Careers: Police/bad credit

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Question
Hi Loren,
My name is Tyler, I'm 26 and looking to begin my career as a police officer. I was wondering if having bad credit will disqualify me from being a police officer. I have payday loans I haven't paid off, and A credit card that I owe payments and also I'm down in negatives with a bank. I also Have a ticket for driving without insurance on the vehicle but I paid the fine off a couple weeks later. I have to fly to Maui next week for testing but I wanted to know if it would be a waste of time going if I might get disqualified any. thank you for your help

Answer
Hello Tyler,
I really don't know what the 'standards and practices" are where you are testing.....but I will share an opinion, that may be helpful.
First, I would contact a supervisor in HR at the agency you are interested in....Ask them up front, that which you just conveyed to me...your initiative, is to not waste THEIR time, as well as your own.
In all other matters, if you are ''sterling", they may give you a shot.
But you will have to be very convincing, on how your financial background isn't an issue of judgement/character.

Many agencies view bad debt and spending habits makes a person more susceptible to opportunities of corruption....be it real or imagined, you can certainly see how that thought takes root.

Remember, things you put down on your written application (or in some cases what you fail to include) coupled with your utterances in an oral interview, is what they often use to construct a polygraph examination on.

Sometimes how you frame a response (and still being truthful) can soften a negative a bit...Sometimes, it's just wise to put it out there, and regret that youthful indiscretions were not wise choices, and you learned from them.
Living beyond your means is a fear for police managers, as they perceive many ways that can be a problem.
Remember the sensitivity of a police agency, where even the appearance of impropriety, often bruises an agency, and co-workers.

Taking a personal finance counseling class may be something favorable for your record...

Remember, it is very competitive, and those who can pony up the most/best qualities, tends to be viewed as the more attractive candidate...
And, an agency will ALWAYS rule in their own best interests, as it should.

Do some self analysis and see what you can come up with, that addresses concerns of decision making, personal responsibility, maturity, etc, as it all lends to character.

And, what the hell, maybe the 'process' is not a waste of time, as you will learn from the experience, for future interests, and be better prepared.
Also, along with other police agencies, give Regulatory agencies a long look...
Hope this is helpful.
Good Luck,
Semper Fi,
loren

Careers: Police

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Loren Stevens

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Retired after 31 years in a large metropolitan PD. Areas of expertise: COVERT OPERATIONS. Management, Administration, Inspections, U/C development, Project design, Ethics, and other related sub topics in COVERT OPERATIONS.

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