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Posted: 8/24/2018 4:15:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/23/2018 3:03:22 PM EST by nick_75]
I finally got off my ass about a month ago when I had a blinding flash - what a honestly believe was a sign from God Himself, not joking at all - that the next phase of my life should be as a police officer. I have taken the initial tests from my local PD, the Highway Patrol and the Probation, Parole and Pardons Department. I’m still sitting on a few applications and will drop those of things don’t go well with the aforementioned departments.

My polygraph is scheduled for Monday with the city and I’m nervous about it, only because I’ve never taken one before, not because I have anything to hide.

Things I have going for me: Military vet, college degree (yea, criminal justice), okay credit history, nothing derogatory in my back ground, emotionally stable, massive shortages in each department I’ve applied to.

Things I have going against me: I’m 42 years old, not in the “good ol’ boys” club, not an Academy grad.

I’m probably missing some things but whatever. What else do I need to know before this gets really real?
Link Posted: 8/24/2018 4:27:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2018 4:29:35 PM EST by ColtRifle]
Polygraph sucks but no big deal. Don't stress it and just tell the truth.

If the departments are hurting for people, you have a good chance of getting hired.

Clean up your Facebook account if you have one.

Your age probably isn't an issue. It means you are likely more mature than many other applicants.

Good luck!
Link Posted: 8/24/2018 9:44:51 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2018 10:50:18 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
No thanks. I’ve been in exactly one building that was fire in my life and that was more than enough for me.
Link Posted: 8/26/2018 7:18:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/26/2018 7:18:40 PM EST by SoCalSurvivor]
Good luck! I just started the process for the 3rd time. First time through I failed one of the EVOC tests, second time I got hurt on the 4th day requiring surgery, and now I'm giving it one more go. Lie detector is stressful, but it's supposed to be. Be honest and you'll be fine.
Link Posted: 8/26/2018 10:28:25 PM EST
SC I've been looking into for moving.

Do they have a non-residential, non-immersive academy track? At 42, honestly, you may need to consider that route if you can.

.... Unless you're great with PT in south carolina wx this time of year...
Link Posted: 8/27/2018 7:35:34 PM EST
I took the poly today and it did not go well. I’m getting a second chance next week. I had to think long and hard about my past today and remembered a few things that are less than stellar points that I feel I need to disclose.
Link Posted: 8/27/2018 8:05:08 PM EST
I went the LE route almost a year ago. I was 39. Left the fire department. I enjoy it much more than fire. Around here, FD sucks. I hated my time in fire.

As far as your age, it will benefit you. My FTO's loved me, said I was one of the easiest trainees they've had. I attribute it to my age and background. I can talk to people and not afraid to get involved.

As far as the poly, think of anything. Then be sure to disclose it and tell the truth.
Link Posted: 8/27/2018 10:08:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2018 10:09:04 PM EST by ColtRifle]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
I took the poly today and it did not go well. I’m getting a second chance next week. I had to think long and hard about my past today and remembered a few things that are less than stellar points that I feel I need to disclose.
View Quote
Don't over think it. Usual questions that people don't want to answer is stuff like drug use, stealing, banging prostitutes. I know most people have something in their past they are either not proud of or are ashamed of. It sucks to discuss those things with a stranger.

Remember, they aren't trying to figure out if you were a saint. They are trying to figure out if you'll be a problem in the future. Dumb shit you did as a kid....Most of that will be no big deal. Patronizing prostitutes last week while smoking meth....that is a big deal.

My department only cares about honesty. If you fuck up and own it.....Most likely you'll get some discipline and that's it (as long as the offense isn't too bad). Lie about it though.....you'll be gone so fast it'll make your head spin.
Link Posted: 8/28/2018 7:32:01 AM EST
The questions I failed hard on were the theft and drug use. I think the theft comes from my military career and how I would acquire things. Admittedly, I came by some things very lefthandedly. The drug use, while I’ve never smoked dope or snorted blow, I did get pretty liberal with painkillers, muscle relaxers and sleeping pills when I was in Afghanistan several years ago. I’m pretty sure that’s what has been eating at me for almost a decade.

I’ve reached out to some close friends to ask them if they remember me disclosing anything to them over the years.
Link Posted: 8/28/2018 9:59:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2018 10:05:24 AM EST by ColtRifle]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
The questions I failed hard on were the theft and drug use. I think the theft comes from my military career and how I would acquire things. Admittedly, I came by some things very lefthandedly. The drug use, while I’ve never smoked dope or snorted blow, I did get pretty liberal with painkillers, muscle relaxers and sleeping pills when I was in Afghanistan several years ago. I’m pretty sure that’s what has been eating at me for almost a decade.

I’ve reached out to some close friends to ask them if they remember me disclosing anything to them over the years.
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If you don't remember something, it's not going to show a reaction on the poly. If you decide not to tell the examiner something that he/she asked you about, yes you are going to show a reaction.....it's called not being truthful.

Admit to your mistakes. Sleeping pills are not controlled, muscle relaxers are handed out by medical personnel, and are not controlled. The only issue is abuse of narcotics. Not sure how you were getting them in sufficient quantities in country to be abusing them because if you were injured badly enough to be in major pain, you would have been evac'd out. That right there is a red flag for me. Not a deal breaker but definitely something that would need to be explored some more. If I was giving the exam and got that from the person I was examining and he/she can't explain it, then I'd fail that person.

The institutional theft is explainable. Unless, you were stealing narcotics from the aid station. Theft of mission essential gear is understandable. Been there/done that. Theft of other troops' personal stuff for your own personal benefit, that's a problem. I'd be exploring that issue with you too.

For the record, I was a CVSA examiner at my last department and have given a number of pre employment exams. I have my own opinion of the value or lack of value to using it but it does have its place.
Link Posted: 8/29/2018 9:45:43 PM EST
Colt is giving you some solid advice.

Don't wash yourself out; integrity is a great thing, but you have to view it through the lens of the examiner and department - not how you particularly view a matter.

Do they not give you a space where you can articulate your positions on the questions they are asking? IN my case, I've told them, sure; I took batteries from work for a personal item. They said, that's really not what we are looking for today. Take anything off a suspect or arrestee? No. Take anything out of the evidence locker? nope. Ok, that's what we are asking when we ask.

I hope for the best for you.
Link Posted: 8/30/2018 7:17:27 AM EST
Thanks. I sent Colt a PM yesterday thanking him for the advice.

I’m hoping and praying I have expunged everything from my past in the addendum that I wrote. I will be submitting that today in person so they examiner and recruiter can review it before I’m back in there next week for Round 2.

And that damn machine is absolutely nerve racking. I haven’t been this rattled in a really long time. It is in my head and I can’t shake it.
Link Posted: 8/30/2018 12:55:21 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:

And that damn machine is absolutely nerve racking. I haven’t been this rattled in a really long time. It is in my head and I can’t shake it.
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It's an instrument. Machines do work. Instruments measure things.

Just answer honestly. They aren't looking to hire Mother Teresa. As a matter of fact, she would not have been a good cop. The biggest factor is that you own your mistakes.
Link Posted: 8/30/2018 4:40:14 PM EST
Thanks! I stopped by the station today and gave them my letter. The recruiter looked at me and said “Really? This is what you are all worked up over? This is next to nothing.”

That made me feel better and I apologized profusely.

I confessed to the institutional theft like Colt said. We all did it and I own that. Additionally, one of my team mates told me in a phone conversation that the guys used to call me Dr. Feelgood because I shared my bags of pills with them when we were down range. I never knew that because that year was basically me being in a fog because I was doped up most of the time I was in country.

When I went down range on that trip, I really shouldn’t have. I was dealing with a lot of crap. I was a little over a year out of back surgery and was still using opiates frequently for pain. My Rx for them was damn near unlimited, so I shared. I fessed up to it and actually feel really good about it now.

Almost looking forward to next week...almost.
Link Posted: 9/2/2018 12:35:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/2/2018 12:37:07 AM EST by Fidel_Cashflow]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History


Go ahead and make the right choice today. Somewhere there’s a recliner with your name on it and you’ll be wishing for it when you’re wrestling with some hobo that just shit his pants.

Polygraphs are BS right up there with dousing rods. Keep that in mind for round two.
Link Posted: 9/2/2018 12:43:26 PM EST
I went to confession this morning before church. My priest, who had also written a character letter reference for me and who is also a prior Naval Officer absolved me.

I’m still petrified of the machine, but I have a clear conscience and believe I am as ready as I can be for Wednesday.
Link Posted: 9/5/2018 12:51:52 PM EST
I PASSED THE POLY THIS MORNING!!!

It was 3 solid hours of questioning and brutal. I’m glad that’s over with. Waiting for the recruiter to get a hold of me now to schedule the next step, which according to the hiring process on the website will be either the psyche exam, the physical exam or the hiring board interview. I’m not sure so until I hear back from them, im just going to relax and enjoy the poly not hanging over my head.
Link Posted: 9/5/2018 7:49:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
I PASSED THE POLY THIS MORNING!!!

It was 3 solid hours of questioning and brutal. I’m glad that’s over with. Waiting for the recruiter to get a hold of me now to schedule the next step, which according to the hiring process on the website will be either the psyche exam, the physical exam or the hiring board interview. I’m not sure so until I hear back from them, im just going to relax and enjoy the poly not hanging over my head.
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Congrats.
Link Posted: 9/5/2018 9:27:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
I PASSED THE POLY THIS MORNING!!!

It was 3 solid hours of questioning and brutal. I’m glad that’s over with. Waiting for the recruiter to get a hold of me now to schedule the next step, which according to the hiring process on the website will be either the psyche exam, the physical exam or the hiring board interview. I’m not sure so until I hear back from them, im just going to relax and enjoy the poly not hanging over my head.
View Quote
Link Posted: 9/5/2018 9:30:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
I PASSED THE POLY THIS MORNING!!!

It was 3 solid hours of questioning and brutal. I'm glad that's over with. Waiting for the recruiter to get a hold of me now to schedule the next step, which according to the hiring process on the website will be either the psyche exam, the physical exam or the hiring board interview. I'm not sure so until I hear back from them, im just going to relax and enjoy the poly not hanging over my head.
View Quote
Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/5/2018 9:39:58 PM EST
As far as "institutional theft" and military service goes... if it ain't on a hand receipt it ain't stolen.
Link Posted: 9/5/2018 10:54:31 PM EST
GOOD for you!

Hope the rest of your process goes well

Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 6:30:47 AM EST
Thanks guys. I appreciate the kind words.

Hopefully I’ll hear from the recruiter before the weekend.

If we can’t get all the process knocked out before 17 SEP, it will get put on hold until after I get back from from Kansas and Indiana around 11 OCT.
Link Posted: 10/15/2018 5:03:40 PM EST
Finally back in town and my panel interview is scheduled for Thursday at 10AM. The recruiter told me the interview would consist of “common sense” questions and the chief or deputy chief would lead the panel.

If you did a panel interview and you remember it, what were some of the things you were asked?
Link Posted: 10/16/2018 4:08:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/16/2018 4:10:21 AM EST by madeuthink]
Dont stress the panel, they are a tad stressfull, but far from brutal, less your a total D-bag and they want to make sport of you. Make sure you look everyone in the eye when speaking, address the entire panel, not just one /main head. Address them by proper title and last name. Sit up straight, look professional and dont get flustered.
Just take a second or 3 before you answer anything, long enough to give a clear and well thought out answer, but not so long that it appears as though your faking it. Answer questions honestly and take it light. If you dont know an answer, say that, its ok.
My testings were sometime ago, I recall Q's about how "I" would handle certain situations, like pulling over my own mother who was suspected as DUI, one was the PD chief from another dept..etc. There are no right or wrong answers (per say) they are looking for common sense, liabilities/redflags, descretion, calmness, professionalism under stress, path of least aggression, etc.
They will almost always dig into "why do you want to be a cop?work for us?" type Q's..do not give the pat answers, like a contestant for miss universe (ie: I wanna make the world a beautiful place filled with rainbows and unicorns), think of something unique and genuine.
I would stray away from anything that even hints at a desire for UoF/weapons, etc..although they are certainly part of the job, depts will steer clear of anyone that seems too prone to get it on or has a tendantcy to want to light people up...remember: weapons are "tools" at your disposal, but used only when absolutely nessicary and in compliance with dept policy, yadda yadda. finally, dont EVER ask how you did, you should know by the end. if you did really good, they may let ya know as you leave ( 1 of mine did), otherwise, hurry up and wait.
Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/18/2018 10:18:57 AM EST
I had my interview today and I feel like it went REALLY well. Lots of “in your experience...” and “how do you think you would react to ______” questions.

The Captain chairing the board gave me an indicator, I believe, when I asked him a question and his response started with “You’ll hear the Chief say this a lot...” Additionally, my recruiter also said they my answers were right on the money. She said I will hear back from the department before I leave town on 29 OCT.

So I’m feeling pretty damn good right now.
Link Posted: 10/18/2018 11:19:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/18/2018 11:19:33 AM EST by Genin]
Polygraph is not admissible in court because it is famously unreliable. Of course polygraph examiners will sell the other side of that idea because they have a vested interest in people believing it. The big value in the polygraph is the interview. A good polygraph examiner gets far more information from the interview than from the machine. Read about the polygraph, watch the episode of Adam ruins everything (tv show) where he talks about polygraph. The interview is very important, and is of immense value...the machine itself is of very limited value. That is why the polygraph is not accepted as evidence in courts.

But lying about stuff will end you....
Link Posted: 10/21/2018 3:59:04 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/22/2018 10:51:25 AM EST
Update 10/22– I got the call this morning that I have passed the interview phase (with flying colors, according to the recruiter) and was invited to continue the process. Today I will be administered the Psyche eval and the physical exam and drug screening will be conducted after that.

God is good and I’m happy, excited and anxious.
Link Posted: 10/22/2018 3:18:47 PM EST
Congratulations and my condolences... lol
Link Posted: 10/23/2018 3:05:51 PM EST
I was offered a full time position with a start date of 12 November. Hard to believe this is actually coming to fruition in just a few short weeks.
Link Posted: 10/23/2018 6:08:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
I was offered a full time position with a start date of 12 November. Hard to believe this is actually coming to fruition in just a few short weeks.
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Congrats


Remember, the badge will get you pussy but the pussy will take your badge.

Never dip your pen in the company ink.

Never lie. Your credibility in court is everything. Lose that and you are no good as a cop. If you can't make a case, you can't make a case....today. Don't worry, shitheads today will be shitheads tomorrow and if you don't get them today, you'll get them tomorrow.

Never take things personally. Occasionally people will be mad at your position of authority and take it out on you. Don't let it bother you....at least not outwardly. If you can understand where they are coming from, even if they are dumbasses, it will go a long way to helping you communicate effectively.

Do your best to solve crimes. You won't solve them all. But, do your best for the citizens to get them some semblance of justice.

Citizens will sometimes try to get you to take action that you legally cant. Don't allow them to manipulate you into doing something you can't. Know the law and explain it to them.

Everyone loves the driving and shooting and fighting in the academy. Yes that's fun stuff. But, pay CLOSE attention to the law classes. Yes they will be boring. It will also be some of the most important information you will receive in the academy.

Good luck. The job can suck sometimes. Sometimes it's the best job in the world. Your attitude will determine how many good and how many bad days you will have. There are lots of negative people in LE. Avoid them or minimize contact with them. Associate with the positive ones.

When you start, a person or a couple of people may approach you, tell you how great it is to have you there, and to call them if you need anything. Smile, thank them, then avoid them like the plague. They have burned everyone else and are looking for a new friend to burn. The best cops there will likely be very standoffish towards you at first. Don't be offended by it. They are sizing you up. If you are a good guy and do good work, they will warm up to you in time. When you first start, your co-workers will want to talk to each other about you behind your back. Basically, when work is over, they will wait for you to leave so they can talk. Don't be offended. Just leave. If you are a good guy they will be talking well about you.
Link Posted: 10/23/2018 6:23:14 PM EST
That’s some damn good advice. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m grateful.
Link Posted: 10/24/2018 8:52:39 AM EST
Congratulations! Its a job with its ups and downs 100%. Ive been working it for almost a year now and it takes a toll on you. Do your best to leave the job altogether when you get off shift. As someone else mentioned, the academy is all " cool guy stuff " however, focus as much time as you can on the case law and your state laws. These matter more than anything else you will do in the academy, and on the road. From one new guy to another, during FTO, just be a yes man and do as your trainer says. Even if its wrong to a certain degree. Youll have your own time to become your own cop and learn what kind of stuff you like to do. Just focus on getting out of FTO and getting by yourself.

Do NOT get sucked into your cases either. Depending on the court system where you work, it can make cases very difficult. Do your job, get them off of the road and make a solid case. Then, just let what happens, happen and do not let it piss you off. Best of all, Have fun and GOOD LUCK! Its a job that you make it out to be. If you have a family or SO, keepem close and talk to someone when you can. The things seen in this job, arent always good and its good to keep an open line with someone not in law enforcement. Its extremely easy to become cynical and stop caring. Ive already seen this a lot and its something I strive to not become.
Link Posted: 10/26/2018 4:10:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/30/2018 6:33:26 PM EST
Acknowledge all comments and I thank you.

I passed the physical today, so this is actually going to happen.
Link Posted: 11/6/2018 2:18:12 PM EST
I go Thursday to get registered at the Academy and get measured for my uniforms and vest. Friday I sit down with City Hall and talk benefits. I’ll be deferring their health insurance (based on my .mil retirement health insurance) and will try to negotiate a few more dollars into my paycheck every month.
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 12:58:56 PM EST
I’m a few days into being a recruit and I’m 10 years older than the next closest person to my age.

Kids these days!
Link Posted: 11/18/2018 10:44:47 PM EST
Congrats. Make it your Priority to pass the academy, nothing else matter at this time. You still have to pass FTO afterward, but one step at a time.
Link Posted: 11/19/2018 8:51:19 PM EST
Don't knock over Kenny.
Link Posted: 11/24/2018 7:13:29 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/30/2018 9:25:28 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nick_75:
I’m a few days into being a recruit and I’m 10 years older than the next closest person to my age.

Kids these days!
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Old guy catching up on your post.

I started the academy at 48. Day one kicked my ass. It didn’t help that my SO partner was former Army Airborne with a smartass attitude...cost us many trips to the deck but worth it. Somebody will be “that guy” all the time. Don’t be that guy.

Now six plus years later in my SO as jailer, Patrol and now civil it’s been great. What Colt said is spot on. The guys I can trust are the ones that came up to me after working a tough call for service. There still is that guy that buddies up to me during training that is like a bad penny. I help him so he doesn’t get his shit on me...ive said the same to my various supervisors. So far I’m good.

Own your shit when it happens. Because it will happen. When one of your guys or supervisors is out of line let them know. I went round and round with a sgt then found out later I was not alone. Now he’s in line to be a shift Lt. FML

Just maintain a good attitude and keep the job out of your family. Have a release, motorcycling, wood working, building custom bird houses, origami, something that won’t jeopardize your integrity.
Link Posted: 1/5/2019 12:11:33 PM EST
1/5/19 Update: successfully completed the pre-academy training phase, which included less lethal training, taser certification, a shitload of manual labor and some academics.

I started my FTO process this week on the night shift. So far, I’ve been involved in responding to an armed robbery (missed the suspect by about 30 seconds), multiple domestic calls, assisted in 2 x K9 deployments, a crap load of traffic stops and recovered a stolen car.

I am having a great time with this. My FTO is only a few years older than my oldest son and is a decent kid. He’s super concerned though about what he’s going to teach me. I told him to train me just like any other boot...except that I’m twice his age, have 5 deployments to the Middle East and have some common sense.

All this a pay check too? Hell yea!
Link Posted: 1/9/2019 5:20:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2019 6:38:34 AM EST by SmallTownGuy1]
Do you have post 9/11 gi bill left?
U can use it on fto@nick_75
Link Posted: 1/9/2019 6:10:09 PM EST
Yes, I have all of my post 9/11 GI bill. Was not aware that I could use it during FTO!? I know I can use it at the academy though.

Can you shed anymore light on this for me?
Link Posted: 1/12/2019 3:07:27 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:

The institutional theft is explainable. Unless, you were stealing narcotics from the aid station. Theft of mission essential gear is understandable. Been there/done that. Theft of other troops' personal stuff for your own personal benefit, that's a problem. I'd be exploring that issue with you too.
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See the red part.

That really isn't theft so much as a misappropriation.

There are not too many decent soldiers that hasn't done that at some level or another.

Narcotics from the aid station or someone's personal stuff for your own benefit is an entirely different thing.

I was used as a reference once and got a call from the agency in question. I was 100% honest and made it clear that while the candidate was not a plaster saint he was a good man that could be counted on to hold up his end of the bargain, keep his cool and do a responsible job.

He asked me about his overall honesty and I said about the only thing I could picture him doing was misappropriating a few parts for the helicopter he was responsible for in the Corps in order to keep it running. I pointed out that the air crews life depended on him to keep it up and running properly.

The interviewer must have been a veteran because he chuckled and said "We all did that!"

From what I gathered they were looking for halfway decent, moral human beings and I had the feeling that if I had lied and painted a picture of some goodie-two shoes it would have opened up a bigger investigation because they would continue until they found SOMETHING. They were not so much looking for total honesty as they were looking for integrity.

He's been a good officer for several years now.
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