What will prevent you from being a police officer? Well, for starters, being a police officer carries a heavy responsibility. When a law enforcement agency hires a new employee, it is imperative that the agency makes sure that person can handle this responsibility. One way the recruitment agency does this is by looking at the past behavior of a potential employee. If they have a history of making bad life choices, this person may not be a suitable candidate for their hiring as a new police officer.
Therefore, a background check is a very important component of the overall police recruitment process. Keep in mind that even if you pass the written exam with flying colors and are in perfect shape to perform better than the physical ability test, your past or current behavior could be an obstacle to a police officer’s dream job. Passing the police psychological exam is another major step. There is an online preparation package, Mastering Psychology, which includes a study guide, question-and-answer analysis, practice exams, and helpful testing strategies.
If you are looking for a career that defends the public against the criminal element, then naturally you can expect an investigation of your own, that is, your past. If you are still asking what will prevent you from being a police officer, a failed police background check will.
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To join a federal, state, or local police force, you must fill out an application, pass a written test, a fitness test, and complete an interview. But the toughest test might be a background check to make sure you have not only the aptitude, but also the moral fibers needed to carry the weapon and emblem.
Why police officer backgrounds check?
Background checks for law enforcement officers are much more comprehensive than having a hiring manager scan your employment history, do a Google search and call some references. Almost every personal aspect of your life that is accessible to the public can be subject to inspection as well. The minimum entry requirements vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but here are some of the basic checks most law enforcement candidates can expect:
1. Permanent Record
Police forces will likely get transcripts from high school and college, and some teachers and professors may be interviewed to learn about your classroom behavior and study habits. In some cases, investigators may randomly choose former classmates of the school to interview them about their memories of you.
2. Criminal history
Criminal history is a major factor in deciding whether it is appropriate to be appointed as a police officer, and criminal convictions are the most important. Petty crimes and misdemeanors can also be harmful if they are related to honesty and especially if they are violent / domestic violence crimes.
If you have a history of domestic violence, you will not be trusted to be able to solve such problems fairly or respond appropriately when called on such a call. In addition, a person convicted of a domestic violence crime is prohibited from possessing or possessing a firearm, which is one of the requirements to be a police officer.
Note that while checking the background, any past unreported criminal behavior might appear as well.
3. Friends and family
From here, background checks can become a lot more personal. Depending on the state or local jurisdiction, investigators sometimes travel to the hometown of the candidate to meet with family members and friends to make sure the person is not trying to hide anything. One area that has also come under more scrutiny is the world of online social networking. The general rule: If you have any posts on Facebook, Twitter, or any other networks that contain language or images that you don’t want to reveal in a job interview, remove them now.
4. School Days
Police forces will likely obtain high school and college transcripts, and some teachers and professors may be interviewed to learn about your classroom behavior and study habits. In some cases, investigators may randomly choose former classmates of the school to interview them about their memories of you.
5. Drug use
It should come as no surprise that law enforcement candidates are fingerprinted and drug tested. Using illegal drugs at any point in a candidate’s history is a blow against you, but it isn’t always an automatic deal break. Provided you have never used strong drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or crystal meth, and have been clean of all illegal substances in the past three to five years, most agencies will give you permission to do so. However, dealing with any kind of illegal drug is a felony and it will instantly put you in the rejection heap.
6. Driving history
A clean driving record is also required of potential police officers. Again, requirements may vary between different agencies. There are departments that will not hire someone even if they have had one speed ticket within the past year, while others may offer a compromise depending on when the ticket was issued and the purpose for it.
The reason behind this requirement is that police officers spend a lot of time driving, and they may be in situations where they drive at high speed. This can be very dangerous for officers and those around them. It is essential that the new renter knows how to handle the car and has not proven a bad driving history.
What will prevent you from being a police officer?
There are instances when you don’t land a dream police officer’s job just because you failed a background check. The background investigation process is very complex and involves verifying many facts and places in order to get a full account of your past activities. Depending on whether you resided in several places or worked for multiple employers before applying for a law enforcement job, it could take anything from two weeks (rarely) to several months.
If you are applying for a position with any federal law enforcement agency, such as US Customs and Border Protection, a full pre-employment investigation examination, which includes fingerprint collection and review, a national security site survey, polygraph test, and background investigation, may take 12 months. Or more. This is due to the fact that in most positions the candidate needs a security clearance that he is eligible to access confidential information.
In general, background investigation is a long process and you should be patient and remain at the agency’s disposal until its completion.
What if I fail a police officer background check?
There are instances when you don’t land a dream police officer’s job just because you failed a background check. This is not because you have any of the major disqualification factors as mentioned above but rather because of some slight inconsistencies. You’re left wondering why this happens and does that mean you have no chance to become a police officer at all. However, do not expect the agency to provide you with any feedback or reasons.
This was likely due to the fact that they were candidates at least the same level as you in relation to other elements of the hiring process but did not have these secondary issues. Let’s say your background check revealed that you had one speeding violation when you were 19 or were fired from your previous job because you failed to achieve your goal. These issues aren’t that serious but they still put you behind a candidate with a perfectly clean record. What you need to do is to keep checking job openings and applying for the job you want. You could be the best candidate for another department.
What will prevent you from being a police officer? it is important to note that if you fail a police background check due to any of the major eligibility exclusion factors as described above, you may not stand a chance to become a police officer. In this case, it is best to stop working in law enforcement and direct your interests and efforts to another field.