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View Full Version : Wanting to be an LEO but have questionable backgroun


ARsiple
07-21-2009, 5:22 PM
I have been considering being an LEO for about 2 or 3 years now, I am currently working as an event security officer at a major Orange County venue and am also a student in the local community college. I am still thinking long and hard about being an LEO and am still waiting to better myself as a person and giving myself some time before I actually go and apply. The only issue that I have is that I have had a questionable background in my juvenile years:(; when I was 15 years old I was arrested for misdemeanor vandalism under $500 and received formal probation for 1 year which I have completed and plan on never to experience again. I have also gone through an "experimental" stage from the 9-12 grade in high school where I was hanging with the wrong people and was exposed to marijuana and other illicit drugs:(:(:(, I am now 20 years old and have quit doing drugs while my former friends are still partaking in drug use. I have thought about a career in law enforcement for a long time and would do whatever is takes to make the cut, is there any possibility that I would even be considered for a LEO position with my questionable past and what I should do to be ahead of the curve (majors, classes, pre-academy training etc). Any and all opinions and advice would be very helpful.

gotgunz
07-21-2009, 5:24 PM
Relax, there are fine officers everywhere with juvenile records that your prior issues don't even compare!

ARsiple
07-21-2009, 5:28 PM
so there is hope........SWEET:)

Fire in the Hole
07-21-2009, 5:39 PM
Being as young as your are, with your future ahead of you, I recommend going into the military as an MP in any of the branches. You'll get the fortitude, benifits, disicipline, and adaptability needed for an LE career. And it will bolster your chances in the competition. Recruiters love veterans.

Cpl. Haas
07-21-2009, 5:50 PM
+1 to what Fire in the Hole said...

John03
07-21-2009, 5:52 PM
I would say infantry instead of MP, just my opinion.

Fire in the Hole
07-21-2009, 6:15 PM
I would say infantry instead of MP, just my opinion.

I won't knock the infantry. I enlisted at 18 as an MP in the Army, and at 19 was making arrests, conducting investigations, patrolling, writing tickets, testifying in court, etc. It was a good back ground for me. I re-enlisted to serve one stint as a Drill Sgt. because I had seen Jack Webb in an old black & white movie called "The DI". It motivated me.

bubbagump
07-21-2009, 7:28 PM
DEEWWW EEET!

:thumbsup:

Calm Down
07-21-2009, 8:20 PM
I know very few cops that didn't smoke weed when they were teenagers. As far as criminal background, I know this "one guy" that: drank like a fish at 15, was held in a brig by MP's for shooting a BB gun on an air force base at 16, was cited for possession of a butterfly knife at 18, was hired as a Deputy at 23 and was charged with 417PC at 28. He beat the 417 case by the way. "He" is still gainfully employed as a Deputy. The point is that we all “F” up at some point. Take responsibility for your actions and few will fault you. Cops with squeaky clean histories have little life experience and tend to lay down the letter of the law more often than the spirit of the law, i.e. they’re usually *****s. No offense to those of you reading this wondering who the hell hired “that guy”, twice at that. Keep your nose clean from here on out and good luck.

Fire in the Hole
07-21-2009, 8:26 PM
I know very few cops that didn't smoke weed when they were teenagers. As far as criminal background, I know this "one guy" that: drank like a fish at 15, was held in a brig by MP's for shooting a BB gun on an air force base at 16, was cited for possession of a butterfly knife at 18, was hired as a Deputy at 23 and was charged with 417PC at 28. He beat the 417 case by the way. "He" is still gainfully employed as a Deputy. The point is that we all “F” up at some point. Take responsibility for your actions and few will fault you. Cops with squeaky clean histories have little life experience and tend to lay down the letter of the law more often than the spirit of the law, i.e. they’re usually *****s. No offense to those of you reading this wondering who the hell hired “that guy”, twice at that. Keep you nose clean from here on out and good luck.

Gee, how could any LEO on this sub-forum take offense at being called a "P****?"

I guess I met your defination based solely upon my background prior to entering LE. Sorry to dissapoint you.

tyrist
07-21-2009, 9:05 PM
There is no harm in trying but your probably going to need more time between where you are now and your past misdeeds. The largest issue is proving you have moved beyond past misdeeds and have grown into a responsible adult.

Ron-Solo
07-21-2009, 9:23 PM
I know very few cops that didn't smoke weed when they were teenagers. As far as criminal background, I know this "one guy" that: drank like a fish at 15, was held in a brig by MP's for shooting a BB gun on an air force base at 16, was cited for possession of a butterfly knife at 18, was hired as a Deputy at 23 and was charged with 417PC at 28. He beat the 417 case by the way. "He" is still gainfully employed as a Deputy. The point is that we all “F” up at some point. Take responsibility for your actions and few will fault you. Cops with squeaky clean histories have little life experience and tend to lay down the letter of the law more often than the spirit of the law, i.e. they’re usually *****s. No offense to those of you reading this wondering who the hell hired “that guy”, twice at that. Keep your nose clean from here on out and good luck.

Oh really? You don't have to be a dope smoking hard drinking dumb s*%t to have life experiences. And your generalization that cops with clean histories are P&^% is personally insulting.

The best advice so far came from 'Fire in the Hole' when he said to join the military. It will give you a well documented work history that will enhance your chances of getting hired.

Keep your nose clean and good luck.

6172crew
07-21-2009, 9:34 PM
I know very few cops that didn't smoke weed when they were teenagers. As far as criminal background, I know this "one guy" that: drank like a fish at 15, was held in a brig by MP's for shooting a BB gun on an air force base at 16, was cited for possession of a butterfly knife at 18, was hired as a Deputy at 23 and was charged with 417PC at 28. He beat the 417 case by the way. "He" is still gainfully employed as a Deputy. The point is that we all “F” up at some point. Take responsibility for your actions and few will fault you. Cops with squeaky clean histories have little life experience and tend to lay down the letter of the law more often than the spirit of the law, i.e. they’re usually *****s. No offense to those of you reading this wondering who the hell hired “that guy”, twice at that. Keep your nose clean from here on out and good luck.
LOL my Deputy buddy doesn't fit your profile at all. The guy never smoked dope, no drugs, Marine vet, and is one of the best guys you will meet if your a firearm owner. I could be wrong but you might surround yourself with his type but he isnt the rule...imo:chris:

Calm Down
07-21-2009, 10:04 PM
Perhaps my choice of words were poor and some may not have preceived my statement the way I intended.
1. I made several poor decisions when I was younger.
2. I admit fault and have moved on.
3. Not all squeekey clean cops are *****s.
4. Making poor decisions early in life does not make someone better now; however The " been there, done that, fixed that" attitude can help in understanding the problems of others.

retired
07-22-2009, 12:13 AM
Perhaps my choice of words were poor and some may not have preceived my statement the way I intended.
1. I made several poor decisions when I was younger.
2. I admit fault and have moved on.
3. Not all squeekey clean cops are *****s.
4. Making poor decisions early in life does not make someone better now; however The " been there, done that, fixed that" attitude can help in understanding the problems of others.

Your choice of words was indeed poor; no perhaps about it and it doesn't matter if you are leo or not. You offended a number of leos, both active and retired with your statement.

Be sure to read the rules in the sticky at the top of this forum prior to posting anymore so you can continue to post in this forum.

cousinkix1953
07-22-2009, 3:17 AM
so there is hope........SWEET:)
Some LEAs will hire teenage drug users if you haven't been high for 5-10 years. And no criminal record since then. An ex-drug dealer is a different story; because they committed a felony. If Orange county won't hire you, move up north. They aren't as stuck up about weed. I can name stoners, who were employed by my local police department..

scr83jp
07-22-2009, 8:12 AM
LOL my Deputy buddy doesn't fit your profile at all. The guy never smoked dope, no drugs, Marine vet, and is one of the best guys you will meet if your a firearm owner. I could be wrong but you might surround yourself with his type but he isnt the rule...imo:chris:I fit the same profile I've never used any illict substances of any kind in my life just socially acceptable alcoholic beverages,4 yrs in usaf,5yrs college 38 yrs as a deputy probation officer in nys and calif.I have lots of friends who fit this profile .

oldironpants
07-22-2009, 9:41 AM
There is no harm in trying but your probably going to need more time between where you are now and your past misdeeds. The largest issue is proving you have moved beyond past misdeeds and have grown into a responsible adult.I agree. If ARsiple is really interested in being an leo, I suggest he contact the agency he is interested in and ask them directly what is required.

Agencies vary in regards to past drug use and problems. Some of the problems as a juvenile will be looked at as just that, others will be looked upon as being bad even for a juvenile. I've heard of some agencies requiring a 7 year period between the last drug usage and hire date while other agencies it may be an automatic disqualifier.

CaptMike
07-22-2009, 5:33 PM
All of the Advice given above is great. I work as a peace officer for the county of los angeles in the our training division, so I meet every new hire. I get to know alot about the recruits and their previous histories. A juvenile record will not always Disqualify you. The important thing we are looking for is that you have done something with your life since you last made a mistake. If you showed a pattern when you were younger of negative behaviour and then continue that pattern as an adult, then you will not be hired.
It sounds like you are making the right decisions. You have left your past behind you and you have now started to improve and make a positive change. Going to school and successfully graduating with a degree says alot about you. Joining the military is also a way of showing that you are willing to go the extra mile to improve yourself for the betterment of your comunity. wether it be an education or public service, you need to continue on that path. When you do accomplish a goal, such as receiving a college degree or receiving an honorable discharge, that says you have commitment. Ultimately, being a peace officer requires people that are willing to commit themselves to serve the people. As long as you show, through your actions, that you are commited, you have a chance of having a long and wonderful career in law enforecment. If you are interested, PM me and when you are ready, I can do a mock oral interview and help prepare you for some of the testing requirements. I am sure if you are interested in other departments, there are probably represantatives from those departments on this board that may offer the same or point you in the right direction. Keep on the path you are on and you will reach your goals. Good luck.

Fire in the Hole
07-23-2009, 9:12 PM
ARsiple, you have received some good advice here. We haven't heard back from you lately about what you think.

ARsiple
07-24-2009, 12:47 AM
hey sorry guys I havent been able to get back to you guys ive just been busy working all week. Thank you LtMike70 for your words of advice, ive been thinking about becoming an LEO for a long time now but my juvenile record was the one thing that i felt would automatically disqualify me as a candidate for hire. I did some things that im not proud of in my past years, i was able to look back at what i did in my past learned from my mistakes and ultimately learned more about myself as a person. Ive learned about honesty and how it can go a long way, ive learned about how things arent always the way they seem, ive learned about integrity and persistence and how it takes dedication and a long time to get life goals accomplished. Long story short, me as a person today has grown up and became a person who has a goal, is willing to do whatever it takes to get to that goal, and accomplish that goal. I still have a long way to go but I will definitely take you up on the offer for your help LtMike when i getting things going. i will definitely PM you in the near future. Thank you and you have been very helpful

ARsiple
07-24-2009, 12:57 AM
Ive considered going into the armed forces couple of years back but decided it wasnt for me. Dont really have a reason why, I dont have anything against the armed forces or soldiers or anythings like that, though i am a pacifist and anti war i am also a patriot and love this country of ours, I do support our troops and greatly appreciate what they do for our country and the sacrifice they make to keep America, America.

Not related to topic but i am very excited as i will be getting my new ar15 in 11 hours.:43::43::43::)

M47_Dragon
07-24-2009, 1:33 AM
If the military isn't an option, I would at least strongly consider getting your B.A. or B.S. from college. This will also demonstrate discipline and the kind of stick-to-itiveness that LEAs look for. Also, this will help show that you've "outgrown" the mischievousness of youth.

If your community college offers a Police Science major, by all means, get into that. If not, perhaps some kind of Public Administration program or Sociology.
Transfer to a 4 year college and get your degree in something similar.

Not only will this help you get hired, it will greatly improve your promotion chances during your career.

M47_Dragon
07-24-2009, 1:46 AM
Oh, forgot to add - let's say for some reason you do have trouble getting hired, you can always put yourself through an POST certified academy, like the one at Rio Hondo College.

At some point during the academy, if you are not there as a recruit for a small department, small departments come looking for new hires who are currently in the academy.

A friend of mine did this back in the early 90s. Halfway through Rio Hondo, he was picked up by RTD (MTA) Police.

http://leo.riohondo.edu/Police%20Academy%20Title%20page.htm