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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3

    Medical Disqualifiers in Law Enforcement?

    Hello all! I found this forum during some research into law enforcement careers, and I thought I'd sign up to ask you all this question.

    I'm a senior in high school, and I've wanted to work in law enforcement for a very long time. Specifically, it would be my dream to become a special agent with the FBI. I have a 3.9 GPA, am very fit and athletic, and can speak fluent Spanish. I believe I would be a competitive candidate in the application process, but I'm concerned that a previous medical injury will prevent me of achieving my goals.

    I had an unstable shoulder because of a car crash when I was 12 years old. I ended up having two surgeries throughout 1.5 years to fix the instability. During the surgeries, I had 3 plastic anchors put into my shoulder, and I am missing a very small piece of my labrum (cartilage). I am now 100% healed with no pain, instability, or re-injury. I play football, wrestle, and do martial arts with no limitations to this day.

    So knowing my background, do you think that my previous shoulder issues will cause me any problems when applying to become a special agent? And also what about local police departments as opposed to the FBI?

    Thanks all for your help. I appreciate any answer or resource you can give me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,772
    Welcome to the Forums. Take some time and read through lots and lots of old posts. Tons of good info there. While only a physician can say for sure it sounds like your shoulder will not be an issue at all in your search for law enforcement employment.
    During your medical you will be asked about any prior injuries or surgeries. Your Doc will then determine whether you would have any limitations performing the duties as described in your physical eval form. Assuming all is good there the next time it will come up is when doing PT quals. (Some agencies have pre-req physical standards, others don't test PT until the academy). As long as you are meeting and hopefully exceeding the standards your agency has set it won't be a problem.
    Study hard, keep your nose clean, and you'll get there. Once last bit of advice. Most if not all successful LE applicants have college and/or military backgrounds. Many have both. I know you didn't ask but let me throw this out there. DO NOT join the military if you ONLY want a stepping stone to LE. Being in the military is a seperate commitment altogether. It can often be a great starting point, and for many it becomes a career. However, if you are just "punching your ticket" your time in will not be successful.
    Likewise with college. Unless you are planning on graduate level work in the field, I would actually suggest NOT to major in Criminal Justice. It can be a limiting major and CJ applicants are a dime a dozen. You mentioned FBI. Language, Law, Accounting, Computer Forensics, Medicine, are all great avenues and make a more well rounded candidate. Most importantly, if for any reason Law Enforcement turns out to not be your cup of tea, you still have a great education to fall back on. Study what you like. That is the most likely path to being successful in school.
    Good Luck and keep us informed how it is going.
    "There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by JimSpoor View Post
    Welcome to the Forums. Take some time and read through lots and lots of old posts. Tons of good info there. While only a physician can say for sure it sounds like your shoulder will not be an issue at all in your search for law enforcement employment.
    During your medical you will be asked about any prior injuries or surgeries. Your Doc will then determine whether you would have any limitations performing the duties as described in your physical eval form. Assuming all is good there the next time it will come up is when doing PT quals. (Some agencies have pre-req physical standards, others don't test PT until the academy). As long as you are meeting and hopefully exceeding the standards your agency has set it won't be a problem.
    Study hard, keep your nose clean, and you'll get there. Once last bit of advice. Most if not all successful LE applicants have college and/or military backgrounds. Many have both. I know you didn't ask but let me throw this out there. DO NOT join the military if you ONLY want a stepping stone to LE. Being in the military is a seperate commitment altogether. It can often be a great starting point, and for many it becomes a career. However, if you are just "punching your ticket" your time in will not be successful.
    Likewise with college. Unless you are planning on graduate level work in the field, I would actually suggest NOT to major in Criminal Justice. It can be a limiting major and CJ applicants are a dime a dozen. You mentioned FBI. Language, Law, Accounting, Computer Forensics, Medicine, are all great avenues and make a more well rounded candidate. Most importantly, if for any reason Law Enforcement turns out to not be your cup of tea, you still have a great education to fall back on. Study what you like. That is the most likely path to being successful in school.
    Good Luck and keep us informed how it is going.
    Much appreciated sir! Thanks for answering my question as well as the information about what to study at college.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    535
    Kudos to Jim's response. I'll only add one thing regarding limitations performing duties as described. "Full range-of-motion" is the key in your medical assessment from the agency doc/standard. Prosthetic repair is just fine so long as you can achieve minimal strength & motion standards with your shoulder. Go forth & conquer!
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent


 

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