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Please critique my oral board answers (sworn only plz)


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  • Please critique my oral board answers (sworn only plz)

    I had an oral board this morning with a small but active suburban department in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    This isn't my first oral board, so I've got the questions about "why do you want to be a cop, why this city/dept, what do you know about said city/dept, what are your qualifications?" down pat. The questions that always rattle me are the scenario questions.

    First question:
    Q: You're patrolling the city with your FTO and you've noticed a pattern of the FTO treating minorities unfairly. Tonight one incidentin fact may have been a crime. What do you do?

    A: I'd immediately report it to my Sgt.

    Q: Why immediately, and not at the end of the shift, or later in the week?

    A: Because the sooner it gets reported, the sooner it gets fixed. And any hesitation in reporting it could appear to be a cover-up or lack of integrity on my behalf.

    Q: You report it to the Sgt and he waives it off, saying that's just how that officer is. Then what?

    A: I'd report it to the watch commander, and mention the Sgt's failure to take a report.

    Q: You wouldn't talk to your FTO about it?

    A: (Whoops! Knew I forgot something!) Maybe I would, but I think something this volatile needs to be brought to someone's attention immediately, as much as I'd like to resolve it at a lower level, I think this is too big to be handled between an FTO and his recruit.

    Second question:

    Q: You make a traffic stop on a possible drunk driver. You field test the driver and determine she is intoxicated, as you are about to make an arrest, your partner recognizes the driver as a LT. from a neighboring city PD and offers to give her a ride home. What do you do?

    A: I'd notify a supervisor.

    Q: Supervisor's aware of the situation, but is unavailable to respond and tells you to make a decision.

    A: If it was my partner's call, I'd let him give her a ride home.

    Q: It's your call.

    A: I'd make the arrest.

    Q: You'd arrest another officer for DUI?

    A: Absolutely.

    Q: Okay, then... *look of disbelief*

    Third question:

    Q: You're driving down Suchandsuch Boulevard, a 25 MPH zone, on a routine patrol, at 50 MPH. When you stop at a red light, a citizen demands to know why you're speeding. What do you say?

    A: This is a hard question, because I wouldn't be doing this in the first place, because CA law commands me to obey all applicable traffic laws unless it's a code 3 call. But if I was speeding and a citizen noticed and complained to me, I'd apologize to the citizen and say I need to set the example.

    Fourth question:

    Q: You get a call of a drunk person at a neighborhood bar. When you arrive on scene the subject is physically much larger and appears to be much stronger than you and is loud, beligerent and threatening violence. What do you do?

    A: I'd wait for backup to arrive before making contact with the subject.

    Q: Backup is 2 hours away.

    A: I'd attempt to verbally get the subject outside and in a position of tactical disadvantage.

    Q: He won't come out of the bar, and it's crowded.

    A: I'd attempt a less-lethal force on him, like OC or a tazer.

    Q: OC and Tazer are ineffective

    A: I'd draw my baton and order him down.

    Q: He won't cooperate

    A: I'd strike him in the legs and arms with my baton

    Q: He takes the baton away from you and is advancing, swinging your baton at you.

    A: I'd retreat and draw my weapon, order him down.

    Q: He's still advancing.

    A: I'd fire my weapon.

    Q: In a crowded bar!?! *another look of disbelief*

    A: I'd attempt to fire at close range to minimize my chances of missing.

    Q: Where would you fire?

    A: Center mass

    Q: Why?

    A: To interrupt the Central Nervous System

    And except for my closing statement, that was it.
    *Not a cop*

  • #2

    1. Would it not be a good idea to talk to the guy first? Findout if he is a racist? Or to wait and see if your perceptions of the situations were correct.

    The first step in dealing with harassing behaviour is to address the prep! You alppying to be a cop, among arresting people we also solve problems. Don't be afraid to try and solve a problem before running to a supervisor.

    If it persists by all means talk to someone.

    2. The police do have descretion, however I would think that they would want you to arrest him. Real life is a little different

    3. Well we almost all speed when going to calls. He might have been looking for you to respond with politness and professionalism towards the guy which you did.

    4. You can't fight every fight. You just killed a drunk in a crowded bar.. OUCH! What the original offence? Being drunk? You could tired to talk him out.. ask the bouncers to assist.. left him alone and observed him for a while. Had the bar cut him off. If he wasn't hurting anyone, or about to drive off, why not wait for back up?


    • #3
      I think you did ok. Question 1: I would think it would have been good to talk to the FTO. Maybe there was a reason for his actions. Dont know unless you ask.

      Question 2: sounds like the textbook answer. In reality, she would have gotten a ride because she was "ill".

      Question 3: Good answer I think.

      Question 4: I thought your escalation of force was appropriate. Someone called you to begin with so you have to do something. It started as a drunk call and escalated to an attempted murder. Totally justified shooting, crowded bar or not.

      Just remember there are many ways to answer these questions. Just use common sense, stick to your guns and don't be too far out in left field with your responses.
      Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.


      • #4
        1. I agree with people so far. Shoulda gone to FTO first.

        2. It's been my experience there is no "right" or "wrong" answer as to what you would do, but rather how you answer the question. You could have probably articulated yourself a little better and explain that professional courtesy went out the window the moment another officer decided to drive drunk, but nontheless I think you did good.

        3. Good answer here. No worries.

        4. Sounds to me like this was their "are you willing to kill someone" question. You did. So no worries. The guy was armed and you ability, opprotunity, and jeopardy. It sounds like he asked you "Where" to shoot to make sure you were going to try and shoot the baton out of his hand or something. Sounds like you did okay, here.
        You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz


        • #5
          I will add that the looks he/she gave in response to your answers may have been deliberate. They could have been an attempt to see if you would hedge your answer, and change your position, to "be liked".

          I think you did OK.
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sleuth
            I will add that the looks he/she gave in response to your answers may have been deliberate. They could have been an attempt to see if you would hedge your answer, and change your position, to "be liked".

            I think you did OK.
            edited to add ***Damn, it was late last night I totally missed the part where he was "threatening violence", and I wrote this out before noticing it today. Most of it still applies and probably would have still helped you out.***

            I agree about the looks and trying to maybe shake your resolve. We are taught there are two constants you always need to keep in mind when using force - vebalizing and tactical repositioning.

            There many ways to interupt any given situation. I do believe in the bad guys can dictate the escalation of events at their own peril. If some guy took my baton and was swinging it at me there'd be a double tap to the centre of mass. "To stop the threat and to protect myself from grievious bodily harm or death."

            Lets look at this situation again. You get called to a bar for a drunk male. So basically it's an eviction. Buddy is not wanted anymore. It's crowded (though that information came a bit later on) Walk yourself and the interviewing through your answers and don't rush anything. Ask lots of questions, your back up was two hours away, is that you're only back up? Is there another town near by, someone on pager, a reserve you can gopick up, state troopers, sherrifs dept, or highway patrol that can help out.

            He is much bigger than you, but hey your a cop and you have some tools and hell, we fight dirty, so you aren't too worried about speaking to him. I'd ask around to see if anyone knew his name so you could run him and findout some history on the guy, etc. He might be known from carry concealed weapon and to be extremely dangerous to police, etc. I'd have asked how crowded the bar was, etc.

            Then I might go have a chat with him and see what his attitude was like. I would also keep an eye on who was moving around behind me. Does the guy have a bunch of friends with him. Is the bar anit police or just a neighborhood pub. Depending on his attitude I might offer him a ride home, or get prepared for a battle royale.

            If it's a crowded bar what is the effect of your OC going to be? Are you going to have the crowd turn you? a stampede? A bar is a dangerous place, weapons everywhere (bottles and mugs not including whatever else is the place)

            What's your back drop if you shoot the guy? Someone's 24 med student daughter or a cinder block wall?

            The result might have very well been the same, if you ask these questions it will at least show the interviewer that your critically thinking and you aren't going to rush in some where and get yourself or your partner killed.

            You don't often see SWAT teams or ERT (emergency response teams) rushing into situations. They meet, they develop a plan or three, and then they take care of business.

            Remeber we determine the response, for deciding to do nothing and ignoring something to deadly force, we make the decision not the public. We are the ones with the training and knowledge of the law.

            Now here is the caveat, they are still going to be times where you are going to throw caution to the wind and you're going to rush into take care of business; to save a life at great danger to yourself.

            In your next interview don't be afraid to ask questions, and start your info gathering before you get to scene - what type of bar is it? Biker or Tranny? Have you been there before? Do you know where the exits are?

            Then when you arrive on scene. Where will you park the car, right in front? will you leave your four ways on, or your yellows so if you need assistance responding officers will see your car and get to you faster? Will you let dispatch know you're on scene? Will you ask for a timer? Will you update them?

            Here is a trick, write out a few senarios and work yourself through them one step at a time.

            Good luck and I hope you did well.
            Last edited by cst.sb; 08-19-2005, 04:20 PM.


            • #7
              I think you answered well. Just remember, an officer has discretion, and thats why every answer will be unique. Sounds like they wanted to test you to see what kinda officer you have the potential to be..


              • #8
                Guy advancing towards you in the bar

                Would a good answer be to keep your weapon pointed at him while you continue to "retreat" to the door to draw him outside away from the crowd so if you had to shoot him there would be less likely hood of injuring or killing an innocent bystander?

                Just wondering? I know that there is never going to be the "perfect answer".
                Be a leader, not a follower


                • #9
                  CST.sb, remember, the poster has had no training. I might expect different answers from a 5 year vet.
                  "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                  John Stuart Mill


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sleuth
                    CST.sb, remember, the poster has had no training. I might expect different answers from a 5 year vet.
                    I totally agree with you. That's why I held back!!!

                    When I went through my hiring process I read up on types of questions I would be asked and what the core values of the organization were, etc. Most of the above was to give him some ideas (worst case senario) for next time.


                    • #11
                      Post and User Removed.

                      Anti Law Enforcement


                      • #12
                        Post Removed

                        Do not respond to inappropriate posts with personal attacks. Report the posts as others have done.

                        Thank you


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jnojr
                          Umm, that you're an idiot?
                          Actually, I think it is BS. The only situation I can think of for letting a fellow officer off is speeding, and it depends on how fast he is going.
                          Sorry, but I don't think drunk drivers should just get a ride home. When an officer drives drunk, that person is no longer an officer, but a drunk driver. Actually, they are even lower because they SEE what happens when people drive drunk. They have to mop up the mess. Just giving them a ride home does nothing except perhaps encourage a repeat of the behavior.

                          You break the law, you are a criminal. Even if you have a badge. And like I said, it is even worse when you have a badge.


                          • #14
                            Why don't you all create a new thread to argue about this and let this thread stay on topic? I have been enjoying reading it so far, and I really don't want to see it derailed.
                            Hail hail the gang's all here, when the going gets tough I know my friends will still be there. - Drop Kick Murphys, "The Gang's all Here"


                            • #15
                              You should have said "Taser ineffective, since when?"
                              "Support Our Troops"


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