Careers: Police/Law enforcement


QUESTION: Hi I'm 21 years old and started my application with the lapd everything was going good until I hit The phf I was completly honest everything I could remember I brought it up I was a dumb ignorant teenager so I've made some mistake  a lot of them was I a couple fights I brought it up  I did experiment  with marijuana  smoked a couple times  during my  freshman year  and also I confessed from being so nervous that I did it a lot  told the bi every week sometimes every other day also confessed to trying cocaine once that I did not recall doing but was trying to be honest because my so called friends back then said I did ? by then he started telling what to write on my application  I was pulled over at 15  as  for I licensed driving  that was my only misdemeanor my point is I have a past I was out of control back then I did go to school had good grades graduated have no record perfect credit and I know that I am no longer anything like I used to be I have goals  I am honest friendly and treat people with respect I do believe that it is my calling and I don't want to give up on this I want to become a police officer and help people help kids that where like me but also I was what they said on dqd letter not among the most qualified for the job they did not question my honesty or integrity they said I was immature and needed to learn respect for others and my judgment isn't all there but all that was when I was 15 ? If I apply at another agency will they even consider me ? I know I made a lot of mistakes that could have gone a different way but I don't believe that I should be dqd for mistakes I did when I was 15 because I am completely different I know if I would of had the poly  I would have passed it and if I get a chance I wi become an excellent police officer

ANSWER: Cici, you outlined a lot of mistakes in your past, things that can't be erased.
But they can be explained.  If most of what you described occurred at or around age 15, I think you can put them all in a short, non-detailed explanation of youthful exuberance. Many young people who apply for law enforcement positions place too much emphasis on EXPLAINING everything away in graphic detail. You tried pot, didn't like it...slam bam, thank you mam. Now, go onto the things that make you sing...good grades, responsible outlook and a positive, mature vision of your future. Bring in the fact that you see the errors of young people, a few that you dallied with at age 15 and want to share your awareness of the futility of these acts with other young people. Practice your interview techniques with someone you trust, who will give you honest feedback.  Lastly, LAPD can afford to be persnickity in hiring, so maybe you should try a medium sized PD such as Pasadena, El Monte or Burbank/Glendale. If you are asked if you had a previous interview, just describe it as a missed opportunity in that you overstated your interest. It isn't like you're applying to replace Mother Teresa. We all made mistakes when we were young, and surprise, we all made it in law enforcement. Just don't overemphasize your past. Go do it! Good luck.

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QUESTION: Thank you so much i truly appreciate it you words have given me more motivation to continue and  I will, but also wouldn't they get my phf from the last agency and dq me as well for the information the have ?

Cici, frankly, I'm not familiar with procedures today as I haven't been in touch with the selection process for many years. With computer spitting out all kinds of info, that may be the case. If so, I would strongly emphasize your abandonment of immature ideas and your commitment to the course for  your life that you outlined for me.  I think you have to take the proverbial bull by the horns and make whomever interviews you believe in you.

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Dick Rogers


I`ve spent twenty-five years in law enforcement as a state trooper and deputy sheriff. Retired as a lead homicide investigator. My interest is in answering questions dealing with ethical and moral dilemmas facing officers in the field.

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