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  • Another Personal History Question

    I have searched and took from it what I could.

    So this doesn't get lost in the paragraphs the bottom line question is - how to I proceed with this and how will this impair me in the application process?

    After completing my personal history, which was answered to the absolute best of my knowledge, I spoke to a recruitment officer at a local event. They indicated that all my answers going forward need to exactly match what was written in my questionnaire. I then realized that I had to make solid guesses on a lot of things. I may answer differently for some reason.

    I'm an older applicant, in my 30s. While marijuana use was 6-8+ years ago and minimal, I can't remember years or exact frequency. Similar to traffic tickets. I have had a few but mostly out of the area, and I'm afraid I missed one because those were at least 10-13 years ago.

    I emailed another recruiter I had brief contact with to lay some of this out, and the only answer I received was that ”Its best to be honest.” That's a valid answer, and I'm anxiously awaiting clarification.

    The more significant part of this is that I knew my estranged step-father is a felon. I indicated that. It wasn't until after that I discovered my biological father is also a felon — charges from 1987. AND I came from an impoverished household. Most of my upbringing and into my 20s were spent flying by seat of my pants putting out the fires in my life, moving frequently, and then finally in my late 20s/early 30s competing undergrad and creating stability. There are entire years where I was in a constant state of defense and didn't recall.

    If it helps at all, I'm in the process for a department in California.
    Last edited by AndyTaylor; 07-04-2019, 06:40 PM.

  • #2
    DId you bother to make a copy of everything you submitted, so you can use it for future reference?

    You are about to learn that this is a profession where thoroughness, accuracy, attention to detail and consistency are paramount. Contrary to public opinion of law enforcement in general, within our own ranks you are worthless if you lack credibility.

    I spent weeks filling out my first personal history statement, just gathering all the information needed and making sure it was accurate, and (believe it or not) that was 50 years ago.

    When I did backgrounds and an applicant gave me a package that was incomplete, inaccurate or looked like no effort was made to provide the information requested, I would disqualify them as lacking the traits of thoroughness, accuracy and detail. If they were unwilling to provide the information necessary for me to do their background, I wasn't going to dig it up it for them.

    If you didn't keep a copy of your PHS, ask your BI for a copy when you have your first meeting. Explain to him (as sheepishly as possible) your situation growing up, that records weren't kept and you had to guestimate at a lot of things. Don't BS him.
    Then sit down and really study your PHS. Take time to personally investigate your own past, dig up addresses, dates, contact information, names, etc., for the next place you apply to. Use thie foir future reference

    Yes, your next PHS will be different, but you can explain that in completing it, information came available to you that wasn't available when you prepared the first one where you had to guess a lot, and you wanted to be as accurate as possible. If all you are doing is providing additional data and not trying to materially change the past, there should be no problems.

    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply, L-1.

      Did I bother - No. I wasn't made aware of the entire process, or that I needed to screen shot the form as I filled it out through the online portal. I was told to ”just Submit it quickly because academy is coming up”. I did spend a bit of time trying to track down exact traffic citation dates and locations. My county was simple, others were archived and an arduous process. I am awaiting mail from those and calling for updates. Aside from that, other aspects of the questions are not recorded events. I'm not Brett Kavanaugh, I don't keep journals of exact daily consumption, over the course of decades.

      Hindsight is 20/20.

      Thanks for the heads up that I may be provided another opportunity to update the information, as well as the possibility of obtaining a copy from the BI. As new information comes in, I will do my best to make sure it is updated. I also need to seek out a main point of contact through the department, during the process.


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