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  • Introductions Are in Order

    Hey, my name is Andy. I am 25 years old and live in Fairfield, Ohio, which is about 20 miles north of Cincinnati. I have a BA in History, and an MS in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. I am currently a security officer at a local medical center, but am trying arduously to obtain a position with a law enforcement agency.

    My efforts have not been met with success however. I have some baggage which has hindered me. I have a history of seizures, which got me disharged from the Army. Despite the fact I havent had an episode in over 3 years, and was never medicated for the seizures for more than a couple of weeks afterwards, most agencies I have applied with seem to be holding this against me.

    I believe this is unfair for several reasons. Some of you would say that I shouldnt be in law enforcement because I could have a seizure during a vehicle pursuit or whilst drawing down on someone. It is possible, yes. However, I havent had an episode in 3 years, and my first incident wasnt until I was 20 years-old, which would indicate that the condition isnt chronic, but rather sporadic, and possibly done with. Furthermore, there are all sorts of officers on the streets now with various medical ailments, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. I am just as likely to seize during a pursuit as they are to have a stroke or heart attack. Yet, they get to stay on the streets, and I must remain to patrol the corridors of a building.

    I simply find it most troubling that my education, clean criminal history, physical fitness, and other positive attributes are not being better utilized to serve the community. Yes, I have a blemish. But dont we all, in some way or another? Dont all officers have some drawback or flaw? They do if theyre human. I just fail to see why my blemish is one to get me discounted from hiring, while I see unfit people given arrest powers who end up embarrasing police agencies by engaging in corruption, crime, brutality, or some other escapade.

    I would be eager to here anyone's thoughts. If you believe I am wasting my time for trying to get hired by an agency, please do not spare my feelings. Tell me like it is.

  • #2
    What was your diagnosis? Did they find a root cause of the seizures? With that kind of condition, the more information you have, the better off you'll be. One thing that could work in your favor would be to find a sympathetic doctor, one who is willing to tell you the whole truth about what kind of seizure disorder you have, what can be done with medication, etc - without a clear diagnosis, you will be highly unlikely to find an agency willing to take the risk.
    Another option - are there any small agencies with part time police officers in your area? Often, this can be a foot in the door, especially if you perform well for the department. The more time you go without a seizure, and the more law enforcement specific references you can develop, the more likely you'll be able to find a chief leo willing to make the leap of faith necessary to overlook your medical history and hire you on full time.
    Good luck to you.

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    • #3
      Thank you

      Thank you for your input.

      The last time I visited the Neurologist after the last episode 3 years ago, he said he didnt know what brought it on. He said that anything from dehydration, family history, allergies, to random bad luck can cause them. While stopping short of saying it likely woudlnt return, he did clear me to stop taking the medicine shortly after the last seizure.

      Thusly, I am driving my vehicle around public roads, carrying my PR-24, mace, and handcuffs at my security job, and leading a normal life without any bad effects or medicines. The agency I am in the process with now seems fairly reasonable, and I know some supervisors. I also indicated on the questionare my willingness to undergo whatever medical exams they deemed necessary to prove my fitness for duty.

      I have my agility test with them this weekend. We will have to see how that goes and take it from there.

      There are several smaller agencies in the area with part-time auxillary officers. However, I dont have my academy certification and would probably not be a candidate they need.

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      • #4
        While it doesnt seem the seizures may occur anymore, with what you wrote I can see where some may have a cause for concern. For one, you stated, "but rather sporadic." Not knowing what may trigger the seizure can result in serious injury not just to others, but yourself.

        As far as people being on the job with high-blood pressure, etc. Were they hired on the job with the pre-existing condition, or was it something that they developed after they were hired? I know if you develop a condition after you are hired, they are more apt to try and take care of you, and not kick you to the curb (but that all depends on what department you work for.) My guess (and its only a guess) is that if a department hires you with your condition, they may become liable if you were to have a seizure and someone was to be hurt or killed as a result.

        One thing I've learned is that, no matter where you go, you always have that 10% of bad apples. You can't help that, only thing that I can suggest it, keep trying and tell them that you will do whatever tests need to be done to show that you have no problems. If you have to, get a letter from you doctor, anything to show that you are "fit for duty.''

        Another suggestion is look at other departments as well., every agency has different requirements and such. I've seen places where you can get hired for using cocaine once, and I've seen places where they wont hire you if you have smoked weed.

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        • #5
          I see your point. I think a fair comrpomise might be to hire me, and force me to medicate for seizures with something mild and effective like Depakote. That would be roughly equivalent to keeping an officer on patrol who has cardiovascular problems, but is taking medicine for it.

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