Careers: Police/Background Investigation Results
Hello Mr. Toomey,
My name is Manny. I'm a US Army Veteran (8yrs), and after I moved to Los Angeles I wanted to become a police officer, since I've always liked the opportunity to help others and do what's right.
Unfortunately, from 2008 until early 2011, I went through 7 police departments and got disqualified from 4 of them during the background investigation portion. Glendale PD, CHP, LA Sheriff's and Portland Police Bureau.
I'm gonna be honest, and say that yes, I didn't know how the process worked going through these police investigations, so I did some mistakes, or like my wife tells me I was being too honest.
-One Department told me I tried to manipulate the investigation, because I asked a friend to give reliable friends who knew me if my investigator happened to ask. I accepted this as a dumb mistake from my part, and I moved on. The Lieutenant in charge saw my file and potential, and encouraged me to continue to pursue my goal of being an officer, despite of what happened.
- The other department told us that we would have two interviews, an initial interview with a panel,and then the "big" interview with the background investigator (where applicants would have the chance to say/explain everything). Well, I made a mistake of not mentioning everything in my first interview, so when we did the second one, the investigator told me that I was not being honest so I got disqualified because of that. I thought I could explain myself. But understanding police mentality. I held my tears, since the investigator encouraged me to apply in a couple of years, since I had potential for being a good officer. I moved on.
- The third department took me all the way to the polygraph (in which, you are mandated to retake questions you happen to fail on another date) I told my background investigator everything. As I have read. Everyone says tell them everything that's been asked of you. So I did. But then, when I did the polygraph I was asked questions I wasn't asked before by paper or him, like, have I had sex with a prostitute or something like that. I remember saying that I was stationed in Korea, so yes I did, outside the base. Domestic violence? No, but yes? my wife slapped me once, and I slapped her back when we were drunk, then immediately we made up and apologized. Never happened again. Have you ever masturbated? yes, not in public but in private, while in Afghanistan.
I took the poly, and ironically enough, I was truthful with the question: -Did you come here today with the intent to lie? No. I was told they were gonna rescheduled me for a retake on a couple of questions, but instead, I received a letter disqualifying me for lewd conduct. That one hurt.
-The fourth agency, which did an out-of-state hiring, took me all the way to backgrounds, which was a female Army veteran. I thought I had someone who could understand everything I've said and done. However, since our interview was over the phone, I mentioned everything I told everyone before. I didn't want to fail. We finished, and then like 3 weeks later I got a letter that I have been disqualified. And they reserve the right to not tell you why (we signed a form about it). That was the knife to my heart.
Mr Toomey, I tell ya, I have never been arrested, never done drugs whatsoever, and other than the things I've told the investigators, that is it. No felonies or misdemeanors. However, I understand 100% that I got disqualified because I was seen as a deceitful applicant, or told too much at the wrong time, or some events happened close to my being there.
My question to you is, Since 08-10 til now 2013, are these background results still valid? or are they shredded? or will I always be blacklisted?
I don't like to think that investigators call each other and say not to hire me and call it a day. I just want to be able to explain myself and that I'm not hiding anything and be given a fair chance. I applied to 4 police departments in the last month, and I've passed their test and I'm ready for one panel interview and one background interview. I'm scared that everyone is gonna reject cause of the past without even talking to me. How does this work? I wanna be a police officer so bad, it hurts when I see gang members being hired instead.
Any advice would immensely appreciated. I don't want to quit. God bless.
Please don't take offense to anything that I say.
First of all understand that I have never been in a position to hire or fire a police officer. I did background investigations for three years but did not disqualify people or have any say in whether they got hired. I did interviews and that was it and then passed on the results to people who did make decisions.
You are correct. Background investigators from various departments do not know each other nor do they associate with each other. However most departments, as part of the application process, ask the applicant if he/she has ever been disqualified as an applicant before. Of course you have to answer "yes" because the polygraph will always get you if you lie. Being disqualified by four departments is a huge red flag and its an indicator that you are not qualified for police work.
Maybe you ARE qualified and all of this is just been a big bunch of bad luck. But four departments ruling against you is not a good sign.
I would be the last person to tell you to give up. Keep trying but on the other hand keep in mind what I have said.