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My story....Need some advice.

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  • My story....Need some advice.

    Growing up, Law Enforcement was a dream of mine. I attended college and majored in CJ back in 2013. I had a rough time up at school and ended up taking online classes due to class availability and of course it was Intro to Criminal Justice. I played football and had some issues with my positions coach and declined to go back the next year. This was a huge mistake as I failed the class twice after retaking it during the summer as well. After this, I told myself maybe it's not meant to be. A couple years later I also did try Marijuana while attending a concert in 2015 which is a huge regret. In 2017, I had heard the Detroit Police Department was hiring like crazy and decided to put in my application. I made it to the BI and after a couple months I was unfortunately DQ'd based on my disclosure of trying Marijuana and moral character. My record is clean(never had a detention in high school). I know the failures of the Intro to CJ class obviously does not help me at all, but would that also be a huge red flag for a department looking at me? Should I retake the class before applying anywhere else? I need a classroom setting as online classes clearly do not work for me. Could anyone shed some light? Based on this information, do you think I have a chance to be hired with these blemishes in my past? Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by chiefdog4481; 10-12-2018, 03:22 PM.

  • #2
    Departments usually like a period of 3-4 years WITHOUT any recent MJ use. The failure to complete the intro to CJ course is a non-issue. Don't worry about that one.

    My advice is to TRY AGAIN! But you need to fill in the next couple of years, perhaps, as follows:
    • Do some volunteer work in the community.
    • Get good at spelling and grammar in English.
    • See if there are any openings in civilian positions with the police department (Dispatch, Records, Custody).
    • Pick up the basics of a SECOND LANGUAGE which might be helpful in your desired agency (Spanish, usually).
    • Maintain a good employment history in the private sector, a job which has lots of public contact.
    • Avoid knuckleheads and the issues they get themselves involved in.
    • Don't make babies or drama with people you don't marry.
    • Drive like the cops are always watching.
    • Don't buy too many toys and get in debt.

    Best of luck to you!
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you sir. I appreciate your input and will follow your advice!

      Comment


      • #4
        Moral character!

        So you wanted to be a cop groing up, majored in "CJ," played football and then tried marijuana. You couldn't get alone with your coach and you failed an intro class.

        Failing a class is not red flag by it self.

        What does concern me is the illegal drug use after you decided you wanted to be a cop. You were taking classes related to the field, apparently to better prepare yourself.


        Then throw in the problem with the coach.... I can see how they came to that decision.

        Comment


        • #5
          I appreciate that westside. I will work towards bettering my moral standing and redeem myself. No excuse, I just didn't think at the time that with having failed two classes I ever had a chance so yes I did try it. I figured having a clean record my whole life would make up for the one time use.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by chiefdog4481 View Post
            I appreciate that westside. I will work towards bettering my moral standing and redeem myself. No excuse, I just didn't think at the time that with having failed two classes I ever had a chance so yes I did try it. I figured having a clean record my whole life would make up for the one time use.
            Having a "clean record" is good but it doesn't give the whole picture. It could mean you were a law abiding citizen or you were just good at not getting caught.

            No one is perfect! But under the circumstances you presented here it doesn't look good for you.

            They way I see it. You allegedly always wanted to be a cop but decided to try marijuana last year.

            *If I was to hire this guy will he try it again? If I give him 2 ounces of a seized marijuana to put in to evidence, will he?

            *He had some problems with his coach. Is he going have problems with me, his coworkers or his other supervisors?

            *Can he pass the academy? He apparently can't pass his college classes.

            *He at least admitted to his shortcomings. He looks like an honest person.

            Not saying you're always going to be a no go. What ever you do be honest about it. That can be your redeaming quality.

            Good luck!
            Last edited by westside popo; 10-13-2018, 01:07 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Based on background experience....not much bigger “caution flag” for a candidate than the category of Moral Character.

              Bottom line, police work has little need for ANGELS, but has an absolute need for decent flawed humans to have the compass and desire to do what’s right and do it under pressure and temptation. And believe it or not, this has little to do being “good”or bad.” It’s kimda how you’re wired, combined with the choices you make.

              For your particular BC, you may have been DQed for some specific ACT or OMISSION that relates to moral character. (Only you and your BGI know this) or there is the possibility the BGI feels you are a RISK in the area of moral character. Either one is a road block... but one of them can be overcome.

              To reduce risk to an agency in the area of moral character, what are you willing to do to prove yourself trustworthy? One of the best ways is to take on a job or task that includes responsibilities that serve others. Better yet if this is done as a volunteer. Maybe volunteering at a senior center, coaching kids, your local church? You will build a track record of taking care of others that are vulnerable, you will better yourself, and you will have gained wonderful friends and references who will want to tell employing departments how wonderful and trustworthy you are!

              Be mindful of your circle of friends. You will be judged in part by the friends you keep. Distance yourselves from the toxic ones, and ones you seem to lose good judgment around.

              You’re basically building yourself back up. Start with a broad foundation and don’t be in a rush just to pass the tests. This is a career that should be approached with proper care and respect. You may get just one more chance at it.

              Best wishes!


              Rick

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by westside popo View Post

                Having a "clean record" is good but it does give the whole picture. It could mean you were a law abiding citizen or you were just good at not getting caught.

                No one is perfect! But under the circumstances you presented here it doesn't look good for you.

                They way I see your someone I don't know, You allegedly always wanted to be a cop but decided to try marijuana last year.

                *If I was to hire this guy will he try it again? If I give him 2 ounces of a seized marijuana to put in to evidence, will he?

                *He had some problems with his coach. Is he going have problems with me, his coworkers or his other supervisors?

                *Can he pass the academy? He apparently can't pass his college classes.

                *He at least admitted to his shortcomings. He looks like an honest person.

                Not saying you're always going to be a no go. What ever you do be honest about it. That can be your redeaming quality.

                Good luck!
                I appreciate the "advice". I'll make sure to remember this all in the future.

                Comment


                • westside popo
                  westside popo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  FWIW
                  I knew someone with a similar background. He didn't get hired by the agency he applied.

                  Yet another one, who got arrested for it, did get hired by another agency. But that agency was always hurting for help.

                  Both had a humble attitude.

              • #9
                Originally posted by Rick Shaw View Post
                Based on background experience....not much bigger “caution flag” for a candidate than the category of Moral Character.

                Bottom line, police work has little need for ANGELS, but has an absolute need for decent flawed humans to have the compass and desire to do what’s right and do it under pressure and temptation. And believe it or not, this has little to do being “good”or bad.” It’s kimda how you’re wired, combined with the choices you make.

                For your particular BC, you may have been DQed for some specific ACT or OMISSION that relates to moral character. (Only you and your BGI know this) or there is the possibility the BGI feels you are a RISK in the area of moral character. Either one is a road block... but one of them can be overcome.

                To reduce risk to an agency in the area of moral character, what are you willing to do to prove yourself trustworthy? One of the best ways is to take on a job or task that includes responsibilities that serve others. Better yet if this is done as a volunteer. Maybe volunteering at a senior center, coaching kids, your local church? You will build a track record of taking care of others that are vulnerable, you will better yourself, and you will have gained wonderful friends and references who will want to tell employing departments how wonderful and trustworthy you are!

                Be mindful of your circle of friends. You will be judged in part by the friends you keep. Distance yourselves from the toxic ones, and ones you seem to lose good judgment around.

                You’re basically building yourself back up. Start with a broad foundation and don’t be in a rush just to pass the tests. This is a career that should be approached with proper care and respect. You may get just one more chance at it.

                Best wishes!


                Rick
                If I was told I can re-apply, is this a good sign? Or is that just standard disclosure to prospects?

                Comment


                • #10
                  Being told to reapply COULD be EITHER a genuine interest in seeing you continue to pursue testing another time, OR it could truly be a standard HR driven line.

                  Here’s the breakdown and the final line.

                  1) We are ALL human. LOTS and LOTS of dynamite veteran cops came from rough backgrounds and poor impulse control histories. And SOME...perhaps MANY received a helping hand of guidance from a BGI who saw something in them and reached out to “rehab” them into a more qualified and less risky candidate. Similar to how veteran cops are giving you advice on the boards now. I’ve done it many many many times myself. Because I feel I was giving a chance, and I want to reach out and repay those who walked in my shoes before me by helping those that follow in the coming decades.

                  2) It could be an HR line that speaks to the fairness of the testing process. For public employment nationwide, absent an immediate disqualifier, ANYONE who meets minimum standards has a right to test regardless of past performance. That Is FAIR.

                  3) Reality is. You are who you are. You are also measured by the choices you make. If you messed up in the recent past, there’s a reason for it, I’m going to go on a limb and suggest it’s “impulse control.” You can work to change this, or choose not to based upon other things you do or don’t do. But don’t put so much weight on your BGI telling you “maybe.” It’s on YOU to make sacrifices and adjustments, not just sit still and hope for a lucky break.

                  By all means. Plan to retest if this is your career choice. You owe it to yourself to find out. BUT...DO SOMETHING for yourself and to your background history. In other words, don’t just “keep trying” “keep testing.” You are going to want to show you took action to improve yourself other than submitting a new application a few months later. Applicants don’t see it, but it’s incredibly arrogant to reapply after a DQ without being able to point to SOMETHING you did to change where you were then to where you are today,

                  Once you are DQed, slow down and be careful. Agencies talk to each other, even state to state. Every DQ in a given time frame that adds to other DQs adds up to a potentially unemployable candidate.

                  i wouldn’t reapply until I could say I had worked on myself and have a new perspective. It’s not like horseshoes where you can keep throwing without penalty until you get lucky. On the flip side, they can’t tell you NOT to test either....

                  See how it comes back to sound decision making? Choose wisely.


                  Rick

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Thank you Rick, I appreciate that. I will apply your advice and find some volunteer work or something with positive impact on the community. That does make sense as far as always re-applying and how it can look bad if you did nothing to change your image to them. Thank you very much for the advice sir.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I suggest you be willing to move. If you don't like where you end up, do a few years and then lateral back to Detroit or some other Michigan dept. If your only problem is you smoked weed a few years ago, you're probably ok. You won't know if you don't apply. Atlanta PD is hungry for applicants. Don't get discouraged, just open your horizons.
                      Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Zeitgeist thank you sir. I have thought about that. I’ve been searching for departments that do not require a degree and have a somewhat easy path for out of state recruits.

                        Comment

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