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  • Am I wrong about this?

    Hello Everyone,

    let me start off by saying that I have read the sticky notes and understand that my condition may be subject to each individual department's needs. I just want to know the popular Police Opinion on my situation.

    I was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army in 2012 after 7 1/2 years of service. I was 26 years young and proud of my service but naive in my gross overestimation of the value of my service. I wanted to be a Police Officer then but I never gave thought that the mountain of debt I had racked up from being stupid with my money would disqualify me. I went from job to job after that trying to pay down my debts and possibly find my magical opportunity to success. I was working a lot of low paying entry-level jobs and the few decent-paying jobs I had were grunt work, construction jobs.

    I was finally able to get my debt to a more manageable level and enroll in school full time. Today, I have a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and I am current on all my bills. The problem I face now is my work history. I have read many of the posts on this site and am aware of how serious of an issue that can be. I have had a lot of jobs in just five and a half years, although, a lot of that is because I was working two or three jobs at once. I was originally hoping that obtaining my Bachelor's degree would help me combat this but I am now thinking that I should go on to a Master's degree and also put myself through a Police Academy (Possibly the Academic Alternative at Austin Community College) so that I can pass the TCOLE Exam before applying. I would like to apply for Dallas and Houston PD.

    I know that some people in here may have experience doing background investigations or making hiring decisions. Would all of that be enough to overlook a bad work history? My criminal history consists of 3 traffic tickets (Last one was 5 years ago). I have never done drugs. I can't think of anything else that would disqualify me.
    Last edited by HopefulVet; 10-26-2019, 06:07 PM.

  • #2
    Thank you for your service.

    Describe your credit history.
    Last edited by Aidokea; 10-26-2019, 06:38 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Howdy, Vet, from a 2-tour Vietnam veteran who went on to a career in law enforcement. Thanks for your honorable service.

      From what you have written it sounds to me like you faced a long uphill struggle and made it to the top. Multiple low-paying entry-level jobs and menial employment can be explained in such a way that those reviewing your background will understand what you have accomplished. That will be your challenge in order to get your foot in the door. Most application forms will allow additional comments or explanation by added pages, and you may wish to prepare such an addition to complete your basic application forms prior to review or background checks.

      Many major departments operate under civil service rules, and those will typically provide preference points for honorably discharged veterans. Some will allow additional preference points for those awarded the Purple Heart medal. I was allowed 5 points preference as a veteran and additional 5 preference points for the Purple Heart medal, so my test score (96%) became 106% and placed me at the top of the list going into the interviews and background stage. (Actually, I hold 4 awards of the Purple Heart, but I was only allowed to claim this preference once).

      Some agencies may grant additional preference for those who possess valuable language skills. You mentioned Texas departments, which suggest to me that being (or becoming) bilingual in Spanish might be more valuable (for law enforcement entry-level) than the masters' degree you mentioned pursuing. I would be looking for comprehensive programs, perhaps a "full immersion" course that can produce functional conversational levels of fluency in a matter of weeks. If you go this route you should be prepared to undergo an interview process in the language you claim proficiency with.

      I wish you well, sir.

      Comment


      • #4
        It was an honor and a privilege to serve.

        I had several charged off credit cards, a repossesed car and some charged off personal loans and a cable bill. Total, I was about 40k in debt or more. Now All of that was either settled or paid in full with the exception of the car that will take two more years but I have a signed agreement on my monthly payment. My score still isnt good but I no longer have delinquent bills.


        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HopefulVet View Post
          It was an honor and a privilege to serve.

          I had several charged off credit cards, a repossesed car and some charged off personal loans and a cable bill. Total, I was about 40k in debt or more. Now All of that was either settled or paid in full with the exception of the car that will take two more years but I have a signed agreement on my monthly payment. My score still isnt good but I no longer have delinquent bills.

          So you took a deep dip in the debt pool, and you have suffered for it. You are not the first and you will not be the last to do so.

          The major thing you will need to communicate to the hiring authority is that you have learned the hard lessons and made a commitment to never repeat those errors.

          You will also need to keep in mind that you will always be competing with everyone else in the hiring pool, and those with comparable qualifications but without the negative debt history may be selected ahead of you. Simple fact of life.

          Keep after it!

          Comment


          • #6
            Retired 1995 Thank you as well. We have it so good as Veterans today due to the hardships and struggles of the generations before us. Particularly the political battles fought by the vietnam generations that gave us the benefits we have. Ive used those benefits for my education so I am especially appreciative.

            Thank you for the sound advice. Becoming fluent in another language could be beneficial. I have considered it before as it is a requirement before you can apply for Border Patrol but I do not know anyone fluent in spanish to practice with and I do not really want to be Border Patrol. . I may look into that route agin though as you have made a good point in it being more practical. Thank you

            Comment


            • #7
              Your job history is not bad in and of itself. Many people have multiple jobs over a period of time. It becomes a problem when somone is bouncing from job to job for unexplained reasons, or negative reasons such as inability to fulfill a commitment, disciplinary issues, inability to interact with coworkers in a positive manner, etc. From what you describe, if you explain your job history as a way to take responsibility and remove yourself from debt then you shouldn't have a problem.

              Good luck to you and thank you for your service!
              "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

              Comment


              • #8
                You should be ok.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
                  Your job history is not bad in and of itself. Many people have multiple jobs over a period of time. It becomes a problem when somone is bouncing from job to job for unexplained reasons, or negative reasons such as inability to fulfill a commitment, disciplinary issues, inability to interact with coworkers in a positive manner, etc. From what you describe, if you explain your job history as a way to take responsibility and remove yourself from debt then you shouldn't have a problem.

                  Good luck to you and thank you for your service!
                  Off topic, but it makes me giggle when one Vet tells another Vet 'thank you for your service.' I'm a female so I'm allowed to giggle.
                  Go Army Beat Navy

                  Regarding learning Spanish. There are a lot of programs that will help you learn. YouTube is a great resource. Amazon Audible has some inexpensive programs. Spanish speaking radio stations, television shows (novellas are the best IMO) Here, there is a huge Spanish speaking population. I practice whenever I can. If I hear an accent, I'll address them in Spanish and ask if they speak the language. Be humble. Most Latinos tend to be very willing to briefly speak to you for practice.

                  And thank you for your service. Mine helped me finish my education so I'm grateful for the opportunity.
                  Last edited by Zeitgeist1; 10-29-2019, 11:18 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HopefulVet View Post
                    Retired 1995 Thank you as well. We have it so good as Veterans today due to the hardships and struggles of the generations before us. Particularly the political battles fought by the vietnam generations that gave us the benefits we have. Ive used those benefits for my education so I am especially appreciative.

                    Thank you for the sound advice. Becoming fluent in another language could be beneficial. I have considered it before as it is a requirement before you can apply for Border Patrol but I do not know anyone fluent in spanish to practice with and I do not really want to be Border Patrol. . I may look into that route agin though as you have made a good point in it being more practical. Thank you
                    Check with community colleges and public universities in the surrounding area. Many will have language programs ranging from basic conversational level to advanced levels. Those that do not may be able to refer you to other resources (on-line programs, community groups, etc). Also, the interactive language programs available in CD format with study materials (books, etc) might be worthwhile (that is how I learned, years ago, enough to allow me to hold basic conversations, then developed sufficient skills to conduct detailed interviews and interrogations, serve as an interpreter, although not court-certified).

                    A good friend of mine retired from the cops and picked up a very nice gig as a court-certified interpreter. Part-time on-call work paying $60 per hour as needed). I know another who retired, now works as a bi-lingual investigator for a major law firm. Extremely valuable skill!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HopefulVet View Post
                      I was 26 years young and proud of my service but naive in my gross overestimation of the value of my service.
                      It's not so much that, it's that EVERYONE you're competing against has that same service.

                      I was finally able to get my debt to a more manageable level and enroll in school full time. Today, I have a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and I am current on all my bills.
                      That's the default condition: everyone you're applying against.. all the competitive candidates... have that. All the work did was bring you "up" to the same level as everyone else. That's good, but not an advantage. The past bad credit history isn't great but if you're current it won't hurt you too much especially if you can show a year or two of clean credit.

                      The problem I face now is my work history. I have read many of the posts on this site and am aware of how serious of an issue that can be. I have had a lot of jobs in just five and a half years, although, a lot of that is because I was working two or three jobs at once.
                      If you can show that the employment dates overlap, that shouldn't be a problem. Also, many people work many different jobs in college. Everyone kind of expects that.

                      I was originally hoping that obtaining my Bachelor's degree would help me combat this but I am now thinking that I should go on to a Master's degree
                      That's overkill at this point. Nobody is going to hire you for a master's that wouldn't hire you with a bachelor's.

                      and also put myself through a Police Academy (Possibly the Academic Alternative at Austin Community College) so that I can pass the TCOLE Exam before applying
                      That's probably a good idea. Don't know Texas but here MOST departments require POST certification before they will even look at you. It allows you to apply for all kinds of departments that don't have their own academies and can't afford to sponsor cadets.

                      I would like to apply for Dallas and Houston PD.
                      Cast your net wide. Houston may be where you want to end up, but of Bugskuffle County hires you go work for them and get some experience. It's a paycheck.

                      Originally posted by Zeitgeist1 View Post
                      Go Army Beat Navy
                      Army is looking rough this year, but December 14 is all that counts.
                      Last edited by tanksoldier; 10-29-2019, 04:36 PM.
                      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HopefulVet View Post
                        Hello Everyone,

                        let me start off by saying that I have read the sticky notes and understand that my condition may be subject to each individual department's needs. I just want to know the popular Police Opinion on my situation.

                        I was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army in 2012 after 7 1/2 years of service. I was 26 years young and proud of my service but naive in my gross overestimation of the value of my service.
                        .
                        This part of your post bothers me. You didn't overestimate the value of your service. YOU stepped up when others your age were waving flags and yapping BS platitudes about their patriotism.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HopefulVet View Post
                          ...young and proud of my service but naive in my gross overestimation of the value of my service. .
                          Thank you for your service.

                          And by "value of my service", are you speaking about the value you place on yourself, as you feel society sees you?
                          Or the value as it actually exists?

                          Seems to me, that comment makes it sounds like you thought, or were told, that by serving your country, everything will be hunky-dory, and you will have all this money and free college and life will be great. But you found out, as we ALL did, that aint the case, as advertised lol.

                          I concur with a few other mentions in here..as far as job history. Having multiple jobs in a short period wont be the big issue. They will want to know WHY.
                          If you are trying to better yourself, and your financial situation, I think you will be fine.
                          Keep pluggin away.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The moj0. That is exactly what I meant and yes I did learn that the hard way.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tank Soldier. Thank you for that advice. I think that, after all the advice I got on here, I should push the Masters degree off for a while and focus on the language program. I sent in a couple applications already, hipefully one of those will work out for me but I have a good place to start to continue to make my application look better now.

                              Comment

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