered 29 of the 30 questions.

        Thank you again for your quick replies! Please let me know if you have any additional thoughts or suggestions.


        • #5
          California is MAJOR Civil Service territory. Your first obstacle will be the written exam. A score in the mid to high nineties will be required for you to emerge as a viable candidate. Use the "Search Function" for numerous discussions on this subject.

          Your Bankruptcy is rather recent and it's likely to emerge as an obstacle for you. Past that, your "bio" looks pretty good. I would urge you to apply. For further information as to agency requirements, hiring standards etc, do some research. Most agencies have websites, and many of them are very informative. Good luck.


          • #6
            Thank you, PhilipCal, for your reply and advice! I was not aware before today that California placed more emphasis on the Civil Service test than other states. I look forward to tackling that challenge! In the meantime, I will review the Civil Service threads and research the local agencies. If you have any additional suggestions or thoughts, please let me know.


            • #7
              Like my colleagues I see the bankruptcy as being the biggest barrier you will face. ASL and Spanish is a plus for you. The biggest advice I can give is that you need to stay the course on your financial planning and blow the Civil Service test out of the water when you take it. Good Luck.
              In God We Trust
              Everyone else we run local and NCIC


              • #8
                As others have said, the bankruptcy is a concern but given the times, I don't think it's a huge obstacle. I would plan on going further in college, whether you put that in the resume' or mention it in your Oral is up to you.
                As to your co-worker issue---your former employers or perhaps even social media could perhaps help you locate them. Any other awards/certifications you may have, even if they don't seem job related I'd add as it demonstrates skills that may be beneficial to your dept.


                • #9
                  I appreciate your advice, Lady Blue and hemicop. Thank you! I definitely plan and look forward to acing the Civil Service Exam. Per PhilipCal's advice, I have started researching the test via the forum's search function. The search provided several results, so I have some fun reading to do.

                  Unfortunately, I don't have any awards. However, I did save copies of e-mails and postal mail from clients to my supervisors. In the correspondence, the customers give me kudos and thanks for providing customer service that went the extra mile. (Excellent customer service is has always been one of my best work-related strengths.) I'm hoping that I can incorporate that as an asset somehow in the oral boards.

                  If you have any more thoughts or advice, please let me know!


                  • #10
                    Not to beat a dead horse, but the financial problems will be a hurdle.

                    Complete your BA/BS degree. Spanish speaking Latinos with college degrees are in high demand. Learn to be a good test taker so you can score well on the civil service exams.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by just joe View Post
                      Not to beat a dead horse, but the financial problems will be a hurdle.

                      Complete your BA/BS degree. Spanish speaking Latinos with college degrees are in high demand. Learn to be a good test taker so you can score well on the civil service exams.
                      Exactly this. Make sure you stay up to date on financial matters that's what police departments will be looking for.


                      • #12
                        Good morning, just joe and tj05, and thank you for your input! No worries on beating the dead horse -- it is a good reminder that my bankruptcy will be an issue regardless of which region I decide to pursue this career. I made bad financial choices, and this hurdle is a consequence I must face. I'll keep working to repair my credit and make better choices.

                        It's good to know college educated Spanish-speaking Latinos are in demand. I hope to use those skills to benefit the law enforcement team and the community! Please let me know if you have additional suggestions and thoughts.


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