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Understandable or disqualified?

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  • Understandable or disqualified?

    I'm currently working through the process with an agency, recently completed my polygraph, and there were two points which concerned me. The first is they asked me to list all of the agencies I've applied to, which I did, but in the last 3 years I've applied to about 6. On one I was disqualified for the written test, and another I didn't receive a call back following the polygraph. The others I chose to withdraw from before testing actually began (variety of reasons such as my car broke down on the way to a PT test so I couldn't complete that, another agency asked everyone to resubmit their applications and on second glance I decided it really wasn't a great agency so I chose not to, I was planning on moving out of the area so withdrew from another local agency, etc..), and my polygraph examiner never asked about the withdraws so I didn't say anything; but now I'm wondering if they look bad.

    This is especially the case because the examiner told me they detected deception on one question (serious crimes) and inconclusive on another (drug use). They pressed me on the serious crimes question and I genuinely had no idea so the best explanation I could think of was I just overthought it/basically got nervous. As for drug use, I told them how on my previous polygraph the examiner laughed at me when I said I didn't use drugs which stuck with me, and this examiner seemed to understand that.

    With all of that, my questions are:
    Do you guys think it will count for anything that I passed on the questions for being honest in my application as well as during the polygraph itself?
    Do you think a BI would see how many withdraws I put down, and decide with everything else it's not worth their time?
    The department connected me with a recruiter for the process when it began, should I reach out to them about any of this?

    I realize you guys don't have crystal balls and can't definitively tell me one way or the other, but figured you have more experience with this than me so any and all opinions are appreciated.

  • #2
    Follow up: the recruiter called me to ask how things went, I told him, and he expressed sympathy on the situation/that he hopes I'll get assigned a BI

    Comment


    • #3
      1. A poly is an investigative tool. There is a reason it’s results are inadmissible in court. A good interviewer can get the same results by wiring you to the copier and telling you it’s a poly. It does happen that, as part of the investigation, a poly operator may tell you you “failed” or indicated deception somewhere when that wasn’t the case, just to see if you confess to something.

      2. Your inability to follow through could be a problem. Each individual incident may be understandable, but multiple examples of inability to follow through, complete the mission, achieve your goals... whatever you want to call it... isn’t great.
      "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


      • #4
        Thanks for your response. Although I'm cautious to assume I passed and the examiner just tried to trap me, I have heard that's a strategy.

        If that's the case then I'm also less worried about the withdraws, though I understand your point there. As far as this process, I've already been told how badly they need people, and I believe I've already demonstrated above average commitment (it's a few states away so I've needed to use PTO, rent hotels, and just drive for hours in order to continue this process). That's also part of why I've been worked up about this poly, that I've really got my sights set on this department and I don't want to screw anything up.

        Comment


        • #5
          In my experience, your BI is simply providing documentation to the decision makers -- the BI doesn't decide if you move forward, or if you are wasting their time. You have to be fairly deep in the process to be at the poly stage anyway, don't you? If we thought you were a waste of time, we wouldn't send you for an exam.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think that the fact you withdrew from the process with those departments in and of itself is much of an issue. What I would consider an issue is you not disclosing your application(s) with those agencies. With my agency failing to disclose (omissions) are treated the same as untruthful statements, they result in automatic and permanent disqualification. I can't tell you the number of people who have been permanent DQ's because they failed to disclose arrests (because the charges were dismissed or the arrest was expunged and therefore "It doesn't count"), agencies they applied with and the phase they failed (IE they say they failed the written or PAT and in reality they failed BG), and countless other things. Not sure about the agency you are applying with or their DQ policy, but with us the worst thing you can do is get caught lying.

            Comment


            • #7
              Joe - Do you mean background investigator or polygraph examiner? I haven't been assigned a background investigator yet which would be the next step after poly. So far I've only completed a written and physical exam.

              dream - I'm unclear on what you mean that I didn't disclose my applications with those agencies, would you please elaborate? I believe I listed them in my initial application to this agency (I don't remember if it asked, but if it did then I included them), and I certainly disclosed the information during the polygraph. More specifically, I stated that I failed the written exam on one (which is true), reapplied to that agency but did not receive a call back following their poly (which is also true since even after directly asking them if I failed the poly they would only tell me I was still on the eligibility list but nothing further), and the remainders I withdrew before performing a single test. The only part I didn't mention to the examiner is at what point I withdrew because they said to only write the status of each application (failed at x stage, pending, or withdraw); however, I would've been more than happy to go into detail with each application if the examiner indicated they wanted me to.

              Thanks to both of you guys for the responses as well

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Historian View Post
                Thanks for your response. Although I'm cautious to assume I passed and the examiner just tried to trap me, I have heard that's a strategy.
                I’m not a poly examiner, but I’m convinced that the reason departments have poly exams is to get applicants to confess to disqualifying behavior either before, during or after the test due to the pressure of being tested. The test itself, as a truth verification test, is useless or almost useless. It’s a mcguffin, the value lies in people being afraid of it.

                If that's the case then I'm also less worried about the withdraws, though I understand your point there. As far as this process, I've already been told how badly they need people, and I believe I've already demonstrated above average commitment (it's a few states away so I've needed to use PTO, rent hotels, and just drive for hours in order to continue this process). That's also part of why I've been worked up about this poly, that I've really got my sights set on this department and I don't want to screw anything up.
                Life happens, and everybody knows that. Also, everyone who has graduated from a police academy knows that the #1 most important factor for success in the academy and in FTO later, is refusal to quit. The whole process is designed to instill self doubt and make you quit.

                Even at paid academies where they CAN wash you out, MOST failures are quitters... relatively few are outright dropped. Most who aren’t quite cutting it get recycled at least once. ...and the quitters are quitting on themselves, giving up on this great thing they thought they wanted because it got too hard, they aren’t quitting on anyone else... just themselves.

                ...and the thought process will be: if he can’t even complete the application process, how will he complete the academy, FTO... will he quit on himself then? What about when he’s fighting for his life beside the road and backup is still three minutes out? Will he quit on himself then? If we hire this dude who may lack intestinal fortitude, are we killing him by putting him into danger he doesn’t have the determination to handle?

                Remember: you dropped out of SIX hiring processes. Six... because you changed you mind, life happened, whatever... they all amount to “I gave up” at the end of the day.

                Think about what you’re doing and it’s implications. People will HATE you the minute they find out what you do. They will be trying to kill you because if the badge you wear and the oath you swore. They will poison your food at restaurants, they will vandalize your house, they will threaten your family.

                The minute your wife, girlfriend or child comes to you with a note someone gave them or put on their car that says “Hi, I know where your family lives now” what will you do?

                Seriously think about what you’re trying to do here.
                Last edited by tanksoldier; 03-17-2021, 11:17 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


                • #9
                  Thanks, tank. I understand what you mean now. Yes, I will admit this is a process I've struggled with. I've had to really work for one thing or another at different points in my life, but I'll be honest: when I failed the written test that first time in, the part I considered to be the easiest out of the entire process to the point of overconfidence, it really caught me off guard and sucked the wind out of me. Similarly, it's been a struggle trying to balance where I'd like to go with what's best for me and my wife's families. All I can say about it now is I've spent quite awhile asking myself the hard questions (who are you, what do you want, etc.) as well as discussing life plans with my wife and I've come to two conclusions:

                  1. I missed the opportunity to do this a few years ago, and while I don't regret it since among other things it led to me meeting my wife, I won't get a third chance
                  2. I want it so bad that I feel like I'll go insane if I don't make it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Historian View Post
                    Joe - Do you mean background investigator or polygraph examiner? I haven't been assigned a background investigator yet which would be the next step after poly. So far I've only completed a written and physical exam.

                    dream - I'm unclear on what you mean that I didn't disclose my applications with those agencies, would you please elaborate? I believe I listed them in my initial application to this agency (I don't remember if it asked, but if it did then I included them), and I certainly disclosed the information during the polygraph. More specifically, I stated that I failed the written exam on one (which is true), reapplied to that agency but did not receive a call back following their poly (which is also true since even after directly asking them if I failed the poly they would only tell me I was still on the eligibility list but nothing further), and the remainders I withdrew before performing a single test. The only part I didn't mention to the examiner is at what point I withdrew because they said to only write the status of each application (failed at x stage, pending, or withdraw); however, I would've been more than happy to go into detail with each application if the examiner indicated they wanted me to.

                    Thanks to both of you guys for the responses as well
                    Both. That said, at my department, you wouldn't move to the poly phase without already have a BI assigned.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not sure why the 2nd page was erased (maybe by mods for off topic?) but I wanted to say thank you one last time to those who replied. God willing I'll get assigned a BI and can continue through the process

                      Comment

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