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03-22-2004, 18:29 #1Lordskull Guest
Hello to all and I have the same old questions
Well it looks to me like I don't have a chance regardless of the policies I see on some Local LE.
I am 35, Home Owner, Married Father of two great credit score and all that. My career is Computer Networking.
My Father was a member of the California Peace Officers Association and Owner of a large Security Company that he started back in 72. He is passed on now. I always looked up to him and all the different Police friends he had as he worked with many agencies. Security was not like it is today, it was much more respected in those days.
Anyway, I want to get into LE now that my wife will actually let me do it.
Obvious problem is use of different drugs 15+ years ago with MJ use a little more recent. Never heavy use, never had to go to rehab or commit crimes to get drugs. Nothing like that. I was the whimp in the bad crowd. I was the Weekend user if you understand. And I don't mean every weekend either.
Anyway one Dept I am looking at has these policies
The following types of illegal drug use or possession are considered automatic disqualifies in the pre-employment selection process for sworn police personnel (no exception):
Ã* Any adult use or possession of a drug classified as a hallucinogenic within the seven (7) years prior to application for employment.
Ã* Any adult use or possession of marijuana within the one (1) year prior to application for employment.
Ã* Any other illegal adult use or possession of drugs not mentioned above (including cocaine) within the three (3) years prior to application for employment.
Ã* Any illegal adult use or possession of a drug while employed in the capacity of a police officer, licensed security officer, military police, or as a student enrolled in college accredited courses related to the criminal justice field.
Ã* Any adult manufacture or cultivation of a drug.
Ã* Failure to divulge to the Police Department during the background investigation any information about the illegal use or possession of drugs.
Â· The disqualification of a police officer candidate for the following types of illegal drug use or possession will be considered in relationship to the overall background of that individual:
Ã* Any illegal juvenile use or possession of a drug.
Ã* Any illegal adult use of a drug that does not meet the criteria of the automatic disqualifiers above; e.g., marijuana use longer that one (1) year ago or cocaine use longer than (3) three years ago. """"""
I qualify under these issues. I know I will be lowest on the list of consideration. But if one has cleaned up his life and held it together for 15 years or more does he have a chance with an agency with policies such as those listed above.
Calm and nice answers would be appreciated. I don't need to hear about how you would hate to see me work in LE. If I apply I will be honest to the highest degree.
I also wonder does anyone ever consider that a person with experience with usage of these substances could also be a good thing when dealing with someone in that state of mind? Knowing what they might be feeling and thinking could come in handy if you needed to talk someone down in a bad situation. Just a thought.
03-22-2004, 19:21 #2Sergeant
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
The only thing you should really keep an eye on is the requirement that you cant have used marijuana within one year of your application if you are an adult. You should also look at the age requirements of the department. If you are 35 now, it could be a big factor depending on exactly when you last used marijuana.
Not pointing a finger, but did you ever grow or manufacture any drugs? I am curious what age they consider "adult" in regards to these questions. I would assume 18, but you never know.
The one requirement I see that really strikes me is the one that you cant have used any drugs while pursuing a degree in criminal justice. But, I guess they figure that if you are putting thousands of dollars into an education to be a LE officer, you should know not to use drugs.
I must say that I dont agree with your last statement. I smoked pot twice in my life, once in high school and once my first semester of college. After the second time, I realized it was a dumb thing to do considering what I wanted to do with my life. If I were on a selecton committee I personally wouldnt buy it if an applicant said "Well, I used all these drugs when I was young. But on the bright side, I can relate to someone who is going through the same thing and talk them down." Why would that applicant be able to talk someone down any better than an officer who has never used drugs, but who has seen the negative effect they can have on a person's life?
Just a thought
03-22-2004, 20:26 #3Lordskull Guest
Yea that last part is just a thought. Just thinking that experience with drugs, drug use, the way drug people operate and all that could be good experience to fall on. However maybe I am wrong.
MJ May soon some day become an infraction rather than a what it is today. I've seen my Mom and Dad fall to alcohol. The effects that it had on my dad rival that of many street drugs, especially MJ. By the way I do not drink and have not for a long time.
And to the other question, I never sold or cultivated MJ or any other drugs.
Also I like to say if I knew I wanted to be in LE during those times I would have refrained from those activities for sure. I should have anyway, but I can say that there is a difference between use and abuse and I was hardly a user let alone an abuser.
I just want to know that with departments with guidelines such as these if I have a chance in hell.
I have always been an honest person. I don't lie or steel. Well I think I stole some candy once when I was really young... but that's about it.
I know and knew at the time I was braking laws when using drugs. I will take full responsibility for my actions.
I just want a job that is respectable and honorable. I want to help people. I'm even considering EMS or something along those line. Even Armored Car service has come to mind.
I'm extremely responsible person for many years now and I only want to progress and become the best person I can.
Tell me about yourself? Are you in LE now?
and what do you think about my situation. With my track record being good for all these years and the responsibilities I have taken on in life along with being honest to the highest degree when applying do I have a chance at all?
03-23-2004, 00:52 #4ds8354348 Guest
Which department are you looking at? Just out of curiosity.
03-23-2004, 01:26 #5Lordskull Guest
We have a few that have the same drug qualifications listed above.
Santa Cruz PD and Salinas PD California have the exact same guidelines. am also sure that other smaller Departments have the same type of auto DQ's as listed above.
I just want a job I can be proud of. I want to help people in distress. All My friends think I would be a great Peace Officer. I am good with people especially when they are heated up.
I want to help my community. I want to better my self in anyway I can. I dream everyday that somehow I could manage to get a job in LE. I am a good person, I've had a great relationship for 13 years. I have great children. I'm really not a bad guy at all, drug use or not.
I never went over the edge, I never abused drugs. I never had to get help to get off any drugs. To be honest Cigarettes are much harder to stop than any drug I ever tried. just never took a fancy to any illegal drugs that I tried. I'd have to say MJ was the only one that really did not screw me up in anyway and that it's the most benign drug that I know of including alcohol.
An interesting thing to consider is that alcohol kills more people every year than all illegal drugs combined.
I don't think because I tried various drugs "no heroin or PCP or any really really hard stuff" should make me a bad choice. Especially considering the time it has been since I have been involved with any of those drugs.
All I can say is when I apply I will not lie. The truth shall set you free.
On a side note I know of police Officers that have done drugs and are now working for extremely strict Departments. Ones that don't even allow cigarette smoking. And I know that they must have lied to get on the force. But they are good Officers now.
What can I say. I would work for free to demonstrate my abilities and honesty. I think I would make a good Peace Officer for sure. I have no chance of ever going back to any drug use, especially given the time it has been and the goals and achievements I have made since then.
I just hope I have a chance. Does anyone think I have a chance. If I do I might even send my self through the POST training.
03-23-2004, 10:26 #6On a side note I know of police Officers that have done drugs and are now working for extremely strict Departments. Ones that don't even allow cigarette smoking. And I know that they must have lied to get on the force.
You seem to have a lot going for you and a lot of positives: age, life experience, fatherhood, good job, etc. Let that stuff work for you. What I mean is, there are a couple of trees that you should not be barking up, in my opinion - especially when it comes time to explain this stuff to a LE agency:
First, the whole "having used drugs, I have more empathy for drug users and understand them better..." thing. As has already been pointed out, that's probably not going to fly with too many cops. You seem to already understand that, so I won't beat it to death.
Second, you keep comparing drug use to alcohol or tobacco, as if trying to minimize it by comparison. Remember that alcohol and tobacco are LEGAL - drugs are not. From a law enforcing-standpoint, there's a HUGE difference.
Third, don't minimize. I mean, you told US that you freely admit your mistakes, but then you've added numerous quantifying statements to your posts that divert us (whether you intended it or not, that's what these statements do) from YOUR drug use - the issue at hand - to things like cops you know who lied to get hired, how alcohol is worse than drugs, you haven't done "hard" drugs ("soft" drugs are illegal, too), marijuana may soon only be an "infraction" (but right now, it's a crime), etc. Don't do that. When you have a chance to explain your past to an agency, you should explain it, flat out. No minimizations, no statements about how "alcohol kills more people than drugs," etc. Tell them you did it, you know it was stupid, you've learned form it, and move on. Be eager to spend time discussing the positive things you've done, not to spend time excusing the negative things. Kind of takes away from the whole act of coming clean when you try to excuse it. Imagine the difference when your child tells you they did something wrong and takes full responsibility for it, or when they do the same, but then spend 15 minutes trying to minimize their deeds by bringing up other issues - which explanation would you admire more?
Good luck and stay focused on the things that will get you hired (the positives).
03-23-2004, 14:18 #7Lordskull Guest
krellum and the others,
You guy's have been very nice and I respect you all for that.
krellum, I also agree with just about 99% of everything you said. I just want to point out I was not painting with a broad brush saying all cops are liars I've known enough officers to know that is not the case. Although I am sure we have a few out in the field, and probably most of them doing a good job as long as they are not liars now.
the particular officers I was speaking of "3 to be exact" my brother went to school with, so I know the past of these people to some degree. It's ironic that they all work for the same department and a strict one at that.
Another point I want to make is that allot of the stuff I am saying here I would not bring up when talking to a recruiter. I'm just letting some of my personal feelings come out on this forum. Also thanks for reminding me that bringing things like this up during consideration would not be a good thing. I'm not going to try and justify what I have done in the past. the only thing I might try to convey is that I was never a hard core user/abuser, never needed rehab "I just got board and quit with little problems doing so" and that while braking the law I demonstrated some degree of responsibility. An example would be like not driving while doing these sort of things, or taking care not to get so high I might be or do stupid things. Let me know if those are things I should also not bring up.
I think anyone rational would agree that it would be better to hire someone who experimented or used for a short period of time rather than someone who was some kind of junkie with a record that had to go to rehab and destroyed his life before he realized what he was doing was bad. I never came close to that point, and I feel that demonstrates some type of common since and a certain degree of responsibility. If you think I am wrong about that let me know too. I'm looking for all the input I can get.
Another point I wanted to bring up is that regardless of my personal feelings about any drugs most notably MJ, I would have no problem arresting someone If I caught them. I have two reasons for this line of thought.
1. I am pretty sure that plenty of Peace Officers do not agree with every single Law, yet they are sworn to uphold the law. That is the job they must do and personal feelings do not mean squat. You take the oath you must do your job and that's that. If you can't deal with that then don't bother getting into LE period.
2. If your too stupid to stay out of the way of the Police then you deserve what you get. You play you pay, bottom line. I never got caught or convicted or arrested for anything but a DUI 3 months after I turned 21 "and I quite drinking shortly after that" and once for 3 traffic warrants a long long time ago. I have not even had a traffic infraction in probably 13 years. Well I think I got a parking ticket once.
Also you guy's never told me what you do. Are you in LE Local LE or what? Is anyone one this thread a recruiter or BG investigator?
And I still have not received a clear answer to my main question. Do I have a chance? Should I go for it? Or am I wasting my time?
All I know is becoming a Peace Officer has become a passion of mine for quite a while. My wife would not hear of it for years. Things have changed because she sees now how much I want to do this or a similar job where I am helping my community and people in need.
I just know I would make a good field patrol officer. I feel it down to the bone. And everyone close to me believes the same thing because they know me, they know my level of common since and judgment abilities as well as my ability to get people to feel comfortable with me and get them to feel that I understand. I have often thought that my career path in LE would be to become a negotiator at some time.
Anyway to all of you, please tell me up front if I should go for it based on what I have told you. If you need detailed info I would be glad to give it out. I have no intention of hiding anything from you guy's or any LE Agency that I might apply for.
I pray "and I'm not a religious sort" all the time that god gives me the strength to become a Peace Officer. I even pray to my father who passed away long ago. I think about it every day. I just have so much against me "especially since the job market is bad in CA and I'm sure the competition is stiff. I was told by a recruiter that if I had applied 4 years ago I would have had a really good chance. Right now it does not look to good. I might go into Armored Car Driver as a start and wait until things swing in my favor competition wise.
Also just to let you all know, I have not been working for 2.5 years after 911 and the .com fall out. My wife has been working now while I take care of my 4 year old and 9 month old daughters. I do consider that to be a noble job for sure.
again you guy's are great and thanks for being so nice. Let's keep the advice coming. this is helping me allot.
Also would putting my self though POST help me? That is if I have any chance to begin with?
please tell me if I should even try.
03-23-2004, 16:50 #8DMadarang Guest
As an aside, you mentioned that you'd be willing to do the job for free to demonstrate your commitment. Fortunately, in CA you can do just that-- if you're looking in the Santa Cruz / Monterey County area, there are tons of departments with Reserve programs that'll give you exposure, experience, and a "track record" in the field. All (or so close to all as to be virtually all) will have the same background standards for their reserves as for the paid officers, but if you're viewed as a "borderline" candidate on account of prior use (while still not a "mandatory" disqualification) my gut instinct is that you're a slightly safer bet as a reserve candidate-- no huge investment in training, and it takes nothing to get rid of you if you don't work out.
Be honest, and the chips will eventually fall. Good luck.
03-23-2004, 18:33 #9Lordskull Guest
Should I put myself through post first. Or should I just go for the Reserve without Paying to go to POST.
I was told by one Officer that sending your self through POST is good because Department do nit have to pay money as well that it would show dedication and desire to do what I want to do so bad.
Should I start out as the lower reserve and work my way up and then try for employment?
I can't thanks you guy's for all the advice.
And on a side note. If any recruiters or BI's are interested in my past I would love to share it to get a better idea of what chances I have to become even a Reserve officer.
keep up the advice this is finally giving me hope.
And again I need to know if sending myself though POST will increase my chances?
Thanks guy's you have all been great to me and I appreciate that.
Oh, one more question. If I worked in the armored car arena would that be of any help to me?
PS I'm honest to the core. I am not going to lie to get a job in LE, my morals are strong and I would never do that.