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  • Passed over?

    I'd like to preface this with the fact that I don't like writing long winded questions, and I don't try to reticulate. So, without doing that, I'm curious and a little down in the dumps that after all of the hard work, with only two steps left in the process, I received an email today stating that my application was no longer being considered with one of the local departments after a hiring board conference..

    The puzzling thing is that every officer I've chatted with has stated explicitly that the departments in the area are in really bad need of good candidates, that they can't seem to attract or otherwise tap in to. I've applied at another department before, but was passed over for that department due to a lack of military experience as compared to my competition. So I joined the Army National Guard and began again. There were only 16-18 people in my initial physical/written testings, and throughout the process we all chatted. Most of them were folks working in fairly dead end lines of work, or just coming from school, most of which did not have a degree yet. Only four applicants, including myself had military experience, and several dropped out either lacking academically or they were unable to perform the physical fitness trials. At the end of the day, I would estimate we were left with 14 or fewer applicants that I could see and remember.

    My basic background framework is as simple as it comes - I've never once been arrested. Haven't had a citation since 2015. I've never been charged with any crimes whatsoever. I currently hold a Government security job which comes with a (albeit) low tier security clearance for which I have undergone several extensive background checks for. I am currently in the U.S. Army National Guard in good standings. I had references from Police officers that I have come to know over the course of my work years, former supervisors, personal friends, colleagues, and even my recruiter whom I have become friends with outside of official duties. My background interview/oral board went well from what I could tell besides answering a couple of those strangely worded repeat questions conflicting, which I explained during my interview, the only blotch I would point to was the fact that a former girlfriend of mine was arrested a few years back for domestic violence related charges against me, which I was forth coming with. When the background investigator emailed me requesting last known contact information for her, I gave it freely, but did voice my concerns about the situation and that I most certainly did not wish for that person to know where I'm living. Other than that, everything seemed to be smooth sailing.

    Perhaps someone can shed some light on this? Someone that knows the process? With all the work and time going in to trying to make this happen, it's becoming very disenfranchising to be turned down, even though I'm meeting all the tick marks and then some over my peers. And to not understand *why* I'm being pushed out makes it worse. Can anyone help me make sense of this?
    Last edited by 252Woody; 01-28-2020, 10:25 PM.

  • #2
    Nope, there's no making sense of it. Most of us on here who are sworn LEO's have a drawer full of "thanks but no thanks" letters.

    Maybe the department had budget cuts. Maybe the guy whose position they were filling decided not to retire. Maybe the Mayor's nephew applied. Maybe there was just a better candidate in the running. Maybe something is popping on your background check. None of us knows, but all of those (and more) are possible.

    Your only options are to keep slogging on, improving your skills, or to quit. Which one you decide to do is up to you.
    "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


    • #3
      If 20 people apply for five vacancies, 15 are going to be disappointed. It doesn't matter how qualified they are, you just can't squeeze 20 people into five job vacancies. For some reason applicants have difficulty comprehending this.

      The fact that you weren't "special" this time around is meaningless. It's just math (and maybe a little physics).

      Keep applying elsewhere.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


      • #4
        I get that you're disappointed. It's very possible that among the applicants was a son or daughter of an old friend of the person making the decision to hire. Could be they need a certain minority. Possibly their budget was cut and positions are now limited. As others have written, there is really no way to know. I could come up with a bunch of theories but that's all they are.

        Keep your head up. Keep applying. I suspect you're going to come back on here and let us know that you got hired by a good agency.
        Last edited by Zeitgeist1; 01-29-2020, 02:36 PM.


        • #5
          Yup- keep at it...


          • #6
            Some times you draw a full house. Most of the time you don't
            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


            • #7
              Maybe the chief doesn't like the way you look, maybe he doesn't like officers being in the guard, etc., etc. As L-1 noted, most people who apply are not going to be selected. Everyone we interview has checked the boxes, and almost all of them get a "no thanks" latter. That's just how it is.


              • Zeitgeist1
                Zeitgeist1 commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh yeah. While it's illegal to discriminate against people in the Guard or Reserve, it happens. I was in the Reserve shortly after I got out of the Army---my employer made it difficult, in a subtle way. Not the PD, a different employer.

              • Bravo16
                Bravo16 commented
                Editing a comment
                If the chief don't like how somebody looks isn't that discrimination?

              • L-1
                L-1 commented
                Editing a comment

                Two quick things -

                First, with respect to OP's post, we don't know exactly why he was bounced and I doubt he really knows either. If it happened after a hiring board interview, it sounds like he failed the oral, but a lot more info is needed. If you don't score high enough in one of the testing processes, there is no unlawful discrimination there.

                As far as the Chief no liking someone's looks well......there's generally two types of hiring, At Will and Civil Service.

                With At Will hiring you serve at the pleasure of the hiring authority. There often are no standards and you can be hired and fired based on your ability, lodge affiliation, what local politician you supported (or didn't support) in the last election, or who you are related to. In short, anything goes.

                In civil service hiring you are hired in the order of your test scores (highest first, next highest second) however, there is also the "Rule Of" exemption.

                Most civil service agencies have a rule or law that allows them to fill a vacancy using anyone in the highest 3, 5 or 10 positions on the list. In my state, its the highest 3. They don't have to say why they selected that person over someone higher on the list. It is totally at the hiring authority's discretion. Although it is normally unlawful to discriminate based on sex, national origin, religion, etc., case law has held it is permissible to do so under the "Rule Of 3" in my state.

                This rule can be used to to circumvent others to hire someone you want. It can also be used to continually bypass (lock out) an applicant you don't want to hire but have no grounds to DQ. In that case, you keep bypassing them until you exhaust the list, or you accumulate three applicants you don't want to hire, effectively locking the list up. Then, you throw the list out and hold a new test.

            • #8
              You seem like a good level-headed dude, don't get depressed over this stuff. There probably isn't a cop out there who hasn't been rejected from a department before, and they either try again or go to another one. I know it sucks dude because I've been there.

              May I ask how old you are? Down in my area it's almost unheard of to hire under 25, unless you were already working in the jail. Which by the way you should consider if you end up hitting more roadblocks, or the prison system, as a foot in the door. A couple years of working the jail, which is EASY, and the sheriff will likely talk about sending you to the academy or perhaps a nearby town will like you. You'll also make good connections and references. Do ride alongs with every agency in the area. A lot of people got their start this way. Get some college behind you, like foreign language, computers, EMT school, something like that.


              • #9
                and I don't try to reticulate.

                You don't try to reticulate.... what does that even mean?

                I thought I knew some big words but even I had to look it up. From Miriam Webster:

                1 : resembling a net or network especially : having veins, fibers, or lines crossing a
                leaf. 2 : being or involving evolutionary change dependent on genetic recombination involving diverse interbreeding populations.

                Ten cent word but wha tha…? Maybe that's why you got passed over...
                Last edited by Ratatatat; 01-31-2020, 10:34 AM.
                Chance favors the prepared mind.

                -Louis Pasteur


                • #10
                  I know about reticulating DNA...maybe THATS the issue with you...
                  Now go home and get your shine box!


                  • #11
                    I have been passed over i don't know how many times in the 9 years after graduating the academy. I've played the game long enough to learn that MOST of the folks who work at their respected agencies somehow fit the internal culture and mindset. If you're cut out for law enforcement from top to bottom, there's no doubt that an agency will eventually scoop you up and bring you on. ONLY IF you put forth the effort in keeping at it and exploring all the hiring opportunities that show to be realistic.

                    Example: Agency A has guys who are mostly former military. They all fit that "mold" that the administration desires because that's what works for them. If you're not a vet and don't see yourself blending in with that kind of crowd, don't bother. It's not right, but it's more common than you think.

                    Example: Agency B has guys who are mostly in their 30s, 40s and older because they all came from other agencies having worked a number of years. They're all vastly experienced and the chief desires folks who are confident in their abilities and have the notches in their belt to show that they've been there done that. If you're lacking road experience, don't bother with Agency B.

                    Example: Agency C tends to hire young college educated folks who can score really high on a standardized test. The folks that get hired here mainly have little to no road experience but no doubt have the brains to score high numbers on the test. If you're a good test taker, give this place a shot.

                    Last Example: Agency D believes in hiring people from a variety of backgrounds. The administration favors and appreciates a clean background, good references and the willingness to serve. Folks that pass through here generally stick around for a while until a better paying position surfaces that offers more opportunity for advancement and other specialized assignments. Some will ride out their careers here because the pay is decent, not much crime happens, and everything else is mostly manageable. Bear in mind that no agency is immune to inner office politics, and other internal and management related headaches that can weigh down on anyone.

                    phew this is more drawn out than i had planned. The aforementioned examples i listed above are just a snid-bit tip of the iceberg of what law enforcement agencies are made up of in regards to "fitting in". I've heard of guys that have bounced around more than a few times until they had finally snuggled in with an agency that fits them nicely. And you know what, i also believe that your road in this career field will carry you precisely according to plan. You might land a job that you'll keep for a year or more. You might land a job that you'll retire from. You'll might even land two or even three jobs in five years until you land somewhere that fits YOU. Everything in life happens for a purpose. Whatever happens might not make sense initially, but you'll realize down the way that whatever happened then, was for this or that reason that is clear as day. So, be honest with yourself, be realistic and in the same breath be open to all the opportunities that somehow catch your attention because ya never know. Hope this helps. Good luck, and just keep at it, you'll get there. It's a great career.....for the most part.


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