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  • Disappointed About My Background Investigation

    Alright, first post here, so don't pull any punches. I have been trying to become a police officer for about a year and a half now, and I just experienced a pretty big disappointment.

    I passed the written and physical exams, psych inventory, initial interview, and finally the polygraph with an agency in the area. I was a little nervous for the polygraph, but I fessed up to every little thing that I had done wrong, which only included one undetected thing I did when I was 12 (I'm 27 right now). I had some reactions to some of their testing and I gave truthful explanations for those reactions, but ultimately, my examiner said I passed the polygraph and they were going to continue with the background process.

    Fast forward a month. I hadn't heard anything since the completion of the polygraph, so I tried to get in contact with them. The next day, I received a phone call from their lieutenant. He said I wasn't going to be considered in this process, or future processes because of something they found something on my background that was "not conducive to their standards." Of course, they could not divulge what it was that they discovered.

    I was crushed, and still am. I have never had any run-ins with the police aside from only two speeding tickets (last one was over six years ago). I would like to think that I have kept my nose clean. I have had a good job history, aside from two terminations that were over 7 seven years ago, and I have a bachelor's degree. The last time I tried marijuana (for a total of 4 actual times I had tried it), was 4 years ago.

    However, I learned earlier this year that my ex, 8 years ago, made up lies that I had done some horrible things to her, which I disclosed in the polygraph. Also, I learned last week that my brother has been in jail since September because of a misdemeanor and resisting arrest.

    Would things such as false accusations, or failing to reveal on my Personal History Statement about my brother's arrest (even though I had no knowledge of it) be possible reasons for this department's decision? I'm also worried about being considered for other departments in the area, especially since I still have no clear idea on why this happened. Ultimately, is there anything I can actually do?

  • #2
    When going through the pre-employment processes you are always in competition with every other applicant in the hiring pool. When the final cuts are made there are those without any possible negatives, those with obvious negatives, and everyone else is somewhere in between. Decisions have to be made by an overall ranking process and, depending on any civil service rules in place, that process invariably involves some level of subjective response on the part of the hiring board.

    Few agencies will discuss exactly what reasoning was applied because, quite frankly, no one really wants to open up a potential lawsuit against themselves or the hiring authority.

    In another hiring cycle you will be competing against another group of applicants, and your final position on the list is likely to be lower or higher than the last time around. Applying to other agencies will involve different standards, testing, and processes, so your final ranking may be quite different.

    It is not unusual to experience several disappointments before finding the spot you fit somewhere.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry man.

      The bad thing for applicants is when they are told "you will no longer be processed/considered/etc" , it leaves the applicants wondering if that includes some sort of time limit, can they re-apply, what issues should they work on, and overall they are wondering exactly what it was that DQed them when they apply to other agencies (because another agency will be just as curious as you as to why you did not get selected) .

      It would be nice if there was another way.

      I do not know what state you are in, but in NC you have to have BLET certification (Basic Law Enforcement Training) and when you graduate (most community colleges hold BLET courses) you can apply to any local or state agency. Even with your certification, some agencies like the Highway Patrol and Charlotte-Meck PD (to name a few) require you to attend their academies. So what I am getting at is this : your state has some sort of certification you must obtain to be a sworn officer, is it possible to obtain this on your own and expand your horizons?
      John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

      Comment


      • #4
        Keep your head up, it took me 6 years before I was offered a job with a police department. Nothing of what you said raises any flags. Be patient and don’t give up.

        There are **** heads in every cops family, you wouldn’t be the only one. Keep your distance from anyone that might jeopardize a possible career in LE. You’re still young.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ZGerman View Post
          Alright, first post here, so don't pull any punches. I have been trying to become a police officer for about a year and a half now, and I just experienced a pretty big disappointment.

          I passed the written and physical exams, psych inventory, initial interview, and finally the polygraph with an agency in the area. I was a little nervous for the polygraph, but I fessed up to every little thing that I had done wrong, which only included one undetected thing I did when I was 12 (I'm 27 right now). I had some reactions to some of their testing and I gave truthful explanations for those reactions, but ultimately, my examiner said I passed the polygraph and they were going to continue with the background process.

          Fast forward a month. I hadn't heard anything since the completion of the polygraph, so I tried to get in contact with them. The next day, I received a phone call from their lieutenant.He said I wasn't going to be considered in this process, or future processes because of something they found something on my background that was "not conducive to their standards." Of course, they could not divulge what it was that they discovered.

          I was crushed, and still am. I have never had any run-ins with the police aside from only two speeding tickets (last one was over six years ago). I would like to think that I have kept my nose clean. I have had a good job history, aside from two terminations that were over 7 seven years ago, and I have a bachelor's degree. The last time I tried marijuana (for a total of 4 actual times I had tried it), was 4 years ago.

          However, I learned earlier this year that my ex, 8 years ago, made up lies that I had done some horrible things to her, which I disclosed in the polygraph. Also, I learned last week that my brother has been in jail since September because of a misdemeanor and resisting arrest.

          Would things such as false accusations, or failing to reveal on my Personal History Statement about my brother's arrest (even though I had no knowledge of it) be possible reasons for this department's decision? I'm also worried about being considered for other departments in the area, especially since I still have no clear idea on why this happened. Ultimately, is there anything I can actually do?
          You want unvarnished opinions without punch pulling .............ok

          The above highlighted passage tells you all you need to know about your chances with THAT agency. You have done something in your past that has permanently disqualified you FOR THAT AGENCY. It may be a situation that would keep you from other agencies but you won't know that until you are backgrounded by another agency and told the same thing.

          It COULD be the things you reacted to during the polygraph or it could be something else found during the investigation . We don't know because we don't have access to your investigation report.

          As an aside.....................polygraph operators don't "pass or fail" you. The don't have that authority. They generate a report on their examination and pass that on to a higher authority who then makes decisions. It is also possible that lower ranking examiners will tell you anything to get rid of you.

          Personally with the highlighted quotation in your records I would doubt your chances of being hired by a reputable agency is pretty slim


          Originally posted by 1RidgeRunner7 View Post
          There are **** heads in every cops family, you wouldn’t be the only one. Keep your distance from anyone that might jeopardize a possible career in LE. You’re still young.
          Yep.............that is not the problem
          Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-02-2019, 05:50 PM.
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #6
            double post
            Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-02-2019, 05:50 PM.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

              You want unvarnished opinions without punch pulling .............ok

              The above highlighted passage tells you all you need to know about your chances with THAT agency. You have done something in your past that has permanently disqualified you FOR THAT AGENCY. It may be a situation that would keep you from other agencies but you won't know that until you are backgrounded by another agency and told the same thing.

              It COULD be the things you reacted to during the polygraph or it could be something else found during the investigation . We don't know because we don't have access to your investigation report.

              As an aside.....................polygraph operators don't "pass or fail" you. The don't have that authority. They generate a report on their examination and pass that on to a higher authority who then makes decisions. It is also possible that lower ranking examiners will tell you anything to get rid of you.

              Personally with the highlighted quotation in your records I would doubt your chances of being hired by a reputable agency is pretty slim


              Wouldn't the polygraph operator have told me then and there if I had failed the polygraph? Someone I know had a polygraph at the same agency, and they told him immediately after the test that he had failed. I'm honestly baffled because the last time I did something questionable was when I was 12. Would an agency really react like that to something that happened over 15 years ago, when I was a dumb kid?

              I suppose I will know for sure if I move forward to the background process with another agency in the area, since they do their background investigation first, then the polygraph.

              I'm hoping to prove your last opinion wrong, though.


              Comment


              • #8
                As for everyone else, thank you for your feedback. Hopefully I will have better luck with other departments here.


                Originally posted by NC Marine View Post
                Sorry man.

                The bad thing for applicants is when they are told "you will no longer be processed/considered/etc" , it leaves the applicants wondering if that includes some sort of time limit, can they re-apply, what issues should they work on, and overall they are wondering exactly what it was that DQed them when they apply to other agencies (because another agency will be just as curious as you as to why you did not get selected) .

                It would be nice if there was another way.

                I do not know what state you are in, but in NC you have to have BLET certification (Basic Law Enforcement Training) and when you graduate (most community colleges hold BLET courses) you can apply to any local or state agency. Even with your certification, some agencies like the Highway Patrol and Charlotte-Meck PD (to name a few) require you to attend their academies. So what I am getting at is this : your state has some sort of certification you must obtain to be a sworn officer, is it possible to obtain this on your own and expand your horizons?
                I'm in Nebraska. I looked into getting certified without going through an agency, but it's not possible here. I wish I knew what issues I could work on, though. I would find it ridiculous that an agency could hold something so heavily against me,that I also admitted to in a polygraph. I wouldn't have bothered trying with law enforcement if I knew that something in my background would prevent an agency from hiring me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You don’t have the right to a job. You don’t meet standards,then that’s it. It’s not about YOU, it’s about liability for the agency.
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                    You don’t have the right to a job. You don’t meet standards,then that’s it. It’s not about YOU, it’s about liability for the agency.
                    I never said anything about having the right to a job, did I? I'm sitting trying to self reflect so I can do my best for my family and community. I know it's not about me... I'm not being selfish.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Reread your posts.
                      Now go home and get your shine box!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ZGerman View Post

                        Wouldn't the polygraph operator have told me then and there if I had failed the polygraph?
                        Not necessarily




                        Originally posted by ZGerman View Post
                        Someone I know had a polygraph at the same agency, and they told him immediately after the test that he had failed.
                        We aren't talking about someone else.............we are talking about you and YOUR polygraph

                        See above

                        Originally posted by ZGerman View Post
                        Would an agency really react like that to something that happened over 15 years ago, when I was a dumb kid?
                        depending on the severity of the incident YEP.........absolutely

                        My guess it is something more recent and something you know about but are not willing to admit

                        Dont' get me wrong....................I don't want to know and neither does anyone else here care. You need to admit it to yourself
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What was the "undetected thing" you did when you were 12?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Probably everybody here has gotten a "thanks but no thanks" during a hiring process...if you meet an officer who hasn't, snap a picture because you've just met the LE version of a unicorn. LE hiring processes are intentionally difficult, rigorous, and competitive.

                            The reality is, you could post your entire background on here and (probably) nobody will be able to tell you why that department DQ'd you. Different departments have different standards. Maybe something on your background or poly flagged for something very department-specific, or maybe you have a huge red flag that will prevent you from ever getting a job in LE. Your only real option is to move on, apply elsewhere, and see how things turn out.
                            "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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                              Probably everybody here has gotten a "thanks but no thanks" during a hiring process...if you meet an officer who hasn't, snap a picture because you've just met the LE version of a unicorn. LE hiring processes are intentionally difficult, rigorous, and competitive.

                              The reality is, you could post your entire background on here and (probably) nobody will be able to tell you why that department DQ'd you. Different departments have different standards. Maybe something on your background or poly flagged for something very department-specific, or maybe you have a huge red flag that will prevent you from ever getting a job in LE. Your only real option is to move on, apply elsewhere, and see how things turn out.
                              I agree with this.

                              If you want to be in LE. then just apply to every feasible place you could see yourself working at. I do not see anything wrong with that.
                              John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

                              Comment

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