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  • Another "What are my chances?" Thread...

    Hello all. I turned 18 last month and have begun applying for various PD volunteer opportunities. With some departments, the hiring process is nearly identical, (particularly with the Sheriff's Office, which uses the same background packet for volunteer/civilian positions as it does for sworn positions), so the integrity requirement is as stringent.

    After reading many threads in this section, I have come to completely understand that all agencies and BIs are different and my mileage will vary. As such, I am simply looking to get your opinions on my character as I describe it below, rather than asking if you can tell me whether I can become a police officer. In AZ, the age for peace officer certification is 21, so I ask your opinions based on what I describe here, provided nothing further happens between now and the time I apply.

    Traffic:

    04/14 - civil traffic citation for expired registration and no proof of insurance in vehicle. I was not the registered owner of the vehicle so that charge was reduced and I paid the reduced fine. The insurance charge was dismissed when I faxed-in a copy of my valid insurance card.

    09/14 - cited for a minor rear-end collision. (in this state, when one causes a rear-end collision, one is cited under the same statute as one would be for "speed not reasonable or prudent"). I attended defensive driving school and the charge was dismissed.

    I have zero criminal history. Never been detained, questioned, arrested, charged, accused, etc. for any criminal offense.

    I smoked tobacco cigarettes for about a year and a half but haven't smoked since December and I don't intend to start again. I have never done any drug, not even during high school. (Didn't do parties and only had a few close friends so didn't really even have the opportunity, to be frank.) In fact, the only drug I have actually seen in person is marijuana, but I've never smoked it, eaten it - nothing. No wax, no THC, no "brownies," nothing. I am particularly proud of my lack of a drug history, given the rampant drug use by others in high school.

    I don't remember the exact date as it was probably 5-6 years ago, but I self-diagnosed a sinus infection, and took a Z-Pak (azithromycin antibiotic) that my father gave me, which was prescribed to him. Despite the time element and the low importance, I still felt it should be disclosed on my
    background packet, so I listed it and explained it exactly as I have here.

    That's pretty much the extent of anything potentially negative that I have done in my life. I've never stolen anything or gotten into a fight or anything at all, really. I would describe myself as somewhat of an introvert so, my ethics and moral code notwithstanding, I haven't really had the opportunity to commit crimes, let alone the balls to actually commit them.

    I greatly appreciate your time. I feel as excited to volunteer as I believe I would during the police officer hiring process but I have the same long wait that officer applicants have, and the waiting game is painful just the same.

    Thank you again,

    Dustin L.
    Last edited by dpl47; 07-07-2015, 01:58 AM.

  • #2
    You are only 18 and already have two traffic citations and have used prescription medication not prescribed for you.

    I am not impressed with your situation at this point in time.


    Talk to me again in 5 yrs
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
      You are only 18 and already have two traffic citations and have used prescription medication not prescribed for you.

      I am not impressed with your situation at this point in time.


      Talk to me again in 5 yrs
      Both civil and one of which was dismissed. Nonetheless, I appreciate your honesty. I thought it would be more impressive in comparison to others I have seen who are only just of-age and have arrests, more/major citations, etc. Again though, thank you for your honesty.

      Comment


      • #4
        Assuming everything you say is correct, for the first time in years I'm going to disagree with Iowa.

        Let's start with the medication. Your parent administered an antibiotic to you for which you had no prescription, for an infection, when you were at such a young age that under my state's law (and probably yours) you were incapable of committing a crime. No harm, no foul.

        You got a ticket for driving someone else's car that had an expired reg. Now I've got to ask, when any of us go to drive someone else's car, how many of us inspect the exterior for current reg tags? No harm, no foul.

        You had a preventable TC. Yes, that reflects unfavorably, but taken alone it is not a disqualifier.

        Some agencies will not hire applicants who smoke tobacco or who have smoked within a certain period, but they are rare and very few in number. If your tobacco use history meets their DQ criteria, don't apply there.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
          Assuming everything you say is correct, for the first time in years I'm going to disagree with Iowa.

          Let's start with the medication. Your parent administered an antibiotic to you for which you had no prescription, for an infection, when you were at such a young age that under my state's law (and probably yours) you were incapable of committing a crime. No harm, no foul.
          You are probably right. I am not familiar enough with the particular statutes to know whether it was actually a crime given my age. The application said "have you ever..." so I answered truthfully, yes, ever, I have.

          You got a ticket for driving someone else's car that had an expired reg. Now I've got to ask, when any of us go to drive someone else's car, how many of us inspect the exterior for current reg tags? No harm, no foul.
          That was my argument. :-) The law in AZ states that it is a "defense that the defendant is not the registered owner of the vehicle," which I assume is why it was reduced. Nonetheless, I was indeed driving a car without current registration, so I happily paid the reduced fine.

          You had a preventable TC. Yes, that reflects unfavorably, but taken alone it is not a disqualifier.

          Some agencies will not hire applicants who smoke tobacco or who have smoked within a certain period, but they are rare and very few in number. If your tobacco use history meets their DQ criteria, don't apply there.
          I really appreciate your feedback, L-1!

          Thankfully, none of the agencies I have looked into have requested tobacco usage information during the background. Regardless, I'm happy I quit smoking and if I do run into an issue, I have a good start on meeting any required time period.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am going to take a middle road between my two colleagues. I agree with L-1 regarding the Z-pack. It appears that you were 12-13 at the time and given the meds by a parent. I doubt that this would play any role in the decision making process because it is reasonable that you would follow the direction of a parent at that age. On the other hand, I am also going to agree with Iowa for a different reason. I started LE at a young age and I did not have the maturity and life experience for the job. Give it five years and keep your nose clean, Learn a second language, get a degree, gain experience, and become the best applicant you can be.
            In God We Trust
            Everyone else we run local and NCIC

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lady Blue View Post
              I am going to take a middle road between my two colleagues. I agree with L-1 regarding the Z-pack. It appears that you were 12-13 at the time and given the meds by a parent. I doubt that this would play any role in the decision making process because it is reasonable that you would follow the direction of a parent at that age. On the other hand, I am also going to agree with Iowa for a different reason. I started LE at a young age and I did not have the maturity and life experience for the job. Give it five years and keep your nose clean, Learn a second language, get a degree, gain experience, and become the best applicant you can be.
              Thank you for your feedback. I am asking opinions for the purpose of preparing myself for the reaction I get toward my background for the volunteer positions for which I have applied. I speak German and am continuing to build my Spanish, a language which apparently many agencies in AZ value greatly. As I wrote in the OP, I have not been involved with any criminal activity and I don't intend to be in the future and, not to toot my own horn, but since my accident, I learned a lot and I have been doing really well at being a more alert and courteous driver and not the boy-racer I was when I first got my license two years ago - so I don't plan on getting any further citations. I really appreciate your feedback, again, and the positive tone with which you gave it.

              Dustin

              Comment


              • #8
                If you are asking purely for a volunteer position, you should be fine. I also agree with L-1 concerning the prescription. At 13, your parents took that responsibility. It's not the job of a child to distrust what their parents give them. No issue as long as it didn't happen as an adult.

                2 traffic citations can be an issue right now as it's such a short time. Keep your nose clean until 21 and no more citations and you should be good. Act like many young adults and get yourself more citations and that chance may disappear for a few years.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                  Assuming everything you say is correct, for the first time in years I'm going to disagree with Iowa.
                  Not a problem, but I think you somewhat misread or misunderstood my short --to the point---reply (I probably should expand on some of my answers)

                  He is 18 and his state doesn't license police until 21 ----that in it's self is nearly 3 yrs of my 5 yr request
                  He has a mover which is a strike against him --------not a disqualifyer just a strike
                  The expired tag---------------it is what it is but it is still a citation.

                  I saw all of the above as an aggregate (plus the medication thing) in giving a "not now" statement

                  I really don't think 18 or even MOST 21 yr olds are mature enough to be cops and would call that the major reason I said to talk to me in 5 yrs.................I actually prefer older 25-27 yrs of age minimum.


                  I am one of the reasons most hiring committees have several members who bring a mixture of hiring philosophies to the conference table---the diversity brings a better end product into the agency
                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's your assignment Dustin, read, read once more and absorb the collective wisdom my colleagues have offered you. Each reply, even those seemingly at odds with one another, contain wisdom and truth. The very qualities you should be seeking when you visit a forum such as this.

                    Keep in mind that any association with a Law Enforcement Agency (save that of a person arrested or in custody) requires the proverbial "higher standard". This applies to volunteer as well as sworn positions within an agency, thus the same application.

                    At age 18, your most important mission is to keep up the good work you've begun. It means that you continue your education, be mindful of who you associate with, be mindful that your adult life has begun. It means the continued building of a record of solid citizenship, and the acceptance of increased responsibility(s).

                    Best of luck in your endeavors.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am really grateful for the advice and feedback I have gotten, positive or negative, because it helps me to prepare for what I might be told during future hiring processes, so thank you to all who have replied so far.

                      One quick question - as Iowa mentioned in his second post, I do have the one moving violation. I don't ask this to be argumentative but simply out of curiosity, but does it matter that it was dismissed?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dpl47 View Post
                        One quick question - as Iowa mentioned in his second post, I do have the one moving violation. I don't ask this to be argumentative but simply out of curiosity, but does it matter that it was dismissed?
                        Not really.......................it wasn't really dismissed since you took a defensive driving course IN ORDER to get it taken off your record.

                        Being dismissed would have been if the prosecutor chose not to prosecute you for your violation in a plea bargain or because you did not commit the violation.

                        In a law enforcement hiring process CHARGES are evaluated in their entirety-----------the base reason for the charge is evaluated just as seriously as the eventual outcome

                        You don't have any real problems.......................as long as you keep your nose clean and ---------get older.
                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                          Not really.......................it wasn't really dismissed since you took a defensive driving course IN ORDER to get it taken off your record.

                          Being dismissed would have been if the prosecutor chose not to prosecute you for your violation in a plea bargain or because you did not commit the violation.

                          In a law enforcement hiring process CHARGES are evaluated in their entirety-----------the base reason for the charge is evaluated just as seriously as the eventual outcome

                          You don't have any real problems.......................as long as you keep your nose clean and ---------get older.
                          Thank you again. I will do my best to age as fast as possible. :-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dpl47 View Post
                            Thank you again. I will do my best to age as fast as possible. :-)
                            Trust me-----------------you will age fast enough.

                            What you need between now and getting a law enforcment job is some life experience. Get a job, get some education, and live a bit
                            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dpl47 View Post
                              I am really grateful for the advice and feedback I have gotten, positive or negative, because it helps me to prepare for what I might be told during future hiring processes, so thank you to all who have replied so far.

                              One quick question - as Iowa mentioned in his second post, I do have the one moving violation. I don't ask this to be argumentative but simply out of curiosity, but does it matter that it was dismissed?


                              Not really. Violations are dismissed for many reasons. What you do is disclose the citation(s). Come as close as possible to date, time, violation, and disposition. Full disclosure is your ally here. Background Investigators do NOT like surprises, so list the violation on your SPH. Polygraph Questionaire or similar document.

                              Comment

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