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  • Not recommended to continue in process

    Good Afternoon,
    I received an email today from my background investigator stating that I was not being recommended to continue in the hiring process and due to confidentiality I would not be let known why. I understand that this is normal with law enforcement jobs but emailed / called him to clarify that it was a "non select" and not a disqualification for future applications. The department does the process a little different than others around here and i have passed the polygraph and the psych with them before the background was started. My question is that the department gave me ( and others I assume) the option to appeal the decision, is if this is something I should consider doing? About me I am in my early thirties, have no automatic disqualifies and my employers of the last eight years would give me a strong recommendation. I am located in Northwest Washington State.
    Thank you

  • #2
    A non select is a DQ, that's the nice word for it
    Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
    USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
    "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
    Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD

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    • #3
      Appealing a DQ would kinda be like asking a girl out and getting turned down, and then trying to force her to be your girlfriend.

      Let it go and go somewhere that you're wanted.

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      • #4
        I really have to question this fixation we have about keeping the reason for background disqualifications confidential.

        What is wrong with telling an applicant what it was in their history that failed to meet the standard for passing the background? What harm would befall the department by telling an applicant that there was an issue with his credit, or lack of personal responsibility, or job history, or honesty, or any other disqualification criteria, and giving a brief summary of what the issue was?

        If the information is incorrect, the applicant should be afforded the opportunity to correct that misunderstanding. Similarly, if the information is correct, the applicant needs to know what steps they can take to remedy their conduct and (if possible) make themselves a viable candidate sometime in the future

        I recognize that certain aspects of the background cannot be revealed. When questionnaires are sent to friends, relatives, references, etc., they promise confidentiality (at least for the moment). To that extent, information that might reveal the source of derogatory information need not be revealed. But remember, in civil service agencies (and contrary to popular belief) backgrounds DQs can be appealed. At an appeal hearing, the department is compelled to make public and defend the reason for its disqualification, including calling witnesses (references, neighbors, relatives) to the stand to testify in support of the derogatory information they provided that was a basis for the DQ.

        And so what if they appeal? Sometime back, a member of this forum from a large agency said if they appeal and win at his department, they simply fail them on probation. But why? Think about that. If I disinterested civil service hearing says the law enforcement agency was wrong in DQing someone, are our egos so butt hurt that we have to take revenge on the applicant because he was right and we were wrong?

        We do a pretty good job of policing ourselves, doing honest backgrounds and treating applicants fairly. With that in mind, I see no reason to be secretive when we DQ someone and should at least give them a reasonable explanation as to why we will be moving on without them. I realize that may open the door to applicants wanting to argue and debate the merits of a DQ, but that is what civil service appeals are for. If we’ve done a good job, we should not fear a DQ applicant spending $5 to $10K to have an attorney file an appeal we know he will just lose.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Because if we just don’t like them, it will smack of bias. We don’t need to tell them why. It’s obvious to 99% IF they bother to figure it out.

          Now go home and get your shine box!

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          • #6
            Sometime back, a member of this forum from a large agency said if they appeal and win at his department, they simply fail them on probation. But why? Think about that. If I disinterested civil service hearing says the law enforcement agency was wrong in DQing someone, are our egos so butt hurt that we have to take revenge on the applicant because he was right and we were wrong?

            My experience: yes, this is often the case.

            Especially with smaller agencies, where egos can get out of control, and the primary focus is protecting the power structure, not the personnel. Where memories never fade and HR is a joke. These can become very spiteful, vindictive, and petty places to work.

            Where sycophants are promoted regardless of competency but anyone who questions the power structure- or expects accountability from those in power- is dealt with by most draconian methods.

            Yes, it is possible to swim against the current and survive but be prepared to pay a price. Maintain folders on bad supervisors and their tongue-bathing co-workers (who are also next in the line for promotion). Secretly record lunchroom conversations because one day that sexist/racist/misogynistic comment or ribald story 'back in the day' about hookers and blow may become very valuable. Keep an employment attorney on retainer in case their intervention is quickly needed. File EEO complaints against bad management/co-workers over the slightest of slights, and then graduate to whistleblower lawsuits. Maintain close contacts in the local press for the fateful day where as the last resort, you pull the pin and expose what really goes on behind the curtains.


            Basically, become That Guy, the one you never- in a million year- thought you'd become. The angry A Hole with a legitimate beef.

            The cookie crumbles differently for different people in different situations, though. I've seen that approach work, and I've seen it not work.


            Back to the original post: this is probably not the best place for you. Appealing may workout, or it may lead to only bigger frustrations and disappointment. A big factor is how badly you want to work there, and how tolerant you are of BS. Because the odds are pretty high you'll have to deal with more it there....




            Rice is great if you're really hungry and want to eat 2000 of something.

            -Mitch Hedberg

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