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Careers: Police/Background investigation Questions


Hi Jason,

I ask an question before and I appreciate your response.

I have another question regarding my current background investigation. I believe I screwed up on information I forgot about 9-10 years ago. I did my best with providing my investigator with documents and any police contact. There was one I missed.

I forgot I had made a call or police report regarding my ex's boyfriend. At the time my girlfriend was cheating on me. I had called this person regarding that. He began making threats to me and I called the police. I believe I also made the report because my investigator had it. I still don't remember. Just bits & pieces.

I was honest with my investigator, but it seems like he thinks I am lying. He mentioned "he remembers everything that happened in his life, and you forget parking tickets but not this". I told him I forgot and don't remember everything.

I also told him I took my ex's clothes she gave me to her job and said she stole it to damage her reputation. That was all I did from the breakup.

The investigator said she said "I threaten to kill myself" which I told him was not true. He said she said that "I went into her email & changed her password & put her social security # on the internet" in which I told the investigator I did not do.

My investigator said he was trying to help but I have to be honest with him & that I do remember everything.

He also kept mentioning my marriage certificate which had an wrong last name & birthdate. I told I am getting this corrected. I never knew of the problem until he mentioned it after receiving my documents. I said I would get it corrected today.

I am not sure what to think? I know they say if you omit anything on the background question its a lie. That was never my intent & I told my polygraph operator the same thing.

The agency I am applying for has chooses 1 applicant out of 10 people & very competitive.

I have no speeding tickets, never use drugs. I have been arrested but the case was dismiss in my favor, and I am innocent of the charges as I was before the arrest on the court document.

15 years ago I got into a fight defending myself and receive 3 tickets that were dismissed and when I was 12 I shoplifted from a store & got caught by the security guard and they called my parents to pick me up.

Is it possible to tell me honestly & bluntly if my chances are ruined by forgetting the information regarding my ex? I felt pretty bum when he mentioned this to me. I thought I found al my records and forgot about this.

Also what about future agencies that I am in the process with?

Thank you reading my long post.


  Most investigators use this particular tactic to elicit more information from people.  These are the standard types of questions they do and use to see how people will react (and of course to catch them in a lie).  But you said it yourself...if the agency only chooses one out of ten, and is very competitive, then they have more applicants than they need or can use, so they are going to be extremely picky about who they clear.  Little things that other agencies might not be concerned about will be focused on more.  

 I wouldn't worry about other agencies and this, in the great scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal (despite what they might be trying to tell you).  Now, that doesn't mean they are going to hire you, of course, but this is just tossing some stress at you to see how you deal with it.

Best of luck.

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Jason Grabill


General Maryland Law Enforcement, Maryland Law & Traffic Law, the Court System. How to start the process to become a Police Officer, different Police careers, the Interview process, General Police career questions


18 Years experience as a local and Federal Police officer. In addition to working "the road", I've worked as an Academy Instructor, Law Digest Compiler for Police Department, Community Policing coordinator, Department Gang officer, Bike Patrol Officer, and Advanced Accident Investigator. I've also served on the SWAT/SRT team, and currently work for the Department of Army Police (Federal Civilian) at Fort Detrick, Frederick Md, as a Sergeant. I'm Certified as a Police and Emergency Medical dispatcher through the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch.

Police Marksman Association Fraternal Order of Police

South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy
Prince Georges County Maryland Municipal Police Academy, Western Maryland Police Academy
Radar, Portable Breath Test, PR-24 Police Baton, ASP, Police Mountain Bike Certified. Maryland Police Training Commission Basic Instructor Certified. CALEA Certified Field Training Officer (FTO), Advanced Criminal Investigator School, Advanced Crash Investigator School, National Academies of Emergency Dispatch Certified Emergency Police Dispatch, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Emergency Telecommunications Operator.

Awards and Honors
Police Officer of the Year, Prince Georges County Municipal Police Chiefs Association (1995).
City of District Heights Police Officer of the Year, 1995.
Distinguished Service Cross for Valor, 1995 (National Association Chiefs of Police).

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