Careers: Police/Getting Hired


I graduated from the police academy in March of 2011. I passed the state certification not long after graduating. I have been trying to get hired on with an agency since then and have not even been able to get an interview with anyone. I think alot of it has to do with me being arrested back in 1997 when I was 18. It was a felony arrest for grand theft but I was not convicted. I went through a pre-trial intervention program and paid restitution. Then after that the charges dropped. This is the only trouble I have ever been in. I know some agencies state on their applications that even a felony arrest is a disqualifer so those agencies I have not applied for. I just recently applied for an agency and their application does not state felony arrest as a disqualifier but they called me to inform me my application is disqualified due to my felony arrest was after 1981. So my question is will any agency even give me a chance or are they seeing this arrest and immediately saying no. And would it help if I were to get my record expunged? I really want to be a police officer and it's deflating to see these agencies not even giving me a chance for an interview so they can get to know me and not just what a piece of paper states.

Good Morning James,

I'm sorry to say that yes that is probably what is keeping you from being hired. all of the agencies that I know of will hire someone with a felony arrest on the record because there are too many applicants out there who have no felony arrests and therefore are considered to be higher on the list then you. Even though yours was so long ago and appears to be fairly minor you have to be a better applicant and more marketable than the person who you are competing against for those positions. With so many people applying now because of the economy for these jobs there are many applicants who have no criminal background and a college degree and maybe even veterans preference points the place them high on the list as far as applicants go. So I would say that getting your record expunged may help, but it may not your all of your issues. Your best bet is to apply to a smaller agency and be able to explain to the background investigator your arrest and the circumstances surrounding it.

I would say that that is your best chance for being hired.

Good luck in your job seeking endeavors.  

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Chris Wagoner


I have been a police officer for 30+ years! I am the Police Academy Commander at the Santa Fe College, Institute of Public Safety in Gainesville Florida It is a full service Law Enforcement and Corrections training facility. I can answer most questions concerning law enforcement procedures, law enforcement training and general questions about law enforcment. I can also answer questions about becoming a law enfocement officer. I have a booklet and web page I have written that answers many questions about how to become a police officer called "So you want to be a cop (police Officer) in Florida?", which is free, Google it.. All you have to do is ask. I teach the following subjects: RADAR/LASER, Law Enforcement Driving, Law Enforcement Firearms and Patrol Techniques, Officer Safety, WMD's for Patrol Officers, Application of Law, Communications skills, Dealing with the Mentally and physically handicapped, and many more subjects. I have worked as a subject matter expert for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and helped to write the police curriculum for the State of Florida. I like answering questions about how to become a police officer, and questions about why did an officer do this or that type questions. I also like answering any questions you may have about police work in general. I do not mind helping with homework questions or trying to answer your questions about legal subjects that I have knowledge of. You will never know the answer until you ask! If you do ask a question, PLEASE take the time to at least rate the answer. I do not get paid to answer these questions and do it on my own time. If you ask, please rate it when I answer. Thanks!!! If its a question about becoming a police officer, it may be answered here: My "hobby" website - Military Videos on YouTube and Facebook!!


I am a 30+ year veteran police officer, I am currently the Police Academy Commander of an Academy in North FLorida. I have been training police officers since 1993 and have trained them in all aspects of law enforcement, including firearms, Driving and legal subjects including patrol techniques and others and training all over the world. I have trained over 5000 officers worldwide in the last 16 years of training.

I am a published author in Accident Investigation from the University of North Florida, Institute of Police Technology and Management. Also have written and published on the Internet, "So You Want to be a Cop (Police Officer) in Florida?" you can Google it..

I have 2 degrees, in Criminal Justice.

Awards and Honors
Phi Theta Kappa, plus 50+ Departmental Awards over the years. FBI Directors award for assisting in a Nationwide investigation into Child pornography.

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