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Careers: Police/confused background



It has been a dream of mine to be a cop, but I have made a bad decision in my past that I'm wondering will prevent me from becoming a police officer.

About 3-4 years ago I stole an iMac from my employer not thinking about the reprocussions. I later realized what I had done and regretted my actions. I returned the iMac to my place of employment without the employer knowing and to this day no one at that company knows. Later, I voluntarily quit from my job because I was falsely accused of turning off security cameras at the call center while I was rebooting the power on the call center floor which was a common occurrence for team leaders such as myself. I was never caught or officially charged of anything, but am wondering if this will prevent me from being hired in Idaho when going through my background packet.

I currently work have worked a security position for 3 years and now have worked part time at a local police department for 1 year, but need to complete the full background package for this new agency in idaho. Do these help my case? Since that event, I haven't done anything else and hope that I can still be a police officer?

ANSWER: Jessie.

It's impossible to give you a "yes" or "no" answer because there are thousands of police departments and each has its own rules and hiring standards.

I am pretty sure that the time will come when you will be asked if you have ever committed a crime where you were not detected.  If you lie and say "no" it will trip you up on the polygraph.

The best that I can do is to tell you that your stealing incident certainly won't help your chances.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I've read many articles that say' "you lie you die" and I whole heartedly believe that. My plan was transparency throughout the whole process and to let them know that's not who I am. What I'm wondering is, with complete transparency, will I even have a fighting chance of passing my background?

Ok let me explain this again.  If you were applying for the FBI or the army where there are set rules I could better answer your question.  But you aren't.  You are applying for one agency and the key will be what is revealed in your background investigation.  Maybe they will think that your stealing is a huge red flag and disqualify you.  On the other hand maybe they won't think its a big deal.  I have no way of knowing.

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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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