You are here:

Careers: Police/criminal record and becoming a cop


Hello, I'm very interested in becoming a police officer. I haven't had the best start in my adult life and want to know how likely it is to get a job as a cop. My juvenile record is as follows, 16yo possession of alcohol and shoplifting for stealing a bottle of alcohol. Disorderly conduct for a fight at school. Those were all deferred judgment and I completed probation. At 17yo I got a dui and completed probation for it.At 19yo got a ppossession of alcohol charge again and completed probation. Since then, at 24yo ive had two expired license plate tickets and got my license suspended because I didn't pay one in time. I got pulled over for minor speeding and driving with suspended license. They dropped both to a no point ticket. I've got everything taken care of and work in security now. My credit is bad but I'm now working two jobs and it's slowly getting better. No bankrupcies. Would I be wasting time and money putting myself through academy or applying for a police department? I seriously don't even drink at all anymore.


I am not familiar with private police academies because in my part of the country an applicant is hired by a police department and then he attends the academy owned and operated by the department.

In your situation you could be wasting your money due to your continuing disregard of the law.  But then again who knows what any particular department is going to do when it comes to hiring.

If I was in your shoes I think that I would try to meet with a background investigator on at least two departments and lay it on the line and ask them if, all other things being equal, whether they would hire you.

Careers: Police

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]