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Lets talk about fist fights

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  • Lets talk about fist fights

    Browsing random threads on here and from my experience with the process, I see that at some point in the quest to become a LEO you are asked about how many fist fights you have had in the last few years.

    Now Im confused by what exactly the purpose of that question is. What I came up with was one of two things:

    1. They want to see if you can go to battle if need be and be able to defend yourself.

    2. They want to see that you avoided fist fights because you have self control.

    Personally I have gotten into one fist fight my whole life. I've studied martial arts for the last few years and it's taught me to avoid violence unless your life is in danger. Fortunately I have never been in that situation. Most of the confrontations I have had were verbal but I managed to diffuse the situation and avoided any physical altercations. IMO I think that's a good thing because it shows I can maintain my cool and instead of making the situation worse, I can find ways to calm everyone down and work it out rationally.

    Whats your take on this topic?

  • #2
    Originally posted by NextCapCop View Post
    Browsing random threads on here and from my experience with the process, I see that at some point in the quest to become a LEO you are asked about how many fist fights you have had in the last few years.

    Now Im confused by what exactly the purpose of that question is. What I came up with was one of two things:

    1. They want to see if you can go to battle if need be and be able to defend yourself.

    2. They want to see that you avoided fist fights because you have self control.

    Personally I have gotten into one fist fight my whole life. I've studied martial arts for the last few years and it's taught me to avoid violence unless your life is in danger. Fortunately I have never been in that situation. Most of the confrontations I have had were verbal but I managed to diffuse the situation and avoided any physical altercations. IMO I think that's a good thing because it shows I can maintain my cool and instead of making the situation worse, I can find ways to calm everyone down and work it out rationally.

    Whats your take on this topic?
    What??? Please show me 3 threads that reference "fist fights" and the correlation of that with going through the "process" of being hired referring to fist fights.

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    • #3
      I think they want to hear your take on the fights, if any. They usually give some latitude to fights happening at an early age when you are young, dumb, and...well, you get the idea. . It's a problem when you get into your mid to late 20's and early 30's and you still can't seem to avoid physical altercations. If police were involved and reports were written, odds are that they will find out, and if you say that you got into a fight because someone pushed your girlfriend, but the report says "subject #1 didn't like the way subject #2 was looking at him", that isn't going to bode well for you as an applicant.

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      • #4
        I've NEVER been asked my ability to fight. Not on my boards and not on the boards I've sat on.
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was asked on an oral when my last fist fight was. I answered honestly stating it was in grade school, but also added that I had played football and wrestling in High School so I was comfortable using force, but only when its legal. I think they are looking for someone who stays out of fights and uses an the best tool you have, communication.

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          • #6
            In general the police academies are not especially interested in how much fighting ability you bring to the table when you start out, although prior training may in some cases be viewed favorably. If your BI or your psych test answers reveal or bespeak a tendency to solve problems by violence when other options are available, or a failure to be respectful of the laws, that could be a problem.

            A few hours ago I chased down a guy who was apparently suicidal. He'd deliberately run in front of a CTA bus, making the driver have to go to a swerve and a squealing panic-stop. It was a foot chase, and it took more distance than it otherwise might have because the guy kept running in front of moving cars, which of course I wouldn't do, and that made it harder for me to close the gap. He wore out after about a half mile. I had caught him once at about a quarter mile, but he'd fought his way out of my grasp; I didn't want to hurt him to subdue him.

            There had been several 911 calls about the guy. When patrol arrived, I had him on the ground and locked. They had me take my handcuffs off him, and they put theirs on him, and then fire arrived and transported him to the hospital.

            I then found out that he'd committed two batteries, unprovoked, against a man and a woman, shortly prior to exhibiting the suicidal behavior, so I called in to the district with the RD number and the guy's name and told the sarge that the suicidal guy was the same guy that had done the batteries, so please to make sure the hospital didn't release him other than to the lockup. The R/Os on the batteries weren't the same guys as those on the suicide attempt, and I wanted to make sure he didn't get to walk on being lost in the shuffle.

            If I'd known about the batteries, I'd have taken him down definitively at the quarter mile grab instead of giving him the lighter touch that allowed him to extend the chase.

            The point of that narrative here is that the use of force is a judgement call, and having good judgement, as evidenced by personal history, is much more important for an academy applicant than having good fighting ability, athough good fighting ability can be quite useful, if your judgement is such that you can employ it when you should, and not when you shouldn't.

            In retrospect, I'm not sure I should have been so reticent, but at the time, I regarded the guy more as someone who needed help than as someone from whom the public needed protection. The traffic was doing a fine job of not hitting him, and of not hitting other traffic in avoiding him. I'm glad my reticence to injure him didn't result in injury to someone else.
            Last edited by Monty Ealerman; 08-29-2008, 08:07 AM.

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            • #7
              I got asked when I got hired at the State prison in 97. Kinda was at the time when it was almost a daily ritual. I received some good "life training" in there. Being on the road now, I am glad I did the prison system first. Unlike the 19yo we are now hiring, I can deal with large groups of people. Granted like stated above, now it is frowned upon to be violent or have violent tendancies.

              The original post, i have been asked, don't mind it. I suggest if asked, be honest of course.
              Me in the Sunshine State

              10-8store.com

              "I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do. That is character!"

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              • #8
                I've always been asked, "When was the last time you were in a fist-fight?" during hiring processes.

                I figure it's for one of the two questions you posed as well.....just like anything else, answer honestly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
                  I've NEVER been asked my ability to fight. Not on my boards and not on the boards I've sat on.
                  What she said...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, but the OP isn't being asked about his ABILITY to fight...just simply when was the last time you were IN a fist fight.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Crash23 View Post
                      I was asked on an oral when my last fist fight was. I answered honestly stating it was in grade school, but also added that I had played football and wrestling in High School so I was comfortable using force, but only when its legal. I think they are looking for someone who stays out of fights and uses an the best tool you have, communication.
                      crash your avatar made my day
                      "Friendly Fire, isn't"

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                      • #12
                        I was never asked in my oral board about fist fights...It did come up in the academy however. When the instructor asked who has ever been in fist fight and struck, only 2 people out of the 20 people in the class raised their hands. We spent the next week boxing so everyone would get a feel what a good clock to the jaw felt like.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          my previous agency asked about it. when applicants say they've never been in a fight it makes you scratch your head. how can a guy in his mid 20s have never been in ANY kind of fist fight? that's why you should box in the academy. some people have never been punched square in the nose. you need to experience that before going on the street and seeing what that feels like for the 1st time.
                          Perseverate In Pugna

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TOPPED_OUT View Post
                            Yeah, but the OP isn't being asked about his ABILITY to fight...just simply when was the last time you were IN a fist fight.

                            I read that the OP was stating that in the quest to become a LEO, the subject of being in fights comes up and what we think about that question because it confuses him.
                            sigpic

                            I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think it is used to judge your charactor... people who get into fist fights, especially when drinking, have no place in Law Enforcement in my opinion.
                              ...Did you call the Boys in Blue or the Man in Tan?

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