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Careers: Police/Background and polygraph


Dear Mr. Toomey,

I recently am going through the hiring process with a department. In my personal history questionnaire/ application it asked me if I had ever illegally conceal carried a weapon. I checked no, but later on I remembered that I have carried my gun a few times while I've been hiking, hunting and scouting for hunting while in the woods. And does this count if you have been in a car but kept the gun in a box in your backseat. I have also carried it on me on my way to and from work because I work for an armored car company but other than that I usually carry my gun in my trunk. I've been told by my friends in law enforcement to just forget about it because it's not what they are looking for.

I was just wondering what my next step should be considering I have already spoken with a background investigator and I really want this job. Just don't know what to do because I don't want there to be any doubt in their mind or mine.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your advice.

Todd from Ohio


The key word here is "illegally".  I doubt that it is illegal to carry a gun while hunting or hiking.  If you are required to wear a gun as a condition of your job is it illegal to wear the gun to work?  If the answer to these questions is no then you are in the clear.

What you need to be worried about is the polygraph because they will ask you if you have told the truth during the hiring process.  If you believe that you didn't then the polygraph will trip you up.  

The background investigator isn't going anywhere.  You can still talk to him if you think that is a good idea.

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Jack Toomey


If you are an author I will be happy to help you however I do expect a reasonable donation using the PayPal icon. U.S.: I am an expert in this category for the purpose of giving young people an idea what the hiring process involves for the position of police officer. I am getting a flood of questions from young people who are being influenced by unrealistic television shows. I'd ask you to consider that when you watch police shows on television that they are NOT realistic and most of what you see does not happen in real life. Please do not ask me about potential jail sentences that you, your friends, or family might receive in court. There is no way for me to know that. I am NOT a probation officer so I cannot answer questions about probation and parole matters. I am a retired police officer with 26 years experience.I worked in a variety of assignments including investigations, homicide, sex crimes, runaway investigations, missing persons, and fraud.I also dealt with the general public during that time giving a wide range of advice on matters such as domestic disputes, problem solving, teenage problems, civil/criminal matters, and dealing with the mentally ill. I am available to give sound and reasonable advice which can solve most problems. Please do not ask me to do homework questions or online interviews. Young people should not rely on the Internet for interviews. Local police officers are normally very agreeable to assist students with interviews and surveys.


Worked as a police officer/detective for 26 years.

Graduate of the University of Maryland.B.S. in Law Enforcement.Attended numerous schools and training courses involving investigations, interviewing, interrogations, crime detection, domestic violence, and others. Recognized in court as an expert witness.

Received numerous awards during my police career for expert investigations. Handled the most sensitive and confidential investigations. In 1999 I won an award for my work with high school students while working in my new career in a large suburban high school.

B.S from the University of Maryland.

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