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  • Past problems

    I have been looking at several PDs applications and at the part about criminal history they all say crimes youve been CONVICTED for and even goes on to say not to list any charges that were dropped/dismissed. In my case I have several misdemeanor charges that were dropped when I was a young punk in High School. Its not a question of wether or not to put it on the application but I have a feeling if I sit in front of a BI they will ask me about it and might give me crap for not putting it on the application.

  • #2
    Past problems

    My gut feeling is for you to list the charges, if in fact you were arrested for them. When you get to the BI phase of the hiring process, be equally honest.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by shawnusmc
      I have been looking at several PDs applications and at the part about criminal history they all say crimes youve been CONVICTED for and even goes on to say not to list any charges that were dropped/dismissed. In my case I have several misdemeanor charges that were dropped when I was a young punk in High School. Its not a question of wether or not to put it on the application but I have a feeling if I sit in front of a BI they will ask me about it and might give me crap for not putting it on the application.
      if you dont put it down then it comes up, it will, then you are done.

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      • #4
        I have to disagree guys. If the application says "convictions" and specifically tells you not to list incidents where charges were dismissed or dropped, you only list convictions. If and when shawnusmc makes it to the background investigation, that's the appropriate time to discuss arrests that did not result in conviction. Here comes the science -

        One of the primary functions of a civil service job application is to determine whether the applicant possesses the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for the position (i.e., 21 years old, possession of valid DL, high school diploma or GED, etc.) No job has the minimum qualification of "no arrests, even without conviction." In addition, most states have anti discrimination laws that specifically prohibit any employer from refusing to hire someone based solely on an arrest that did not result in a conviction. (There are exceptions for public safety workers but that will be discussed later.)

        Most city/county/state agencies use a generic, initial application form for all employees, whether its for the position of janitor or chief of police. To avoid discriminatory screening practices, their initial application only asks for convictions (as allowed by law). Listing an arrest without conviction at this time poses two problems. First, it suggests the applicant is unable to comprehend and follow simple written instructions (a minimum requirement for any police job). In addition, it makes application screeners vulnerable to allegations of unlawful discrimination if they wind up rejecting an applicant for a legitimate reason.

        While public safety agencies are exempt from this law, the time for them to exercise that right in a non-discriminatory manner is during the background investigation and not before.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          The fact that you were arrested as a juvenile will probably count you out most agencies. They will pass you over for somebody with a clean record.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bodie
            The fact that you were arrested as a juvenile will probably count you out most agencies. They will pass you over for somebody with a clean record.
            Bodie,

            In a lot of the "does this disqualify me?" posts, you've indicated that some applicants will probably not be hired or will be passed over for other folks based on some rather subjective issue. It's left me with the impression that cops in Ohio are hired like someone would hire a store clerk here in California - there are no standards, its simply how the person doing the hiring sizes you up on the spot, which can vary from person to person and moment to moment.

            I'm curious. Do you have civil service back there or do officers serve solely at the pleasure of the appointing authority? Do you get a lot of discrimination suits from people who are not hired?

            Out here, to be admitted to the written test, you simply have to meet the minimum qualifications (21, high school or GED, us citizen, valid DL, etc.)
            Your score on the written is based solely on your test answers.

            If you pass the written, you go on to the oral. Your score on the oral is limited to answers you give to very specific questions which, to be fair, are asked of all applicants. How many points you get on each question depends on how many of the accepted elements you give in your answer.

            If you pass the oral, you then go on to the background. Once again, you only fail the background if something in your personal history falls within clearly defined disqualification standards.

            Pass the background and you go on to the medical and psych. Both are pass/fail. Either you meet the minimum qualifications or you don't.

            From there you go to the hiring list. Your place (rank) on the list is based solely on your combined written and oral score. Civil service and EEO rules require that vacancies be filled by going down the list in rank order - an agency can't hopscotch all around. They do have the discretion to fill a vacancy with anyone in the top three ranks, but if you take the person in the number 3 position, the folks in 1 and 2 aren't out of luck. They still remain on the list and must be considered for the next vacancy.

            With this in mind, I'm trying to figure out how an otherwise qualified applicant won't be hired and gets passed over for someone else, because the other person may speak a second language or wasn't depressed as a 13 year old, or didn't have a non-conviction arrest.

            Am I missing something?
            Last edited by L-1; 08-19-2005, 02:13 AM.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Keep in mind that Bodie works for the Sheriffs Office. They are not civil service and the hiring practices can cary depending on who the Sheriff is. Every other department whether it be city or state patrol are for the most part civil service. Small PD's in villages do not have civil service. Ohio is a competitive state to get into Law Enforcement, at least in my eyes. It's true though, a lot of places in Ohio, if you have a slightly questionable background and you are toast.

              L-1, you're not really being totally fair to Ohio either. There are a lot of great departments in Ohio. And honestly, who wants to hire the person who just meets the minimum qualification. What is so bad about being strict with hiring practices, that can save as many lawsuits as being civil service.

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              • #8
                The Sheriff's Office here is civil service and is under control of the State of Ohio and they have a contract they work under. Because pay is really very good they can be quite selective more so then 20 yrs ago.

                Law Enforcement Agencies in Ohio have a written test, Background Investigation, Polygraph, etc like most agencies. Pay in Central Ohio is at around $50,000 avg after 3 yrs on the job if not sooner so the hiring process has gotten tougher.

                College Degrees are required by many agencies and if not at time of hire you can't take any promotional tests without at least a 4 year degree and it does not have to be a CJ degree.

                If you have a criminal record even as a juvenile or have one that was "expunged" in the public records sense you won't get a position. Too many other applicants won't have that baggage. If you have a bad driving record again you won't get the job.

                Back maybe 25 yrs ago you could walk into a Sheriff's Office fill out an application and get hired. Not Now. The hiring process is the same as any police department. Sheriff's even though they are the keepers of the jail and courts they are the top law enforcment officer in their county. You have to meet minimum criteria to just to get in to take a test.

                Mind you that because I worked in a Sheriff's Department I was also at one time a Police Chief and now advise departments on hiring and promotions etc.

                Ohio is comparable to CA in hiring standards maybe even stricter because they are so scared of litigation.
                Last edited by Bodie; 08-19-2005, 06:00 AM.

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                • #9
                  Back to the actual question, IMHO, it would look like you can't read basic directions if you list non-conviction arrests on a sheet that specifically tells you not to.
                  "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                  For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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                  • #10
                    Bodie, Franklin County SO is civil service? I know that the county in which I live is not, even though I work for a city PD. Also one of my deputy friends works in another county, which is not civil service either.

                    I am just wondering, I would be happy if you could enlighten me a little more. I was under the impression that all SO's in the state were exempt from civil service.

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                    • #11
                      Bodie & USP45FAN,

                      Thanks for your quick replies. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not trying to get on anyone's case. I'm just confused and trying to learn. Some of the preferences mentioned in past posts sound a lot like fertile grounds for an EEO lawsuit.

                      I agree, you do want the best possible candidate and not someone who just meets the minimum requirements. But, who is the best qualified candidate is usually determined by specific criteria such as written and oral scores that objectively measure one's ability to do the job. Backgrounds and medicals are usually objective pass/fail and not subject to sliding scales or scores.

                      Under EEO rules you can't DQ an applicant for something that really doesn't interfere with their ability to do their job. For example, if someone broke their arm at age 15 and it fully healed, 10 years later you can't DQ them in favor of a lower scoring candidate merely because that person never broken a bone. Ditto with arrests. I know of someone who was arrested for robbery when he was 16. Turns out he was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time and looked like the wrong person, and five hours later he was kicked loose. You can't DQ him for this in favor of a lower scoring candidate who was never arrested.

                      I'm confused because a lot of Bodie's past posts suggest that irrespective of their score, some applicants may be passed over in favor of lower scoring people merely for subjective reasons that have no valid bearing on their ability to do the job. I'm just trying to figure out if I misunderstood him or if there a whole different selection process in his neck of the woods.

                      I'll be gone over the weekend and won't pick up your replies until Monday.

                      Thanks guys!
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Usp45fan

                        Most major counties in Ohio are civil service meaning they have a testing procedure and set guidelines for hiring like any police agency should. If a Sheriff's Department in Ohio does not it's the deputies fault for allowing it to be that way. No deputy can be fired without a set of guidelines being followed.

                        The State of Ohio has Collective Bargaining and the State Employee Relations Board and all law enforcment officers have the right to join a union.
                        To not make good use of all three and serve at the will of an elected Sheriff in 2005 is totally insane.

                        Deputies in the major Ohio counties make more and have better benefits then the Sheriff's of Ohio's smaller more rural counties. Some deputies can't afford a decent car or reasonable housing for their families in many rural areas.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shawnusmc
                          I have been looking at several PDs applications and at the part about criminal history they all say crimes youve been CONVICTED for and even goes on to say not to list any charges that were dropped/dismissed. In my case I have several misdemeanor charges that were dropped when I was a young punk in High School.
                          I would expand a little on the answers that have already been given with three points. First, how long ago this stuff happened will have some effect... if you're 21, it'll hurt you badly. If you're 30, it will be much less of an issue.

                          Second, how competitive is the field? If 200 people apply for each position, something like this is going to be a way to winnow you out of the selection process.

                          Third, the type of job you apply for could be very relevant. An example: when I started the application process with my local Sheriffs department, there were about 600 people there with me. Everyone was encouraged to apply seperately for the two deputy Sheriff positions... patrol, and Courts / Detentions. Patrol is extremely competitive... they only hire so many uncertified people, and with that number of candidates, anything would exclude you. I didn't get called back for patrol, but I did for Courts / Detentions. They hire a lot more people for that position, and there's a certain rate of attrition, what with people who find out they can't stand working in the jails, the schedule, or people moving from the jails to patrol. Someone with a slightly flawed background is much more likely to make it into the jails, and then be able to move to patrol later on.

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                          • #14
                            First off, thanks to all who took the time to reply. It is much appreciated. I am being told by several people that my service in the Marines could help me out a little. I get out in 6 months and have served the last 4 years without a blemish and have even earned several personal awards and hold a SECRET clearence. I know my service in the Marines might make a difference but will the depatments care much about awards or security clearence.

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