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Careers: Police/Will my bad credit disqualify me?


Mr. Wagoner,
First Ill give you a brief summary of myself. I am 29 years old, I have a bachelors degree in criminal justice and I previously worked as a juvenile justice officer in Alaska for 1 year. I have no criminal record, however, I had my drivers license suspended in Florida for excessive points due to speeding tickets in 2008. I recently moved back to Florida and I am pursuing a career in law enforcement.
I have $55,000 in student loan debt which I am current on with the payments. In 2008, I was in college and married with 2 children. During this time I had a motorcycle repossessed, a credit card, which I defaulted on, and I had some medical bills which I couldnt pay.  All of which are in collections.  This all totals to around $10,000.  I got myself in this mess because I made some poor decisions and I was not making enough money as I was a  student and was supporting a family. It was my poor decisions that caused this.  However, I have started to pay a small amount  on these debts each month, as I don't make enough currently to pay them off at once.
My question for you is, considering my situation, would these debts and poor credit preclude me from becoming a police officer at this time? Thank you for your time and help.

Hi Ryan,

I do not think your amount of debt will DQ you. The fact that you are making payments each month is a huge plus. It shows you are taking care of the debt and are trying to pay it off. That goes a long way with the BI's. You should be OK, your other qualifications help you also. I would say go for it and you should be OK.

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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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