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I am a student in college pursuing a criminology degree.  One of the requirements of graduation is completing an internship, and I was placed with the local police department (in a moderately large city).  I eventually got a call to meet with the investigator.  I didn't hear from them for about 3 months, when I emailed the internship contact to see what was taking so long.  She check and emailed me back that she got a notice about 3 days after my meeting that I was disqualified, and that she figured I would be contacted by the background investigator (I was not).  It did not say why.

Next I try with a small town police department nearby.  The background check should take a matter of weeks, it has been about 2 months since I turned in the personal history statement.  They knew before I applied that I had failed my first background check. At least I am assuming I failed the background check, since I did not know what disqualified me.

I have had one speeding ticket, which was paid off.  I recently had an at fault accident, but it was after I turned in the PHS for the second agency, so it is not the reason i was disqualified from the first. I have never tried drugs, besides occasionally drinking when I was about 18-19.  I no longer drink, even though I am over 21.  I have never been arrested, nor convicted of any crimes.

There are two things that I can think of that could disqualify me.   I used to watch pornography.  I don't any more, although I did at the time of turning in the personal history statement, but before I met with the investigator. When I was about 14 or 15, I looked at underage porn.  The reason is that I was interested in what girls my age looked like nude. I was not interested in anything younger than I was.  I did not make a habit of it, and I only did it a couple of times, because I was curious.  I did not even remember doing this until I saw the question on the personal history statement, and even then I did not really think about it until the interview.  Now that I know more about it, it sickens me that I did that, but I did not know better then.

The second possible red flag is that when I was 18, I was on skype with a friend (who I thought was 18 at the time, but she was not 18 by a couple of months).  Long story short, we masturbated watching each other.  

I was completely open with the investigator and did not try to hide anything.  It was when I was a young teenager, not even something that I think about now.  

I am somewhat worried at the lack of contact about the disqualification.  I tried emailed the investigator to ask, and he never responded.  I was told that they would contact me even if I failed.  The investigator told me that about 3 weeks after I met with him (also about 2-3 weeks since they disqualified me).   Is there a way to get a copy of my background check? Is there a way to know if they are doing an investigation on me? If they are I'm not super worried since, as I said, it was years ago and I was a juvenile, but it could delay future background checks, which could delay my graduation.  Any ideas of what happened/ or if I will ever pass a background check would be appreciated.  Besides those things, I'm pretty much the model clean guy.

Again, this was for an internship position, not a job, and they did not have applicants ahead of me, because I was placed there by my school.

Answer
Hi Worried,

It is the pornography that is DQing you. Its a felony (and a federal crime also)and most agencies will not touch anyone that has done that, even as a juvenile. You will have to find an agency that will allow you to explain just like you did here, to the BI what happened. I think you should talk to the BI before you turn in your application about these things and that may give you a chance. I commend you for being honest and open, just be that way with the BI before you turn your application in and let them know that these things were at the time innocent encounters and curiosity and not an addition or daily need and they may consider you.

Good luck in your pursuits and hope the best for you.  

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Chris Wagoner

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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: http://sites.google.com/site/flaleohelp/ My "hobby" website - http://www.youtube.com/user/3rdID8487 Military Videos on YouTube and Facebook!!

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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.

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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..

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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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