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Here's my background...thoughts and insight please.

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  • Here's my background...thoughts and insight please.

    34 years old. Have earned a living as an athletic coach for the past eight years. Experimented with drugs in HS/College. Smoked MJ occasionally until last year. No arrests, couple speeding ticks. Only employee theft issue was that my employer owed me $300 for a reimbursible expense and never paid me back so I took $200 from another source. Still ended up $100 in the hole. I recently took a poly for an armored company (in which theft is obviously the focus and passed. I disclosed all the drugs which was shrooms once, LSD once in HS, and cocaine once in college when someone laced some MJ. Except for the MJ, I've got at least 12 years between the drugs and now. Completely up front about it because I feel that if anything, it gives me greater perspective from a LE vantage point.

    I have been very successful in my previous carreer field, but I've always wanted to be a cop. I have a BA in Philosophy with a minor in CJ. Coaching just took control as a career when I finished playing minor pro athletics after college. At 34, I don't want to wait any longer.

    I understand that some departments are out of the question because of the drugs. My question is; does anyone know of certain departments or alternative agencies that take a common sense approach to the background? Not looking to work in the prisons, bounty hunting, insurance fraud PI's, or any wanna be stuff.

    I am confident that I have high moral character. I'm a family man, socially concious, and I know I would make a really good cop and eventually detective one day.

    Any BI's have any advise?

  • #2
    I know for most agencies in northern California there are very few automatic disqualifications. However, LSD, even once is usually one of them.

    Around here Opiates, LSD, PCP are no goes. My guess is that it's probably similar standards throughout most of the country.

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    • #3
      You said you have always wanted to be cop and you smoked pot up until 33 years old? Doesn't sound like very good judgement to me.

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      • #4
        good point

        probably should have phrased it to say I wanted to get into LE before I began my coaching career. At 33 a felt the urge to go into LE again. MJ stopped immediately. Hey, if it's not in the cards then thats the way it is. I made my bed and now I lie in it so to speak. However, if there is an opportunity prove myself and put more time between the MJ then I would like to pursue it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by freddy33
          probably should have phrased it to say I wanted to get into LE before I began my coaching career. At 33 a felt the urge to go into LE again. MJ stopped immediately. Hey, if it's not in the cards then thats the way it is. I made my bed and now I lie in it so to speak. However, if there is an opportunity prove myself and put more time between the MJ then I would like to pursue it.
          There are VERY few agencies that will accept you having done LSD and Shrooms. In all honesty, I'd say you're too far gone to have a good shot. That's not to say it can't happen. Just check all the departments you can and keep trying, but I think you're out of luck.

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          • #6
            Maybe you could be a probation officer. They do good work and as far as I know they do not do as extensive background checks as law enforcement does. Having experience coaching and fighting your own battles with peer pressure and drug use could help you counsel people.

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            • #7
              it's a thought. I know a PO (from Mass actually) who has always been and still is a disaster when it comes to drugs and alcahol. I see your philosophy with the counseling approach.

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              • #8
                Freddy, the LSD,and Shrooms are probably going to kill your chances. From your post it seems you've been a pretty steady MJ user over the years,and that could be an issue as well. Many agencies have become considerably more tolerant concerning drug use, but that hasn't extended to hard drugs. I'd say to go ahead and apply and disclose the past use. Be prepared for a DQ though.

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                • #9
                  yeah it's funny though. I would have more understanding of a DQ for the MJ use into my thirties than the one time phcys that were literally half a lifetime ago. It's a shame because I know LE would be getting a good candidate. Hey, it is what it is and I have no one to blame except myself. Any more insight into potential agencies that could possibly see how turning a negative into a positive would be helpful though....

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                  • #10
                    I don't know of any Ohio agencies who would consider you with the LSD, shrooms, and "accidental" cocaine in your past. To be perfectly honest, the marijuana for so long and so recently would make for an uphill battle. Plus you have a theft from an employer, which brings into question your moral character.
                    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                    -Friedrich Nietzsche

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                    • #11
                      I think if it was one or the other you might have a chance in California. But the fact that you have so many issues on top of the MJ being so consistent and recent, your going to have a tough time beating out 400 applicants for 2 or 3 open positions anywhere. On the other hand, if you really want it don't give up.
                      "Will to Protect....Courage to Fight"

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                      • #12
                        The other thing I wanted to suggest was to talk to the recruiter and ask them if there going to DQ based on your drug use, and if so, withdraw from the process before they DQ you. DQ's look terrible know matter who's looking.
                        "Will to Protect....Courage to Fight"

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                        • #13
                          You are right about the MJ use at 33. Many agencies will tolerate MJ use for someone who is a teen or early 20s but not from a grown man. That would be a sure kill at my agency, even without the other drug use.

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                          • #14
                            I appreciate your thoughts

                            I tried to lay out all the ugly right away. I will certainly tell any recruiter the same right off the bat. I don't want to waste anyones time or money. I agree with all of you that the MJ should have been COMPLETELY done with years ago, but it was an occasional thing over the past several years. Certainly not excusing it. I will test the waters and hopefully find an agency which may be able to see some benefit in my personal experience, and perhaps see how that can actually be used toward being a more productive and pro-active LE officer.

                            At the end of the day, I would hope that the goal for any department would be to find the most effective officers they can. Some officers are going to be more effective because they have a more squeaky clean backgound. And I think it is at least worth debating that some officers can be more effective because they have some dubious experiences behind them. If I can show depts. that I will be "good police" then maybe I still have shot.....like my grandfather once told me, "all will be revealed in the fullness of time"

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