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  • What are my chances?

    This time last year, I was terminated from my department after being on the road for only 13 shifts. I was told I “wasn’t a good fit” because I “wasn’t learning the way they wanted me to”. I didn’t let that get me down, stuff happens. But now, a year later, it seems like I’m getting bounced from every department because they hear the word “terminated” and dismiss me. I’m just wondering what my odds are of getting hired on a different department? My previous department has the reputation of terminating people for no reason and then bad mouthing them to other prospective departments - it’s a wealthy community in the suburbs of Chicago (north shore). My FTO told me every day that I was doing a great job and doing everything by the book - and that’s what my DOR’s said too - but then I was terminated and I’m beginning to worry that no department will pick me up - even though I honestly have no idea what I did to cause the termination - other than struggling to relearn everything I was taught at the academy because it wasn’t the way the department did things.

    I have a passion for this career and know this is what I’m meant to do but I’m just not sure where to go from here. Do I have a chance of being rehired or should I just give up?

  • #2
    Additionally, please ask any and all questions you need to help me figure this out. Thank you!

    Comment


    • #3
      Was it Schaumburg? Heard of a guy who got fired on his first traffic stop of his first day of FTO.

      Comment


      • scotty_appleton814
        scotty_appleton814 commented
        Editing a comment
        I wouldn't be surprised if he worked for Deerfield or Skokie. I was close. He said Lake Forest
        Last edited by scotty_appleton814; 01-27-2020, 02:59 PM. Reason: Read further down

    • #4
      That is a genuine head-scratcher. Completed the academy satisfactorily. Your field training officer approved of your progress. Your reviews were good. Then you are terminated because you are not a good fit and not learning how they want you to do the job.

      As a practical matter there may be very little you can do, I expect you were in a period of probationary employment so not covered under any civil service rules. However, if you can show evidence that the department is "bad mouthing" you to other agencies you may wish to discuss that with an attorney specializing in employment law.

      Very few employers will disclose much more than whether or not you were employed, dates of employment, and whether or not you are subject to recall (such as laid off employees that may be called back in the future). There is a considerable body of case law that applies to such disclosures, and most employers are very reluctant to invite lawyers and judges into their employment processes.

      If you decide to pursue such a course you should be aware that the path will be long (think years, not just months) and the costs will be high (experienced attorneys do not work for nothing, and what they ask for a retainer might make your last annual salary look small). Do not expect the legal system to open its arms for you. Do not expect the lawyer advertising on late night television for accident victims or asbestos-related class action suits to accept your case on a contingency fee basis. Above all, do not expect your former employer to voluntarily turn over anything related to your employment history. Everything will be an uphill fight that will continue only as long as you can afford to pay the costs.

      Applying for other departments? All you can do is keep trying and see what happens.

      Comment


      • #5
        It was not Schaumburg. It was Lake Forest.

        Comment


        • #6
          You'll have to find a department that's willing to look past the "terminated" in your personnel file and dig deeper. And, that's assuming that your previous department doesn't have contradictory documentation that doesn't line up with your viewpoint on your progress before you were terminated.

          The reality is, getting past a termination is LE is probably one of the steepest hills you can decide to climb. More than a few departments will drop you from consideration without a second glance. It's possible to overcome, but far from easy. I strongly encourage you to self-analyze, consider your time at the previous department dispassionately, and see if there were issues you were facing that you may be blinded to...this will help you considerably in explaining the termination to potential employers.
          "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


          • #7
            Sent you a PM remi2018

            Comment


            • #8
              If it were me, I would get a copy of all my files.

              There had to be a REASON, (no matter how lame) that they terminated you, I would love to hear them say "not a good fit" as the sole reason. It is more likely "not a good fit BECAUSE __________".

              Near where I work, I have not heard of agencies (no civil service protection in NC and you do have a year probation period) who have let anyone go for no reason at all. Some of the reasons given were bad, they were reasons, and it did not mean the agency did not face legal consequences for a quick termination (even in a state with no civil service protection).
              John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

              Comment


              • #9
                You just gotta keep trying. We hired a guy who was terminated by another agency and he worked out fine. I know we have fired some people who got picked up by other agencies. See what your file has in it. It would have to be something pretty egregious for our HR to sign off on a termination after 13 shifts.
                Last edited by just joe; 01-27-2020, 02:27 PM.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I know many officers that didn't pass probation. They are now working for other departments (assuming their termination wasn't disciplinary in nature). My department has also hired several officers that failed probation at other agencies. Just keep trying. Also, keep your positive attitude. Don't badmouth your prior agency in interviews, no matter how frustrating it gets.

                  Comment


                  • Zeitgeist1
                    Zeitgeist1 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yep, I could not agree more with this statement. +1000

                • #11
                  To call your most recent post disingenuous would be an understatement. I personally know of a specific incident you were involved in, which led to your termination. I know that, because you shared it with me in a PM this time last year. Now normally, I don't share information from PMs publicly. But I won't let you misrepresent facts, speak poorly about another agency, and purport yourself to be an innocent victim.

                  To be clear, I don't personally know anyone from Lake Forest and have no vested interest in their department or city. But what is glaring to me, is your lack of candor here. I don't know if your actions in the incident you told me about warranted termination. On face value, it didn't sound like they did. However, based upon this recent post, I'm willing to bet there are some pretty important parts you left out. Perhaps it had nothing to do with the actual situation, but your candor when asked about it. Or something else.

                  In any case, that would explain to me why you're having problems getting picked up. Agencies understand some people truly aren't a good fit for some departments. One recruit might not be cut out for CPD, but would be great in a smaller suburb. The point is, we all know plenty of people who weren't a good fit at one agency, but got picked up somewhere else. The one thing agencies can't, won't, and shouldn't get past, is a concern with integrity. In Illinois, if you have prior police experience, you're usually asked to sign an additional form in your background release. That form specifically grants permission for an investigator to review your personnel file, providing the other agency is willing to show it. If there's anything in there that shows you have integrity issues, you're cooked. Also raises the question of how you explain your termination on an application, and what a background investigator discovers.

                  Maybe I'm wrong and you really did get a raw deal. But I find it odd that a year ago, you immediately told me about a specific situation you believed led to your termination. Then you fail to mention anything about it in your recent post. In police work, we call that a clue.

                  Comment


                  • remi2018
                    remi2018 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I’ve asked the departments that I have been bounced for if the incident that was discussed was the reason and they have told me no, that it was something else. That is why I came back here, to find out what the other reason could be when I was told by my training officers and command staff that I was doing great and then all of the sudden this happened.

                    I explain everything with the utmost of clarity in every interview I go into and to accuse me of not doing so is a profound misstep. All I’m doing is seeking clarity because I am genuinely confused.

                    Additionally, I SPECULATED that was the reason. Under no circumstances has it ever been verified that that was the reason. I have never been able to get verification as to the actual reason, despite NUMEROUS efforts, that is why I am seeking advice on here.
                    Last edited by remi2018; 01-31-2020, 09:17 AM.

                • #12
                  Originally posted by ThinBlue404 View Post
                  To call your most recent post disingenuous would be an understatement. I personally know of a specific incident you were involved in, which led to your termination. I know that, because you shared it with me in a PM this time last year. Now normally, I don't share information from PMs publicly. But I won't let you misrepresent facts, speak poorly about another agency, and purport yourself to be an innocent victim.

                  To be clear, I don't personally know anyone from Lake Forest and have no vested interest in their department or city. But what is glaring to me, is your lack of candor here. I don't know if your actions in the incident you told me about warranted termination. On face value, it didn't sound like they did. However, based upon this recent post, I'm willing to bet there are some pretty important parts you left out. Perhaps it had nothing to do with the actual situation, but your candor when asked about it. Or something else.

                  In any case, that would explain to me why you're having problems getting picked up. Agencies understand some people truly aren't a good fit for some departments. One recruit might not be cut out for CPD, but would be great in a smaller suburb. The point is, we all know plenty of people who weren't a good fit at one agency, but got picked up somewhere else. The one thing agencies can't, won't, and shouldn't get past, is a concern with integrity. In Illinois, if you have prior police experience, you're usually asked to sign an additional form in your background release. That form specifically grants permission for an investigator to review your personnel file, providing the other agency is willing to show it. If there's anything in there that shows you have integrity issues, you're cooked. Also raises the question of how you explain your termination on an application, and what a background investigator discovers.

                  Maybe I'm wrong and you really did get a raw deal. But I find it odd that a year ago, you immediately told me about a specific situation you believed led to your termination. Then you fail to mention anything about it in your recent post. In police work, we call that a clue.
                  Wow. Sounds like there is more to the story...

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    We are one big unhappy family dude. I guarantee that a guy from some Miami Metro village knows someone who knows someone who knows someone all the way up to Alaska. I have done reference and employment checks and had people tell me things that they weren't willing to put on paper. "Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie to a Ranger or officer."

                    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, try state prisons, small college campus PDs, and the smallest rural BFE towns you can find. If you are a POS given a second chance, undoubtedly you will screw up again and hopefully in a bad enough way to go to prison, but not bad enough to get someone hurt or an innocent person locked up. Maybe many years of honorable service in one of those tiny departments will help you out with advancing your career, or maybe you'll decide you actually like that style of policing and stay there (it's a lot more fun than it sounds).

                    Comment


                    • remi2018
                      remi2018 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      What gives you the authority to call me a POS? That is unjustified and completely unwarranted to call someone you know nothing about something so aggressive.

                    • emtguy89
                      emtguy89 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Reading comprehension is extremely important in law enforcement work. Try reading again and you will see "if you are a POS". I did not call you one. It is a conditional and hypothetical statement. Unlike everyone else here, who may well have a lot more information than I do about your situation, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. What gives you the authority to misread my post?

                    • remi2018
                      remi2018 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      My apologies, I misinterpreted what you wrote. I was reading quickly this morning while dealing with some family matters at home. Aggression really isn’t necessary, it was a mistake, I’m simply seeking advice in a place that’s supposed to be a safe and supportive outlet.

                  • #14
                    Originally posted by just joe View Post
                    You just gotta keep trying. We hired a guy who was terminated by another agency and he worked out fine. I know we have fired some people who got picked up by other agencies. .
                    I also know MANY people released on probation who really have absolutely NO business being in the business.

                    The reality of the matter is the testing, interviewing, backgrounding, & teaching (academy) is the easy part of hiring a new officer. A good number of academy graduates find out they might have the above skills but just can't cut the mustard when they put all that book learning to practice

                    Not saying that is the "problem"...........................

                    Originally posted by just joe View Post
                    It would have to be something pretty egregious for our HR to sign off on a termination after 13 shifts..
                    Yep.................something major
                    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


                    • #15
                      Based on the above new information, you should consider the fact that the B.I.'s for your "post termination applications" may not be entirely truthful with you. Even though they said what you THINK you were fired for did not come into consideration, maybe that it is in fact the case after all.

                      We are talking about human beings here...many of the recruiters or background investigators probably have some sort of professional or even personal relationship with others, and while they may say "for the record, he was not a good fit".....but "OFF THE RECORD this is the REAL REASON_________."


                      ....by the way, do you have any friends at this other agency who could possibly give you a good reference, or has everyone ghosted you there ?
                      John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

                      Comment

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