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Why the Best Police Officer Candidates DON’T Always get Hired

Many very capable men and women fail their Police Exam

It is knowing HOW to get a high score on the Police Officer Entrance Exam that will secure one of the few police officer jobs that are offered to candidates, and not just a head full of facts and figures. This is not an easy exam to pass, and while as many as an average of 35% pass it, only 10% are offered jobs. That has more to do with the approach to the exam, and the way the questions are tackled, than actual knowledge.

Many very capable men and women, with excellent physical and academic attributes, have taken the exam and failed. That cannot be because the Police Officer Exam is so academically difficult, because otherwise the less academically capable would also have failed, whereas many of these pass at the expense of people who are considered more educated and book smart. There is an aspect of common sense and judgment factored into the test that makes the difference.

There is no doubt that training to become a law enforcement officer is difficult, but it is only by means of focused and specialized training and instruction that you will be able to do the job that you will be called upon to do. The police officer’s job is demanding, and no other job outside the security forces demands so many skills and abilities, and requests such demanding work. That is why you have to prove that you are capable by means of the Police Officer Entrance Exam, and why it is so difficult to pass. However, there is something about it that many fail to understand.

Why Candidates that would make Good Police Officers falter and Don’t Reach the upper 10% of the eligibility list

If only 10% of candidates on average are hired into police jobs, why are so many of the less capable candidates included among that 10%? It is a fact that if you fail, you will not be hired as a police officer, and that passing does not guarantee you a job. Why do some pass and get accepted, while other can pass and not be accepted? Also, why do so many capable people fail? One answer is that many tests and exam questions are looking for a high degree of analytical and logical thinking.  

The competition for law enforcement jobs is tough. That is because the job is high profile and very rewarding. The pay is good, the benefits are good and if you keep your nose clean you keep the job, unlike many other jobs today that are falling by the wayside because of the global financial situation. For these reasons, the exam is set to discriminate between the good and the best. However, sometimes the best seem to falter and a lot of otherwise average candidates seem to reach that 10%. Many police officer jobs seem to be going to those less capable – at least in the eyes of many of the candidates, but not of the examiners.

What is it that they are doing, that those that fail are not doing? In fact, they are being accepted because they know how to take exams. They know how to make the correct answers look better. They know what the examiners are wanting them to write. They understand the strategies to be applied to questions seeking solutions to situations that require logical thought and an analysis of a situation so that the logical solution can be applied.

It is also how you tackle such things as essays and learn how to understand what you read. Do you have any strategy worked out to handle the police officer exam oral interview? How about the recall test: do have a way of improving your memory? Are you aware of the pitfalls that others dropped into that caused them to fail, or the statistically most common mistakes that candidates make?

To Get a Top Position on the Eligibility List you NOT ONLY need Knowledge of the Test Subject, you need to be Skilled at Test Taking

All of that information is of benefit to you, and understanding how to take an exam is just as important as understanding the facts and figures you might be asked to regurgitate. It’s not the regurgitation that matters most, it’s the form it is in when regurgitated. Examiners know what they are looking for in an answer to a particular type of question. Do you? If you know that then you are over half way to one of those coveted police officer jobs.

Your future as a police officer depends on getting a top score on the Police Officer Entrance Exam, and you should use every advantage to achieve that as possible. Learn the strategies needed to solve the logic puzzles you might be given. Learn from the success of others, not just their mistakes, and one fact that shines brightly amongst all the others is that the most successful candidates know how to approach exams. They understand how to answer questions and give the examiners what they want. There are pointers, such as the way the question is asked, the content of the question and the wording used when asking it. You can tell from that what the examiner is looking for. All you need do now is to provide it.

Many candidates answer a different question to that asked because they didn’t take the time to get into the examiners head, and search out the reason for the question being asked. Most questions have a reason, and your clue lies in the phrasing of the question.

Learn the strategies needed to show you HOW to take the Police Officer Entrance Exam, and learn how to use analytical and logical though processes properly, and you will be in that top 10% to be offered one of these highly prized, and greatly coveted, police officer jobs.

Summary:
Passing the Police Officer Entrance Exam is essential for anybody hoping to be secure one of the coveted police officer jobs available to those that succeed. However, not all that pass are offered a job, and knowing how to answer exam questions is just as important as having the knowledge to do so: perhaps even more so.

Suggested resource:
If you don’t know how to answer exam questions you are unlikely to pass. The Police Exam Digital Manual shows you how to do this, and how to prepare strategies to handle each type of exam and so give you more chance of being in that critical top 10%. Check it out at policepath.com – its high level of success indicates its worth. 

Important tip: You must learn the art of educated guessing. The people who do the best on the exam are the ones who are able to figure out what is the best answer choice to questions they really don’t know the answer to. They master the art of probability. They pick the answer that’s most likely right. This is an important skill that anyone can learn.

When it comes down to effectively preparing for the police exam, the above mentioned items are only the tip of the iceberg. Understanding the intentions of the questions is the best way to earn a top score. For a comprehensive look at the police exam and its contents, consult the experts at Police Path, and begin your education today!

For more info on Police Jobs Visit: policejobsinfo.com

284 Comments »

  1. This is not really true, it all just depends on who you know and whether or not they like you at the interview. I was #1 on several lists, even after interview, but never got hired. They are really a bunch good ole’ boys (and girls), good luck though, I would still hire on if they let me…

    Comment by Joe Schmoe | September 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Hey Joe

      I understand totally. There’s a lot of politics to deal with especially in smaller departments. I was a cop for a long time. I loved the job-hated the politics. You just need to hang in there and keep trying. Your day will come. If you have any question feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to help you out.

      Don

      Comment by badge930 | September 18, 2009 | Reply

      • Don my son is the only intern at a semi-small, maybe 50K people town, and just passed the written, PT and oral board. He was ranked 13, only 4 positions open, do they ever skip better ranking personnel or is cast in stone?

        Comment by Mark Brewer | October 15, 2015

      • They pretty much stick to the rankings. But your son shouldn’t give up. I tried for several departments before I got hired.

        Comment by badge930 | October 16, 2015

      • if anybody is looking for a quick turnaround as far as getting hired you should check out http://www.dekalbpolice.com This department is located in Georgia and they are currently hiring. They can complete everything and have you in the Academy in less than 2 months. You can also call them at 770-724-7445 and get more information.

        Comment by M.Zeric | August 16, 2016

      • Don or Joe as I posted before my son, who is 22 and has a BACJ just passed all 3 exams, PT, Written and oral board, they were only hiring 2 and he wasn’t hired but the 3 remaining were told they would have preference on the next cycle and then he gets the letter in the mail stating he in ineligible to be hired. Is this the standard letter when you don’t get hired, he has absolutely nothing to hide and an excellent background? I don’t understand and they will not tell him the reason, can you help me understand this I’m heart broken he has done all he can to be a LEO and doesn’t understand how this could happen. Thanks for any info you can provide. Mark.

        Comment by Mark Brewer | August 23, 2016

      • Hi Mark
        Sorry to hear about your son. Honestly, I have no clue why they wont tell him why he is ineligible. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a department refuse to give a reason for not hiring. I think it’s a bad policy. He can always try another department. I suggest he keeps trying. There are a lot of people that have tried several times before finally getting hired. Don

        Comment by badge930 | August 24, 2016

    • But you won’t even make it to the interview unless you pass the test with a score satisfying to a department.

      Comment by Johnny boy | June 17, 2013 | Reply

    • OMG, finally I met someone who can answer my tedious questions!

      Please see below, I really need your helps ! Officers!

      I’ve been the regular visitor of this site, but this is my 1st time posting sth. I really need your help! Both currently officers and applicants!

      I have a master degree in Finance, currently work in a bank. But after contemplate, I found out except career in military, law enforcement and intelligence works, nothing else can make me feel exciting.Even I can get a very well paid job in investment banking someday, I hate wear suits and do deskjobs all day along. In all, the civilian jobs just mean boring to me. I’m aware that most of law enforcement jobs include much paperworks and deskjobs too, even 3 letters agencies are not the same we saw in the Hollywood. But I think I can make full use of my talents, including observation, memorization,judgment and my good physical abilities. Obviously, law enforcement jobs pay really good and as well as its job security.

      From 2013 till now, I’ve been applied 6 positions, and still haven’t got hired. The first 2, I already knew the reason that I failed on the written test because I didn’t prepare well at all. After conclude the failure and did a long term written exam prep, in the most recent 4 positions, I’ve never failed again any of them on the written test. I passed all of them on written and aced on fitness/agility test. Unfortunately, at the 2 dapartments where I’ve already knew the reason I failed, I failed 1 time on oral board in Colorado, 1 time failed on psychological test in Alaska, and the rest 2 I failed both in Alaska and Colorado with unknown reason, I guess probably were on oral board and psychological test too.

      You might wonder why I concentrate only on Alaska and Colorado, the reason are special. These 2 states are the only place among 50 who accepts greencard holder instead of put strict requirement on U.S. citizenship. So far, I can only apply these 2 states.

      Actually, after I failed these 4 departments, I feel like a loser. Indeed, I live like a warrior, the life is so unfair to me. I work full time ,8 hrs a day in bank , after done my shifts everyday, I either running 5 miles on the track or doing hundreds push ups and bend ups. And I also need to cook for myself because eating ourside is expensive and I want to save some money for myself and my parents. I think I live like a real man, and very responsible and independent.

      During the written exam prep, I go to library every weekend, I asked many hired officers to seek some advice. I work alone in CA without any friends and relatives, all of my familes are in another country. I endure lots loneliness and the only pillar hehind me is my dream to become a LEO.

      But I still failed, I’m so frustrated…

      I just want to know:

      1. For those hired, how many departments you have applied until you get a real offer, I mean how many times you average failed?

      2.Do you think my immigration status impact my eligibility? I read the requirements on AK and CO PD website, they are clear that legal resident alien are welcome to apply. Due to the limitation only in this 2 states, do you suggest me wait until get my citizenship to apply again so that I can apply any states with any positions? I will get mine in 1.5 years at my 27 years old.

      3. Do you think my strategy was wrong? Should I apply military officer first and get a veteran DD form to get extra bonus in the hiring process? I know lots LEO didn’t have any military experiences and many did, and many department will give 5 extra pts for a DD form! I know it will be very very good if get hired without military experience, so what’s your point?

      4.My dream is becoming a officer in ICE or NSA, do you think working as a cop is a good jump board for experience?

      5.I’m 26 now, am I too old to still chase my dream in law enforcement career?

      6. The thing annoyed me is neither PD can disclose the reason why applicants are disqualified and which process they failed, this is really bad because we cannot learn anything from the failure and don’t know how to improve when apply the next PD. How do you think this and did you encounter the same scenario when you applied?

      7.Without their disclosure of the failure reason, the only thing I can do is conclude the reason for myself. At both of the psychological test, not only they asked thousands of silly questions like you met on the MMPI, but also Wanderlic test. I’m from another country, so I have a stronger math but a weak verbal skills. Everytime of being asked the questions like “Which of the following words doesn’t belong the group or which of the following 2 sentences are similar” I cannot answer but just guess. Can this be the reason I’m disqualified because of just this Wanderlic test? Wanderlic is a 12 mins and 50 questions used to test superbowl players. For those 1000 silliy MMPI, I did lots homeworks too, answer consistent, like they ask the same traits back and force with different questions; answer sincerely, police hire human, not perfect robot; for the psychology interview with the doctor, he asked me some simple questions about myself, I think I showed a really good and positive personalities. So I don’t think I didn’t meet of their criterion. How do you think? Do u think that wanderlic test was my reason of failure?

      8.For the oral board, I found lots questions to prepare ,but some specific scenario questions I couldn’t find any answers on the internet. They didn’t ask any questions “common” you can find in a test prep book, like what will you do if your partner stealing in a supermarket or if your partner fake the evidence to catch a suspect. BUT the point is , I’m not a native English speaker, my oral doesn’t sound very good, does this really matter? I wear business professional during oral board, so attire shouldn’t be a problem.

      9. I used to be in the tracking team , so everytime during fitness test, I run 8’30” of 1.5 miles and about 42″ for 300m test, I have heard the rumor that don’t be too shiny during physical, is that true?

      So far, I only thought that much, and thank you so much for every officers and applicants fellows who take patience to read and answer my questions. Please forgive my bad expression and hopefully you can get my points.

      Wait 4 ur reply!

      Comment by Lucas | March 19, 2014 | Reply

      • That’s a lot of information and questions you put out there. Why don’t you ask me your 3 most important questions and we’ll start there.

        Comment by badge930 | March 19, 2014

      • HI Lucas, I just wanted to know how everything worked out for you now? Did you get hired at any of these PD’s yet?

        Comment by Sylvia Powers | June 22, 2014

  2. Or you can always apply for a department in a very risky, and less desired city to work for? Aka. North Town Las Vegas, Compton, and other places you can assuredly imagine.

    Comment by Jeremiah | October 27, 2011 | Reply

  3. I also have experienced the strong political ties in smaller towns. It is very frustrating. Aside from always practicing to improve my test taking or staying physically fit, the main thing I need to work on is interviewing. I took a class for police interviewing and it was a great help. I can speak well, and I have a strong idea of the kind of answers that the interviewer is looking for. Due to my lack of experience with interviews, I work myself up inside. It is something I need work on. What is the best practice to maintain focus and confidence during an interview? Thank you for this article and any other information you can suggest.

    Comment by Chris | May 2, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Chris

      The interview process can be intimidating. Here’s a few things to keep in mind. Practice giving your responses using a tape recorder in front of a mirror. Alternatively, practice with a friend or a relative. Anticipate Oral Board questions and practice giving responses until you feel confident about your performance. Ask yourself questions like; being a police officer what would you do if you see your partner take a free bottle of liquor? Alternatively, being a police supervisor what would you do, if one of your subordinates reported to work intoxicated? At first you might not like what you hear, but the more you practice the smoother your answers will become and more confident you will get.

      Most law enforcement agencies are quasi-military organizations. They have ranked based structures and practice military protocol. Police officials expect police employees of lower rank to address them with “yes ma’am”, “yes sir”, “no sir” and “no ma’am”. Addressing the interviewers with this respectful response will leave a positive impression. Avoid responding with “yeah or ” uh huh”. With the Oral Board conducting so many interviews, sometimes little things make the big difference.

      Also, the community expects Police officers to be highly responsive and compassionate. Police agencies are looking for candidates who have good verbal skills and a strong desire to help people. If you can demonstrate empathy and superior people handling skills, your scores will skyrocket.

      Hope this helped.

      Don

      Comment by badge930 | May 2, 2012 | Reply

  4. In my case I have fail many police entrance exam 😦 And when I pass one of them I was not selected to continue the process. I will just keep trying.

    Comment by Curi | May 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Don’t give up. The more test you take the better you’ll get.

      Comment by badge930 | May 25, 2012 | Reply

      • your help, and wisdom is truly inspiring. i want you to know that what i’ve learned from reading the things you’ve said has had a TREMENDOUS positive impact on me. thank you so much sir, and god bless you!

        Comment by Mike Horobin | July 2, 2013

      • Thanks for your kind words.

        Comment by badge930 | July 2, 2013

  5. Hi… I passed the test but my score is not that high so i want to know if i have a chance to be hired anyway. And also i want to know after how long time they are going to call me to the next step?

    Comment by Freddy | July 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi

      If you passed the written test and your score was not in the top percent you still have a chance to get hired. To get hired you’ll have to do well in the other parts of the test such as the oral interview. If you get high score in the oral exam you’ll still have a good chance to get hired. It usually takes 2-3 weeks before you’ll get notified to take the next part of the test.

      Regards,
      Don

      Comment by badge930 | July 23, 2012 | Reply

  6. Hi, I passed the force interview but have been told the force won’t be proceeding further as I didn’t score as well as candidates who have been offered the jobs. Does this mean that I will go on a list until the assessment centre result expires or just start all over again?

    Comment by Jen | July 30, 2012 | Reply

    • I would check with the department you tested for, for clarification. Most departments maintain an eligibility list of 1 or 2 years because the test process is expensive. Although, if they stated they are not proceeding further it may mean you have to retest.

      Comment by badge930 | July 30, 2012 | Reply

  7. Hi… if one doesn’t pass the background check the first time does that mean the end of trying to be a police officer?

    Comment by mdgd | July 31, 2012 | Reply

    • If you fail the background check it probably means that you wont be considered for employment with that department. There are some exceptions. For instance, if you had been arrested for driving while intoxicated they may reconsider the longer time passes without any further arrests or violations.

      Comment by badge930 | July 31, 2012 | Reply

  8. So I’ve been applying many places, all of San Diego county and I’ve been told its very competitive. I always pass he initial test, they’re always fairly easy. My problem lies in the Pre investigative questionnaires. Not that I have a terrible history, sure I’ve done things here and there but I’ve become a quality citizen since I realized I wanted to persue a path in law enforcement. My question lies here: how should I answer questions for say a) polygraph b) pre polygraph. Short and sweet? Long and detailed?
    Thanks much,
    Brandon

    Comment by Brandon | August 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Short, sweet and to the point. The polygraph is not an oral board interview. It’s a lie detector test. Answer the questions truthfully and don’t offer any additional information.

      Comment by badge930 | August 14, 2012 | Reply

  9. So i applied for sfpd and during the application i didnt state every job i have worked at. mainly because my career college teacher told me only to state the most important ones that would make me seem more qualified and i only left the ones that I were a month or two long. will this affect me when they check my background? also for the ones that i did put, will it affect me if the dates of hire and leave are not the same for the background and the application ones?

    Comment by William Torres | November 27, 2012 | Reply

    • Omitting some of your jobs probably wont be a big deal. The inconsistency regarding hiring and leaving dates might be unless you indicate you are not sure or don’t recall what the dates are.

      Comment by badge930 | November 27, 2012 | Reply

      • Also, when I was in 7th grade I tv got a misdemeanor for stealing at a department store, but that’s the only thing on my record no tickets no other arrest nothing, I’m 20 now that was 7 years ago, will it affect me?

        Comment by Wtorr | November 27, 2012

      • I don’t think you’ll have a problem with that.

        Comment by badge930 | November 27, 2012

  10. I’ll turn 21 February 3rd, 2013. So I have 3 months left until I turn the magical 21. I had a conversion charge on my record, but i got a pre trial diversion and it is no expunged off of my record. I was just being stupid and took an energy drink from a store.

    Also, i have tried drugs before.. Never been addicted to anything and never took it consistently, more of my adventure side kicking in. Never failed a drug test, but at one point i did sell a pill or two to a friend.,, I have wanted to be a cop sense i was a little kid.. Im really good friends with the local cops here and i “help” them out.. Do i still have a chance on being a police officer?

    Comment by Jon | December 5, 2012 | Reply

    • I don’t know what your chances are. It depends on the Department you’re applying for. You’re biggest obstacle is selling the pills. Everything else seems minor.

      Comment by badge930 | December 6, 2012 | Reply

  11. My 18 year old son was just separated from the Navy while in bootcamp (not dishonorable) His ultimate goal was and is to become a police officer. We are looking at trying to have him do some ride alongs with different police depts. and maybe start some online classes in criminal justice. He may also try to go back in the Navy once the 6 month wait period is over. Any other suggestions on what he should do in pursuing his goal?

    Comment by Dana | January 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Sounds like your son is doing all the right things to prepare for a career in law enforcement.

      Here’s my checklist:

      Become A Volunteer

      Volunteering for a special program like your local Police Athletic League (PAL) or a victims’ rights organization will enhance your application and make you a more appealing candidate.

      A Second Language

      If you know a second language, especially Spanish, you’ll add considerable value to any police agency. Most applications will ask you if you know a second language. If your answer is yes, you’ll have a skill that every law enforcement organization needs and wants. If time allows before submitting your application, take a language course at your local college or try to teach yourself using either cassette tapes or computer or Internet language courses.

      Add To Your Education

      College level courses, especially in the criminal justice area, are also an impressive addition to your application. Other college courses you should consider include basic computing skills, which are very attractive to today’s heavily computerized police departments.

      Develop New Skills

      Listing skills such as first aid training (CPR), basic computer, marksmanship, and self defense give you an instant advantage over the other candidates.

      Talk To Cops

      If you have a friend or a relative in law enforcement, sit down and talk to them about the job. Pick their brains to find out what they think is important to include on the application.

      Comment by badge930 | January 12, 2013 | Reply

  12. Do you know of any sites that offer sample or practice tests or interviews that they may ask on police candidate exams? I browsed a couple, and they charged a fee. And thank you so much for your response!

    Comment by Dana | January 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Try: http://www.police-exam.info

      Comment by badge930 | January 12, 2013 | Reply

      • I have came to 1 conclusion. Either you have to have a relative like parents or grandparents to be law enforcement or have someone high up the food chain in order to get hired.
        I have applied to many departments and all the tests that pertained to my abilities like written, physical, psychological, and medical I have passed. All other parts especially the interviews and polygraph I have failed. Many would say that either I do not perform well on my interviews, while that might be true how would I pass interviews for other departments? Vice versa on the polygraph exams.

        Comment by Nick | August 22, 2015

      • My advise to you is don’t give up. The polygraph test results depends on the skill of the person giving the test. Some are better than others. That’s why when you take the test you may pass and the next time you might
        not.

        Comment by badge930 | August 23, 2015

  13. I have recently failed the psych test(MMPI). I passed the written and passe the oral board but that is as far as i went. I took the test and the psychologists said I did not meet the criteria of becoming a police officer. to me it came with great shock as well as another officer I have been talking with. He said he was surprised to hear that I failed. What now? Any recommendations? I have another oral board next week but I need to pass the psych test. That is my problem.

    Comment by Benjamin | March 14, 2013 | Reply

    • What do you think the reason is? Any ideas? Just remember departments are looking for compassionate police officers. You have to be able to balance the line between being firm, fair and compassionate.

      Comment by badge930 | March 14, 2013 | Reply

      • The only thing I can come up with is that my test was to good to be true. Which is bothersome because I answered honestly. My life I have been honest and a good person. I am not an aggressive person unless I need to be but during my life I have surrounded myself around individuals that are well behaved and have the same morals I have.

        Comment by Benjamin | March 14, 2013

      • Too good to be true may be it. If the person giving the test thinks you’re giving answers you think they want hear they will fail you. It all depends on the person giving the test. It sounds like you have a good attitude and are the type of person that would be good for the job. I would just keep giving honest answers.

        Comment by badge930 | March 14, 2013

  14. I have recentlly been trying to apply for police jobs in texas area. The prob i ran into was a department had me send in a second background statement along with a transcript that i didn’t think they excepted. But after talking with a recruiter from that department I found out they did. When I did, I had recently remembered that I tried Weed when I was 19 and i do me like one puff..lol. I am 35 now so i truely forgot. And since I spoke with the recuriter about my current application, i put i had never applied with the department before thinking am just sending additional info for my application. Weeks later I got a letter i was disqualified for 5 years for false statements. Because two of my answers didn’t match what I said in the first packet i sent. And I thought since It was something I remembered they should know.
    Then I applied for another dept and they contacted that department and they permently disquilified me from there department. So at this point I am scared to apply anywhere else. Would anybody on here be able to tell me is every police department gonna DQ me because of that other department? And is there anyway I can get there decision reversed or is that unheard of?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated

    thanks

    Comment by Avery G | May 2, 2013 | Reply

    • I would keep applying. Some departments may not check other department employment interviews. But always put everything on the table. They’re going to find out anyway. Just be ready to explain any red flag situations.

      Comment by badge930 | May 3, 2013 | Reply

  15. hey i am 21 years old i want to become a police officer. i already turn in an application what do you suggusted i should do or know what to do when thay call me. i have a clean record dont do drugs.do i have to take any courses ? should i take any?

    Comment by Ana Lopez | May 30, 2013 | Reply

    • Here are a few things you can do to improve your chances to get hired;

      Become A Volunteer: Volunteering for a special program like your local Police Athletic League (PAL) or a victims’ rights organization will enhance your application and make you a more appealing candidate.

      Learn a Second Language: If you know a second language, especially Spanish, you’ll add considerably to your value to any police agency.

      Add To Your Education: College level courses, especially in the criminal justice area, are also an impressive addition to your application.

      Prepare for the test: It’s never too early to start preparing for the test. It’s your key to getting hired. Get a few police exam study guides. Here’s a few good ones: Police Exam Kit (policepath.com), Police Officer Exam by LearningExpress and The Police Exam Professor (policeexamprofessor.com).

      Comment by badge930 | May 31, 2013 | Reply

      • ok i know spanish i dont have credits for college.i have a highschool dipoloma.how long does criminal justice credits take i been studying alote but i dont get it sometimesit confuses me . what else do u suggust i should do.

        Comment by Ana Lopez | May 31, 2013

  16. Hello, I am a 20.5 year old male who is about to start applying to a city PD in Arizona this September. I have no Criminal history, I am a junior in college, I am in pretty decent shape and have been working out to get into great shape. I am a part time EMT-B and Wildland FF as well. I have volunteered as first aid at various events for a fallen officer charity who died in the line of duty . I also will be teaching CPR to fresh recruits in the dept’s academy. I have family and friends that work for the academy and I am about to do ride alongs as well. With my experience in EMS, and interaction with the dept I want to join, what are my chances of getting on at 21? I have books ordered and have been looking all over the internet for study material.What can I do to make myself a better candidate, especially since I am so young? Thank you for your time.

    Comment by Austin S. | June 8, 2013 | Reply

    • Correction, they work for the Department, not the academy.

      Comment by Austin S. | June 8, 2013 | Reply

      • Looks like you did a lot to improve your chances to get hired. Now, it’s just a matter of preparing for the written and oral exams. Take as many practice tests as possible and review oral exam strategies. Also, another thing to do to improve your chances, is to learn a foreign language.

        Comment by badge930 | June 8, 2013

  17. Awesome, Thanks for the reply.

    Comment by Austin S. | June 8, 2013 | Reply

  18. U know i got 73 in nypd entrance exam.i don’t understand they will call me or not.any suggestion from anybody……..pls

    Comment by prosun banik | June 21, 2013 | Reply

    • 70 is usually a passing score. If you don’t hear from them call them and ask about your status.

      Comment by badge930 | June 21, 2013 | Reply

  19. I am trying to pursue a career as an officer anywhere at this point. The last department rejected me because I was fired from a previous job for. However, when I was assigned to an investigator during background I was told this would not effect me. Is this something I am always going to have to face when applying with other departments? I am also a college graduate with a business degree and twenty years old. I have done ride-alongs and have a few friends who are also in the police profession. I have always wanted to become a police officer at a very young age.

    Comment by ChadS | July 21, 2013 | Reply

    • A lot depends on what you were fired for. Anything short of a felony and you should be able to still get hired if you can convince the department you’re applying for that you have corrected the problem that led to your firing.

      Comment by badge930 | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  20. Somebody I know failed the training to become a part of the city police department, this person graduated from the police academy already but didn’t pass the training.. can she apply to a different city? Please help!!

    Comment by Viv | July 28, 2013 | Reply

    • If she really wants a career in law enforcement she should not give up. She should determine why she failed training and work on improving the problem. She should apply for other departments. Other people have failed training and still were able to become police officers by not giving up.

      Comment by badge930 | July 28, 2013 | Reply

  21. I have a question. Im interested in becoming a Sheriff Paramedic and I have used illegial substances once in my life. How will that affect me possibly being looked at?

    Comment by roc | July 30, 2013 | Reply

    • Regarding using illegal substances and being considered for employment it depends on the department you’re applying for. Some departments may have it as an automatic disqualifier. Some may take it case by case depending on what it was and when you used it. Whatever the case you can find out before applying, from the department. They will usually have all their disqualifiers listed on the application form.

      Comment by badge930 | July 30, 2013 | Reply

  22. My son recently graduated from a police academy in Florida and has been applying to various departments one of which just disqualified him today. Two years ago he applied at a small town police department to go to their academy and was disqualified because of something in background (we still don’t know for what). Shortly after that, he applied at another department was disqualified there, too. He then decided to pay his way in the academy and that’s what he did and just graduated. Everyone there loved him saying “he is a leader not a follower”. He has a college degree, is a Marine, fought for our country in Afghanistan, is in GREAT shape, basically aced his exam in the academy, he has never done drugs. The department that just DQ today was his dream job, where he ultimately wanted to work at. There is no one more deserving than him to be a police officer. My question is what could they have possibly found in the background aside from one or two speeding tickets, his credit is ok (not the best but not bad either). He’s been trying to get in touch with that small town police department to find out what they found and no one is responding to him. Needless to say he is very discouraged now because of this one dept. that is screwing him over from something he really wants. He’s applied to other departments and is going through the process now. Is he wasting his time? Will they all DQ now because of that one place? I don’t want him to give up but it is very discouraging. Also, how can we find out what they found out in background if they’re not responding? Please help!

    Comment by Rena | August 7, 2013 | Reply

    • I don’t think your son should give up. You should try to find out from the original department why he was disqualified. There are a lot of reasons for being disqualified. It’s somewhat puzzling because he has no criminal record. We offer a police candidate polygraph ebook that includes a long list of reasons for being disqualified. If you give me your email I’ll send it to you.

      Comment by badge930 | August 8, 2013 | Reply

      • Thanks that would be great. My email is relef68@hotmail.com. He finally got in touch with them and now they’re saying everything looks good now from there and now want him to reapply and they will streamline his application ( not sure what that means). At this point he feels he has nothing to lose and will reapply there but he’s not getting his hopes up. Thanks for replying.

        Comment by rena | August 8, 2013

  23. You’re welcome. I sent the report to your email address. Thank your son for his service.

    Comment by badge930 | August 9, 2013 | Reply

  24. I took the written NYPD exam 2 days before I turn 35 and didn’t pass..the fact that my application is on the system. Would I be able to retake the written exam? Or I don’t have any more chance.

    Comment by Don guerrier | August 9, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi Don

      Don’t give up. I knew a lot of officers that didn’t pass the police test their first and even second time but kept trying until they made it. I also knew officers that came on the job in their mid 40’s. 35 is still young.

      Comment by badge930 | August 10, 2013 | Reply

      • Hi i was reading your answers and you seem to be very helpful i hope you can help me too. My name is francesca and i’m trying to finish the 60 credits i need to apply for the nypd if everything goes well i’ll be 34 and 10 months by the time i get these credits . Do you think i’m gonna have enough time to go and take the tests i need to get in the academy ? Since the 35 yeard old is the limit. I’m confuse . Thank you

        Comment by Francesca | November 24, 2015

      • Hi Francesca
        It all depends how the requirements read. If it says you must apply before you turn 35 then you’re in. Good luck.

        Comment by badge930 | November 24, 2015

  25. I went to the academy and I got hired and have been on the Job as a trainee for the past few months. I’m now being told I’m not ready to go out on my own and need to be better. I have a feeling they want to get rid of me.

    can I be fired at this stage?

    Comment by Sharon | October 10, 2013 | Reply

    • Yes, they can fire you. But they need a real good reason. If you feel like you’re not cutting it you might ask for a one on one with your training supervisor and ask him or her what you are doing wrong and how you can improve your performance. Then work hard at getting better.

      Comment by badge930 | October 10, 2013 | Reply

  26. I’ve been arrested like 5 times. All of them misdemeanors, only 2 guilty convictions: filing a false report and resisting arrest. Does that become a big problem to get a job in enforcement? I finish school with an 2 years AA from college and I can get my Bachelor in Science in Criminal Justice in 2 more years. My ultimate goal is go to Law School and choosing Criminal Justice is actually the shortest path to get to Law School…but I also want to get a job that allows me to pay my Law School. Does anybody think my 5 arrests will be a big problem to get a job in the meanwhile?

    Comment by Angela | October 11, 2013 | Reply

    • If you want a job in law enforcement 5 arrests is a big problem. Since they’re misdemeanors it might not be impossible if you are able to show that you have distanced yourself from that type of behavior and you have been a model citizen for awhile. Some departments are forgiving and some are not.

      Comment by badge930 | October 11, 2013 | Reply

  27. I am 25, recently completed Military Police Officer training, and hold an Associates degree in Criminal Justice. I also have a top security clearance. At age 19, I was arrested for shoplifting and received the 1st Offender discharge. I had applied prior to military training to several department in my local area. I was declined at department for not disclosing the criminal history. The second time at a different for telling the truth. The advisement provided to me during the clearance procedure was no future disclosure was necessary because the criminal record could not be found and that i had been awarded top clearance. On the third application I did not disclose my arrest, passed the written and PT examination. I was then summoned to oral interview, the interview was highly successful, and I told to prepare for Police Academy entry. The following day I was contacted by the interview detective informing me that my application was disqualified for non-disclosure of my arrest for shoplifting at age 19. Is it fruitless to further pursue making future applications to become a police officer in my home state? Would it benefit me to relocate to another state, disclose the incident when making future applications?

    Comment by Robert C Moore II | October 18, 2013 | Reply

    • Always disclose your criminal history. They’re going to find out anyway. It seems like you’ve distanced yourself from your arrest and have done some good things since. I don’t know why the 1st department made such a big issue out of it. Some departments can be more selective. Especially if they’re small departments with a lot of applicants. You may have a better chance with a big department. Keep trying and don’t limit yourself to your home state.

      Comment by badge930 | October 18, 2013 | Reply

  28. Okay, I see questions here are answered regularly so I have a few and regarding my situation and wonder what my chances are…
    I am a 20 year old Veteran (will be 21 in a few months) currently in the infantry with a combat deployment ( and can prove there was a lot of combat I don’t know If that matters a lot) to Afghanistan and have a secret clearance. I get out of the Army in 6 months. And really want to try and join the Kansas City PD right away, but might do some criminal justice classes after. When I was 16 or 17 (don’t remember) I was arrested for opening cars and taking GPS’s but that case was and has been COMPLETELY dropped off my record because I was just a jeuvinile and a idiot. I have not smoked marijuana in more than three years and have a great record in the Army. Will that one mistake hurt me when I was a kid? I don’t even think it’s anywhere on my record considering I have a secret clearance and it was completely dropped I NEVER went to court or anything. Also I was wondering what my chances are because of my job in the Army. I don’t want to waste my time getting my associates or bachelors degree in criminal justice and not have a chance either. So please let me know what you think.

    Comment by Jon | November 21, 2013 | Reply

    • First of all, thank for your service. Police departments are very high on military service. Your time in combat will also add a lot of credit. As far as your minor criminal record, most departments will realize you’ve distanced yourself from that behavior and that the good out weighs the bad. I don’t think you’ll have any problem getting hired if you do well in the testing process.

      Comment by badge930 | November 21, 2013 | Reply

      • Thank you for your fast response and I hope your right because I was a idiot when I was a jeuvinile since then I have gotten married when I was 17 and had a daughter with my amazing wife and I don’t want those idiotic things when I was a kid to effect me from doing something I love which are stressful jobs. Just really nervous about the polygraph because I sold pills for a couple of weeks also when I was 16 (honestly did not know it was such a big deal until I got older and obtained more wisdom with life) but I was never caught and or arrested… Would that effect me too? Those are the only two things that I’ve done that are completely horrible and like I said I was a naive and did not know what I was really doing. Other than that I can’t think of anything horrible I’ve done in my life… I am just worried about the polygraph about my jeuvinile years but that’s all I’m worried about. Thanks!

        Comment by Jon | November 21, 2013

      • I can see you’re concerned about the polygraph. I’m going to email you a Police Exam Polygraph ebook. I think it will answer a lot of your questions. I’m sending it to the Hotmail email address you provided. Let me know if you get it and feel free to ask any questions once you look it over.

        Comment by badge930 | November 21, 2013

  29. Thanks man I appreciate it.

    Comment by Jon | November 22, 2013 | Reply

    • would you be able to email me a copy of the police exam polygraph as well? I would greatly appreciate it. My email is leomagana46@yahoo.com

      I am currently 18 years old and will be taking the written exam for the Chicago police department in April, i have a few concerns for the polygraph portion of the test, and am hoping that ebook will answer some of my questions. Thank you so much

      Comment by Leopoldo Magaña | February 18, 2016 | Reply

      • Sent

        Comment by badge930 | February 19, 2016

  30. Here is my problem sir, i live in a little town where politics plays a HUGE part in getting a job. Literally any job around here seems to be “who do you know.” My question is how do i make my application stand out more than the people whom know someone. i applied everyday for 8 days to a department with no response, i would have continued to apply everyday but in this day in age there are no paper applications and jobs are posted from certain dates. Does my applying everyday turn them on to me or is it more of an annoyance.

    Comment by daryl | December 1, 2013 | Reply

    • You’re right about the politics. I’d try applying for departments in larger cities. The bigger department the less politics in the hiring process and the better chance you have to get hired. Applying everyday is excessive.

      Comment by badge930 | December 1, 2013 | Reply

  31. Well, in my experience, I purchased the study aid and practice test for the actual exam. I practiced all of the suggested methods to approach the test with. However, they didn’t have an explanation on some of the parts of the test, such as spatial orientation. I asked the instructors before taking the test if they could explain what the best method is for solving this problem and they didn’t even know how. In the practice guide it’s written that the most common mistake made on the test is speeding through it. So when I got the actual test, I took the time to apply the methods taught and failed because time ran out (2 hours). What the hey!

    Comment by shawn | December 9, 2013 | Reply

    • Sorry to hear you failed the test. You’re not alone. A lot of people fail. They are making the tests more difficult. You will loose points for not finishing. You don’t want to rush through the questions but you have to go fast enough to finish. There are a lot of study guides. Some are better than others. I’m biased but I think the one we recommend on this website is pretty good. It even includes an app that helps increase your test taking speed. The app is called the LE Candidates Quiz Game. It contains numerous timed 20 question police exam quizzes. My suggestion is keep trying and don’t give up.

      Comment by badge930 | December 9, 2013 | Reply

  32. I might try again. I’m starting to wonder though, because the test’s are privatized, maybe it’s set up for the majority to fail so that people will continue to dump money into the business of administering test for agencies.

    Comment by shawn | December 9, 2013 | Reply

  33. Hi, I have applied for police officer job & got a test coming up on 20 january. I think i can do good in written & physical exam. I can speak four different languages. I have few college credit hours as well. I don’t do drugs & have clean record. I am little worried about the oral interview & polygraph exam. Do you have any suggestions?

    Comment by PJ | December 24, 2013 | Reply

    • I suggest you do some research to find out what to expect on both the oral exam and the polygraph. Some departments actually have pre test information that include examples of the type of questions that are asked in the oral board interview. As for the polygraph, I would Google pre employment polygraph tests and see what comes up. Try to find out what to expect so you’re not caught off guard. My best advice is to answer all the questions honestly.

      Comment by badge930 | December 24, 2013 | Reply

      • Thank you Sir!

        Comment by PJ | December 31, 2013

  34. Hi, My written test is based on these things. I looked up everywhere but couldn’t find a way to prepare myself for this test. Any suggestions please?

    Ability to learn and apply police information
    Ability to observe and remember detail
    Ability to use judgment and logic
    Ability to follow directions
    Verbal ability (vocabulary and reading comprehension)

    Comment by PJ | December 31, 2013 | Reply

    • Most police tests include those topics. If you want help with all those categories check out (http://www.policepath.com).

      Comment by badge930 | January 3, 2014 | Reply

  35. HI, Is it OK to ask a police department why I wasn’t selected for appointment or do they frown on that? If someone scores well on the exam, had one interview then rec’d notification stating “Thank you for your interest unfortunately after a lengthy background check and interview process with multiple candidates you were not selected” would you advise that candidate to inquire as to why they didn’t make the cut?

    Comment by G | January 23, 2014 | Reply

    • Some departments will let you know why you didn’t get hired and some will not. It won’t hurt to ask.

      Comment by badge930 | January 23, 2014 | Reply

  36. Hi… so I came home today to find my not selected letter from a police department I was excited to pursue. I was honest and above on all of the interviews (oral board interview, pre-background after physical interview, background investigation interview) but the letter said I was not selected due to information during my background investigation. It hurts a bit because I’ve been working extremely hard these past few months, in hopes I could start the academy in May. I am presently in graduate college for my masters and later on, PsyD in Forensic Psychology for Police Psychology concentration. Also being a female that is active in weight lifting and has years of psychology experience working at a psych institute where I like to think has shaped me to be a future good police officer… that I’m a little puzzled to why I was not selected. 6-7 years ago, I did attempt suicide but I was honest with them about the situation and expressed that it’s in the past and I learned from it, it was my motivation to continue to be the best I can be… and it’s the cause of my ambition today. I am afraid though I was too honest. I’m still in the run with another department and I sincerely hope they see the potential in me. I don’t know what more I can do. Any advice? I would appreciate it.

    Comment by CD | February 3, 2014 | Reply

    • Sorry to hear you didn’t get hired. It looks like you’re doing everything to prepare yourself for the job and building a good resume. Police agencies have different standards for hiring. Some departments can be more selective. Especially if they’re small departments with a lot of applicants. You may have a better chance with a big department. Keep trying and don’t limit yourself to your home state.

      Comment by badge930 | February 3, 2014 | Reply

      • I understand but I just moved to California from Alaska so I can’t exactly move out of state when I just got here… Plus my graduate is here too in California.

        That department was a smaller one and the other one I’m still in the process with is hiring like 30 for this upcoming academy. They are trying to get 150 officers hired in the next 5 years, they stated.

        Thank you.

        Christina Sent from my iPhone

        >

        Comment by CD | February 3, 2014

      • California has a lot of Law Enforcement agencies to choose from. You should have a better chance at the second department based on the size alone. Good Luck…

        Comment by badge930 | February 3, 2014

  37. Hi, i have some questions and any feedback would be appreciated.
    I’m 24 yrs old, i have an associate degree in criminal justice and recently got the letter in the mail saying that i wasn’t selected for the academy, i applied in northern California, i passed the written test but after the background check they must have not liked something which brings me to my dilemma. When i was younger i did use marijuana a few times, i would use it and then stop using it, this went and maybe from when i was 15 to 16-17. I completely stopped but i was being an idiot and used it one time back in 2011. So that’s one problem a bigger one is that back in 2008-2009 can’t really remember, i was in a small town in Mexico where my family is from it was new years and things got a little out of control we were drinking too much and somone that one of my friends knew pulled out a bag with white powder, I’m thinking it was cocaine, the problem is that i cannot remember if i used it or they just showed it to me. Any idea on how i could approach this? They say to be completely honest and that’s what i did on the background check. Also most recently this past December i was in Mexico visiting family in a very small town, now everyone there even the police is aware that people cruise around town drinking and driving, it has been like this since i can remember, and so i did drive in that town while consuming alcohol, again everyone in that town is aware that this goes on and even if the police sees you drinking and driving in town as long as it doesn’t get out of hand they are ok with it.
    I know this is a lot to take on but any help would be very much appreciated thanks.

    Comment by cristian | February 11, 2014 | Reply

    • I don’t know if you were arrested in 2011 for using drugs. But if you were I think you may have to put a little more time and distance in before you’ll be considered for a law enforcement job. You should absolutely be honest but don’t volunteer any information that is not asked for. You’ll need to establish yourself as a good citizen with a few years of having a clean record to get hired.

      Comment by badge930 | February 11, 2014 | Reply

      • Thank you for the response. To answer you no i was not arrested and have never been arrested, the worst and only thing that has happen to me was a speeding ticket last year, i was going 65 on a 55 zone, which i was asked on the background check. In the area where they asked about drug use i also wrote almost the same thing i wrote here. About the drinking and driving in the town in Mexico that i mentioned before, i know it was not the best thing to do but would that be considered just as bad as if i were doing in here in the U.S. or do you think that by explaining the circumstances would that make any difference? Thanks again.

        Comment by cristian | February 11, 2014

  38. Drinking and driving is a red flag with any police agency in the US. It may be acceptable in Mexico but not in the US. Nobody’s perfect and PDs know that. We all mistakes. Be honest but you don’t have to volunteer and reveal all the bad things you’ve done. PDs will understand if you experimented with marijuana but they wont consider someone if they think they used drugs on a regular basis. It all depends on how you verbalize your situation.

    Comment by badge930 | February 11, 2014 | Reply

    • I uderstand, it’s just a little hard trying to figure out what i should and shouldn’t say when they’re asking you to be completely honest. The drinking in Mexico is the only thing that has happened in recent time that could have a negative affect. Since i did disclosed this information on my last background check, would i have to give that same information if i apply at a different police department or can my answers change?

      Comment by cristian | February 11, 2014 | Reply

      • If you apply for another department use common sense regarding what you volunteer or reveal about your past. By saying you used drugs on multiple occasions, PDs will not want to take a chance on you because they’ll think you may be addicted.

        Comment by badge930 | February 12, 2014

  39. Yeah i understand someone who hasn’t used drugs in the past would appear to be a better candidate on paper, i can’t change what i have done but hopefully i can make up for it.
    thank you very much for your feedback.

    Comment by cristian | February 12, 2014 | Reply

    • You still have a good chance to get hired if you can convince the people doing the hiring that you have distanced yourself from bad/unlawful behavior and that you are doing everything you can to prepare yourself for a law enforcement career.

      Comment by badge930 | February 12, 2014 | Reply

      • I have a question, well actually a need for advice. I’m a 34 year old female, been applying to many departments in California for many years. I have a spotless criminal background and absolutely no drug use ever. Because I’m older, and have had a lot of jobs, usually 2 at a time, a lot of investigators DQ me out of the process. I’m currently in school full time and will have a criminal justice degree at the end of this year. I’m also a low income single mom and have a less than perfect credit report….another reason investigators drop me. My credit can be paid off after my 2nd academy paycheck. I just cant seem to get a department to give me a chance. I’m ready to give up, but this has been by dream since I was little…..just didn’t have the right people to guide me on this path. Any advice would be great, thanks.

        Comment by NR | February 21, 2014

      • Don’t give up. Your age isn’t a factor. You have a lot to offer. I think you just need to improve your credit rating. You indicated you’ve had a lot of jobs and think this has been another reason for the DQ. You should establish yourself at job with a good record of attendance and clear your credit record before applying again. Also, apply at a big department that will hire a lot of officers.

        Comment by badge930 | February 21, 2014

      • Thank you for the response. My last 2 jobs were 4 years (government) and 2 years (EMT). I just checked my credit last night, and I only owe $2100. So hopefully this will be my year. Thanks again for the encouragement.

        Comment by NR | February 21, 2014

      • $2100 is not that bad. Clear that up and you’ll improve your chances. Your employment history doesn’t seem that bad. Keep applying. Keep in mind that departments with a lot of applicants and a few openings can be very selective. They look for reasons not to hire. While some departments have a lot of openings and look for reasons to hire.

        Comment by badge930 | February 21, 2014

  40. My son is almost 22, has a 4 year degree and just finished 6 months as an open at a POST academy in CA. He now has received 3 non selection letters. He is extremely frustrated and feels like because of the 3 DQs this will not look good on other applications. I should add he has no criminal history, finished college in 3 years, and worked as a Community Service Officer at his college. Do PDs look at the DQs negatively ?

    Comment by Frances Gallegos | February 21, 2014 | Reply

    • 3 DQs are not that bad. I know a lot of officers that applied at more departments than that before getting hired. I know I did. He should not give up. He should keep applying. He should try to figure out why he’s getting disqualified and try to fix the problem.

      Comment by badge930 | February 21, 2014 | Reply

      • This May seem like a novice question, but if you get a letter from a PD stating that you have not met their selection criteria is that a DQ? Or in the letter will it specifically state that you have been disqualified? BTW thanks for the encouragement!

        Comment by Fran | February 21, 2014

      • That would be the same as DQ.

        Comment by badge930 | February 21, 2014

  41. I have been a deputy sheriff for 25 years. I’m only 47, looking to retire and start another career/retirement and I can’t pass oral boards in small city police departments for a CSO job. I believe there is some factor involved that I am not aware of. The terrible thing is they just send you an email or letter informing you that you did not pass the test with no reason or explanation given so you have no idea of how to correct any mistakes if there were any. I know people who tell me that in some agencies the oral board people already know that they are going to hire a certain person and they just have to test everyone that met the requirements by law. Possibly for instance a Sgt, Lt, Commanders son has been a police explorer for a few years and is now ready to be the CSO for a couple more to gain more experience in the department before becoming a police officer. This really happens and people, along with myself, are wasting time, gas and good energy only to be disappointed. This actually makes me feel bad because you just never get to know the truth. Like I said, I am still employed as a deputy sheriff and it makes me angry that everything involved in law enforcement revolves around ethics except for the hiring process. It’s almost as bad as discrimination in some way.

    I have met good, successful people over the years who said they wanted to be a police officer years ago but couldn’t pass the test. I could tell they were still bitter about it and bitter towards the law enforcement in general. Now I know what they were meaning…

    Comment by billy ray | February 21, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Billy -I’d like to say the best man or women for the job will be hired. But it’s not always true. I think in the smaller departments it’s more who you know than what you know. I think in the big departments you have a better chance based on ability. In the big departments there’s too many layers to let favoritism play a part in the hiring process. Once you get hired then politics will play more of a part in job assignment and promotions. You put in some good years and deserve a better fate. I was in your shoes not too along ago. All I can tell you is there will a lot of doors opening for someone with your background and experience. – Don

      Comment by badge930 | February 21, 2014 | Reply

  42. I went through the background with a PD about 6 years. They put my application on hold because of some concerns with me partying quite a bit back then. I’m older now and live a pretty boring life lol. My question is, I feel I made myself look worse than what I really was. Will they still have that PHQ on file? And should I answer the same way?

    Comment by M | February 25, 2014 | Reply

    • They will have the PHQ on file. But they realize nobody’s perfect and will take in consideration you have put a lot of distance between your questionable behavior and now.

      Comment by badge930 | February 25, 2014 | Reply

      • That’s what I figured. Thanks for the quick response!

        Comment by M | February 26, 2014

      • You’re welcome.

        Comment by badge930 | February 26, 2014

  43. Hi,
    I’m prepping for the application process for a larger department and I have a question. I’m a veteran of the army with an honorable discharge and tours in Iraq. No criminal background, I did have a license suspension for lapse of insurance after I lost my job. But my biggest concern is, I used to drive a commercial vehicle, I went to a cookout one weekend with a friend, ate some brownies that made me deathly sick, and was pulled in for a random drug test that next week. Failed the test and it ruined my career. Now, I take the responsibility for my actions because I should have been aware of my surroundings and should have been paying attention. This happened in 2009, so it has been 5 yrs. I’m not going to try and hide it because it’s on paper, so it can be found. Is this a deal breaker? I’m going to start the process, but I’m just wondering if it’s a dead end for me. Thank you

    Comment by Futuretrainee | March 7, 2014 | Reply

    • I don’t think it’s a deal breaker. I have seen people with a lot worse get hired. Departments know nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Your time in the military should be a big boost in the hiring process. Just let them know you made a mistake and now you’ve moved on.

      Thanks for your service.

      Comment by badge930 | March 7, 2014 | Reply

  44. I was DQ from the Highway Patrol for threatening my girlfriends ex. Will this follow me if I try and apply to other agencies?

    Comment by Tony Guzman | March 16, 2014 | Reply

    • If you were arrested for it or issued a citation then it will follow you. If not, then it won’t.

      Comment by badge930 | March 16, 2014 | Reply

      • I also threatened him that I was already in the academy and I was going to use my position as a Highway Patrol officer to make his life a living hell. The back ground investigator found out and pulled my application and sent it to Sac because of this.

        Comment by Tony Guzman | March 16, 2014

      • Threatening somebody that you will use your position as a law enforcement officer against them will be a big red flag for any law enforcement agency. PDs don’t want to take a chance on somebody they think might place them into position of having to defend themselves from lawsuits.

        Comment by badge930 | March 16, 2014

  45. While im in college i want to major in engineering can i still become a good candidate without a degree in criminal justice?

    Comment by Chris Dixon | March 16, 2014 | Reply

    • Absolutely, any type of degree will make you a good candidate. Law Enforcement agencies require many specialized skills.

      Comment by badge930 | March 16, 2014 | Reply

  46. I have two tickets in 2012 both for speeding one in feb. And another in june, i also remember getting a correctable violation for not having my license with me and a ticket “for driving too close” about three years ago. Will this affect me getting a job with the sheriffs department? I just passed the written and also passed the pat, tomorrow i have the oral exam. Im afraid i might fail the background because of the tickets.

    Comment by chava | March 16, 2014 | Reply

    • 2 speeding tickets in 2012 and not having your DL with you, should not be too much of a problem regarding your background investigation and interview.

      Comment by badge930 | March 17, 2014 | Reply

  47. I am curious of meeting with the psychologist. I am currently in the hiring process for Washington state patrol and just met with the psychologist. I am wondering how much does a department really care about certain things such as…I stay at home for the past year and a half watching my two daughters and my wife works. I go to school full time. Also I told the psychologist that I don’t trust anyone 100% and he asked me, you don’t even trust your wife? So did I blow my chances with those. Another thing was I have been in this process for over a year and have applied to at least 10 agencies and have yet to be this far in the hiring process he asked me why am I not hired yet? Is that bad?

    Comment by Ben | March 17, 2014 | Reply

    • None of the things you mentioned should disqualify you from being hired. A lot of people go to school full time while their spouse works. Also, a lot of people apply to numerous departments before getting hired.

      Comment by badge930 | March 18, 2014 | Reply

  48. Background: I am 30 yrs old, i joined the USMC as an infantryman while serving I received a summary courts-martial, reduction in rank from E4-E2 and 18 days pre-trial confinement time served, I deployed and after deployment volunteered to be an instructor for a year where I picked my rank back up. Then I received my honorable discharge from the USMC and pursued my education AAS in law enforcement, BS in criminal justice, and my current pursuit of my MS in criminal justice with 48 hours. After my education I took a job as a defense contractor going overseas, where I disclosed to police departments that I took 1 pain medication for my lower back where I was having back spasms due to heavy manual labor and my Advil that I normally take was not working so I took a medication from a co-worker for the prescribed purpose in 11/2011. I also took 1 ambient pill from a fellow co-worker for the flight home from overseas for the purpose it was intended for back in 02/2012.
    I was disqualify by one department on the factor of drug usage, Which I disclosed to the officer when I was 19 (2002) and 20 (2003) I took a supplement from back of a muscular development magazine that advertised as supplement stack of 3 supplement pills, at the time I thought to legal since it was in back of this muscle magazine. I told the officer I didn’t know if these were considered illegal or if they were considered a steroid, but I disclosed it to be 100% truthful along with the non-prescribed medication I used twice. I was DQ due to drug usage history. I have done research and found a website that stills sells the product I took back then and talked with the company and they explain this was never at any point especially in 2002/2003 was it illegal or is now ever considered a steroid. I have the email conversation with the company and also contacted a local supplement store and spoke with the manager and he stated the same thing.

    I applied to another department and disclosed that I applied to the above department and was DQ for drug usage, which I explain what I did the officer agreed it was not a illegal steroid and told me to still write it out to explain, which I did along with the non-prescribed medication I took above. I received a letter stating I have been DQ from the police department due to arrest/convictions and drug usage was the other. Is it worth writing a request for an appeal and I am applying to 2 more departments which I am leaving out this supplement now but still disclosing my non-prescribed medication I took. My question is due to other department DQ am I ever going to be considered. I disclose my military punishment to every departments when the questions ask.

    Comment by Adam | March 21, 2014 | Reply

    • First of all, thanks for your service. The problem I see is that there seems to be a lot of incidences of drug use you’re having to explain away. This might make it difficult but not impossible to get hired. The key is how you verbalize the reasons for the use ( I.E. physical problems) and the fact you no longer need the drugs and that you have not used drugs for a long period of time.

      Comment by badge930 | March 22, 2014 | Reply

  49. Thank you for your response, I will definitely explain my non-prescribed medication usage to departments and the reason for the usage since this has been the only illegal drug usage that I have done. The supplement usage is only causing more confusion and suspension for investigators. Especially since I had got reinsurance that this supplement stack is legal to take even today, so I will leave this out from now on.

    Is it worth my time to write a request for an appeal hearing so I can explain better or do Departments just review the same information. Also when departments do checks with other departments are these departments that DQ on these drug usage going to effect their decisions or would I have the opportunity to explain this supplement issue, with my emails that I have on record stating their legal for use.

    Comment by Adam | March 22, 2014 | Reply

  50. I would write the request for the appeal. You have nothing to lose. I think some departments will allow you to explain the drug usage and some might not. Some departments are more forgiving and open to hiring people with blemishes on their record. For instance a large department in the south hired people that got fired from the department I worked at. You just got to keep trying.

    Comment by badge930 | March 22, 2014 | Reply

  51. Hi. I just took the multiple choice test today. I’m not sure I did so well but I believe we are our own worst critics. Your article helped me with my stress. I am a military spouse. My husband is an mp and that got me interested in the police. I was wondering. Do women have an advantage of getting hired or is everyone equal? The application stated they strongly encouraged women to test. I was surprised that I was one in possibly 10 of my testing section. How badly is it looked at for taking depression medicine from having anxiety and mild depression?

    Comment by jeanette | March 23, 2014 | Reply

    • There will be an advantage for a a female candidate if the department that’s hiring is looking to add more female officers. Regarding taking medication for depression affecting your hiring status depends on the circumstances. For instance; how often you used the medication, how long ago was it, do you still need to take the meds, etc.

      Comment by badge930 | March 23, 2014 | Reply

  52. Hello. I’ve been discouraged at the amount of competitiveness for a career in law enforcement. I was recently non-selected from the San Diego Police Dept and Sacramento PD for reasons unknown. I’m currently on the waiting list for a Sheriff’s Dept in Southern California, and have failed a polygraph for another department as well. I am 32 years old, have a B.S Degree in Business Management and have been self employed for the past 10 years. I’ve been 100% honest in my pre-investigative questionaire. I’ve only tried marijuana twice, stole an item less than $50, and a few minor things that happened in the last 7 years (which were not a problem when I spoke with a B.I).

    My question is, if I put myself in a self-sponsored academy (assuming I graduate), will my chances be THAT much higher in the selection process? Or will I be wasting my time going through the academy? After all, even self-sponsored graduates still have to go through the pre-investigative questionnaire, polygraph, psych, etc.. with the SAME criteria police departments use to weed out their applicants. Is getting a P.O.S.T certificate the real ticket into law enforcement for those without L.E experience?

    What frustrates me is that most departments will not disclose the reasons why an applicant is rejected. Would it not make sense to post a list of disqualifiers on their site to weed out applicants? IMHO, this would save a lot of time for both the agency and thousands of applicants.

    Thanks for your time.

    Comment by Alfred | March 25, 2014 | Reply

    • The P.O.S.T certificate will help but is not a guarantee. I know it’s discouraging but a lot of people have to go through the test process multiple times before getting hired. The things you mentioned, (tried marijuana twice and stole an item less than $50) shouldn’t be too much of a problem depending on when they occurred.

      Comment by badge930 | March 25, 2014 | Reply

      • If the PD I applied for told me that I was permanently disqualified and offers me a chance to request an appeal hearing, would it do a damn thing to reverse my permanent disqualification or would it be completely useless? The PD told me my reason for my permanent DQ was, in very vague terms: Unsuitability and Contradictory Information. If I were to appeal, would it be a waste of time? Also will I be arrested for appealing and discussing my “undetected crimes” which I have disclosed? And if I were to apply other PDs will that PD also tell the other PDs I am applying for why I got PDQ’d?

        Comment by John Martinez | April 4, 2014

      • HR people aren’t doctors or priests; there’s no confidentiality statute and you shouldn’t assume confidentiality when talking to them. I would forget the appeal and apply to other departments. Do your best to figure out the reason for the DQ and do what ever you can to prepare a defense for these issues.

        Comment by badge930 | April 4, 2014

  53. Hi there…I stumbled upon this website while obsessively googling due to nervous energy. My boyfriend has his oral board today and a lot is riding on it. I was wondering if you could tell me, typically, how the results for the oral stack up against the exam score. He passed with a 75(he has dyslexia so written exams always kill him) and ranked 44th, with 7 available positions. I’m so very thankful they are giving him an oral interview because that’s where he will really shine, but will his exam score hold him back? He also graduated last may with a degree in CJ from one of the top 5 schools for CJ in the nation and has spent almost a year at a county jail (partially for experience and partially because I haven’t graduated yet). The job is on the force in my hometown, which he’s really fallen in love with so I know it’s a bonus that he’s not one of those guys that’ll do two years and start looking for greener pastures. I guess I’m just looking for a little reassurance that he has a chance…I’ve been keeping his confidence up so he can go in and own his interview, but…I guess I’m just nervous 🙂 Thanks so much!

    Comment by Ash | April 14, 2014 | Reply

    • He definitely has a chance. A real good oral interview, plus his CJ degree could get him high enough on the list to get hired. It sounds like he really wants it and has been doing the right things to get it. Good luck…

      Comment by badge930 | April 14, 2014 | Reply

  54. Hi, recently, I met with a detective and pretty much he is preparing my packet for the oral board. I didn’t hear from the police dept even tho I scored a 99 mainly because I think they did a quick background check and found out I have too many traffic violations (3 speeding, accident and a dismissed reckless, and failure to stop…yes I was stupid.) However, its who you know really and after 6 months out of the blue, they called me up. The detective knew my driving record and even said its one of the more complicated ones. My town is hiring 20 for the next 2 years so my question is, even tho they mentioned that they won’t waste their time and money on anyone, Where do you think I stand with them? My oral interview is coming up so I am assuming that I have a chance like anyone else now even tho my driving record is terrible. I know I just have to be honest and explain my record but I don’t want to get my hopes up because I really didn’t even think I would get this far.

    Comment by James | April 18, 2014 | Reply

    • You’re driving record will be a red flag but not a total disqualifier. I don’t know when your last violation took place but the more time you put between your last violation and the application process the better. Good luck…

      Comment by badge930 | April 18, 2014 | Reply

  55. Hi, My name is chris I am turning 30 in July is it to late to become a police officer? I picked up a application about a month ago and my testing for the P.O.S.T is in Sept . Im not sure how to get the exact information for my employment history and residency history any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also I did get the California police officer test trading book anything else I could get? Please help I’m really nervous about this.

    Comment by chris baxter | April 26, 2014 | Reply

    • 30 is not too old. I know a lot of people that became police officers while in their 30’s and even 40’s. Departments like applicants with a bit of life experience. I suggest you do a lot of research regarding the PD’s job requirements. Usually their website will give you a lot of information regarding the application process. Get some police exam study guides and take as many practice tests as you can. There are some good police exam study guides such as Arcos, Learning Express, Barron’s and Policepath.com.

      Comment by badge930 | April 26, 2014 | Reply

  56. Argos and learning path those are websites or books? What could I do to aid me in researching my job history and residential history? Thank you sir.

    Comment by chris baxter | April 27, 2014 | Reply

    • Arco, Barrons and Learning Express police exam study guides are books. You can find them by going to Google and typing in Barrons, Arco or Learning Express police exam study guides. PolicePath.com is a website with police exam information and study guides.

      Resources Information for Conducting Research Into Perspective Department/Organization

      1. printed directories in the library
      2. promotional material & brochures
      3. Department/Organization newsletters
      4. informational interviews with employees
      5. informational exchange with former employees
      6. using a computer and the resources of the Internet

      ________________________________

      The Type Of Information You Want To Find Out About The Department/Organization:

      1. Overall management philosophy:
      including:
      a. principles
      b. values
      c. beliefs

      2. Management style, including:
      a. participate
      b. controlling
      c. responsibility, delegation

      3. Future boss, (Chief of Police, sheriff’s, Fire Department Chief, Mayor)

      a. characteristics
      b. principles
      c. values
      d. beliefs
      e. management style
      f. desired employee behavior
      g. what they consider high-performance
      h. what they consider low performance

      Comment by badge930 | April 27, 2014 | Reply

  57. I just wanted to share my story, and maybe vent a little in the process. I have recently decided to give up pursuing a career in law enforcement. I am 40 years old and have been applying since I was 19, putting in dozens of applicatications and going thru the process dozens of times.

    The very first department I applied with was small, and I passed everything….all of it. There were 6 of us qualified out of over 600 who applied, so we all were invited to the chiefs office where he drew our names out of a hat. The order you were called was the order you would go to the academy in. They only had a budget to hire 3 for this academy class, and would put the next 3 thru the following year….I was number 4. I used the next year to ready myself for the academy mentally and physically, and waited, and waited. After calling several times and waiting, the remaining 3 of us were told they did not have a budget to hire anyone this year, but to please reapply as your test results are only good for 2 years.

    From there on I have applied to who knows how many places, scoring well on all of my tests. I’ve never failed a polygraph or a psychological, and I have never been arrested or in any real trouble. Skipped school a few times and was caught, had my license suspended back when I was 17 for failing to pay a fine, got fired from one job for leaving the property to get lunch, that’s about it. I’ve never even tried any drug, to this day. My other employers give me excellent recommendations, and my personal references are great as well.

    The most recent process (and the last for me) I went thru was out of state, on the other side of the country. Scored a 96 on the written, higher than anyone during this process. Passed the physical with no problem, passed the polygraph with no problem, and did very well on the oral board. I was now sitting number 6 on the list based on all the scores. After background was completed I waited for 3 or 4 more months only to be told I was not selected. Not disqualified, just not selected, and was told there were a lot of military people who applied and that there was a lot of competition. I was number 6!

    This was it for me. My ego has had enough, going thru 20 years of trying to get hired and always being told you’re not good enough gets old. None of my friends can understand why I haven’t been hired, and most of them are police officers. My wife is a police officer and does not get it either. I have not applied at her department because 1, they only hire certified, and 2, her department has a lot of issues and people are leaving to work elsewhere in droves. She urged me to put myself thru the academy and try getting hired that way. The problem is that I would have to quit my job to do that, even for the part time academy. Thankfully, I do have a very good job that pays very well with excellent benefits, so quitting is not an option for me. Besides that, I know many people who have self sponsored and have not been hired. I can’t imagine quitting my job, paying for the academy, and still not getting hired. That would really suck.

    I have been told many times, as I’m sure some of you who read this will say, “you have a good job that pays better than a PO, why do you want to be a police officer?” Simple, I’m not happy. You know that saying, find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life? I can assure you, I work every single day. I know, as do my wife and friends, that I would be an excellent police officer. I have good instincts, good judgment, and am of good moral character. I have been to every type of scene imaginable, ridden with my friends more times than I can count, and have done pretty much everything there is to do. I know I would be happy with that career.

    What’s hard is seeing some of the new people that do get hired, and you wonder, how the hell did this person become a police officer? My wife and friends complain all the time that they hire people that have no business being out there. But that’s the way it is I guess. I just wish I could forget that I ever wanted to be a cop so I could move on with my life. I feel as if I’m not doing what I should be doing, and I’m tired of hearing the it wasn’t meant to be speech.

    It’s funny, there are people lining up for the job that I have, they apply over and over and don’t get hired, that would love to do what I do, just like me wanting to be a police officer. When I get asked by guys who want to get into my field how I got hired, I tell them it was very simple. I didn’t really want this job. In a career field that most people apply to many times before getting hired, I was hired the first time I tried. I say it’s because I didn’t really want it. Life works in very strange ways.

    Good luck to all this who are trying.

    Comment by Tired of Trying | May 2, 2014 | Reply

    • I don’t know how much you lose as far as retirement benefits if you leave your present job. But if you still really want it, don’t quit. I know a lot of people that started their law enforcing career in their 40s. So it’s not too late. I can understand being discouraged. I’ve been there. I came from a bit of a rough neighborhood and had a few bumps in my background. When I was applying for police jobs I was told by a LT in the HR division of one department that I wasn’t cut out to be a police officer and I should look for a different career path. I kept trying and got hired by a much bigger and what I thought a much better department. It ended up being a long and good career.

      Comment by badge930 | May 3, 2014 | Reply

      • I hear you badge, The problem is that most of the departments in my area are hiring certified only. They are figuring out that it saves them a ton of money versus paying someone to go thru the academy as well as the academy itself.

        There is no way I can leave my career to self sponsor and then possibly still not get hired. I can’t even do the part time academy because of my schedule, on call 24/7 6 days a week.

        Comment by Tired of Trying | May 11, 2014

      • It’s smart not to jeopardize your present job. I’m sure there are some departments that will hire candidates who are not self sponsored. I know they’ll save money by hiring sponsored candidates. But they’ll limit their hiring pool to people that presently do not have full time jobs or careers. That would really eliminate good candidates.

        Comment by badge930 | May 11, 2014

  58. Hi, my name is Xavier. Im a 17 y/o HS senior who will be going to college in the fall to get a BAS in CJ. When I was 16 I was arrested for stealing a phone and was given 10 days community service, the charge was dropped to a petit larceny misdemeanor and I believe it will be exsponged or cleared or w.e once I turn either 18 or 21. I have since decided that I want to become an LEO and I do not plan on being arrested EVER again. I used to smoke weed, but I made it my new years resolution to quit & I havn’t done it since. Will these things really affect me in my journey? I plan to join my college’s CJ club so that I can gain community service hours + internships and I also plan to perhaps join a fraternity. I’d appreciate it if a current LEO could answer my questions. Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Xavier | May 12, 2014 | Reply

    • The one misdemeanor arrest shouldn’t disqualify you. The marijuana use may put up some red flags. Remember, there is a deference between being a regular user and experimenting with marijuana as far as police departments go. You’re doing the right things to make yourself a better candidate and you’ll have a chance to get hired if you stay clean.

      Comment by badge930 | May 12, 2014 | Reply

      • Thanks for the quick response. I admit, i was a regular user from 14-17 but as I said, i stopped completely, even turning it down when people offer and disassociating myself from said people. I do not plan to let any of these things ruin my chances.

        Comment by Xavier | May 12, 2014

  59. Stay clean and keep on doing the right things to make yourself a good candidate and you’ll be wearing the badge someday.

    Comment by badge930 | May 12, 2014 | Reply

    • I surely will. Thank you for your words of knowledge and inspiration. Hopefully in 4-5 years I will be able to become part of an amazing department.

      Comment by Xavier | May 12, 2014 | Reply

      • You’re welcome and good luck.

        Comment by badge930 | May 12, 2014

  60. Hello, I’m 25 years old and I recently took the nyst exam last november. I hit the 90’s and well I never got called for the next phases in april 2014. They say not to contact the recruiter but I feel like I should.

    Also I was let go of my job as a security director because the “client wanted my removal”. I started out as a security guard and I was very good at my job, people counted on me and I was reliable. But then my boss retired and everyone put the pressure on me to be the new director and at first my fellow co-workers were very supportive and encouraging was training I reIieved was crap and the company went through a bankruptcy and the client we worked for, no one could make her happy. I mean she wanted me to fire someone every day. Everything i did was wrong in her eyes when really i was following procedure, she harassed me, treated me like crap and with the bankruptcy and the lack of training and support from the company I was drowning and before I could put my two weeks in I got fired. And to tell the truth i was relieved because i didnt have to deal with the client mostly. And after firing me the new guy ended up quitting because of the client. Its imposible to make her happy. But is this going to hurt me in the future?

    Comment by naos32 | June 23, 2014 | Reply

    • Being fired from your last job will be taken into consideration but wont disqualify you. A lot of people get fired from their jobs for one reason or another. A lot has to do with how you explain the situation. I would suggest that when you explain the situation you might not want to reveal your animosity towards the client. I would just say she didn’t like the way you did your job and asked that you be removed and she did the same thing to the next person that took over for you. And leave it at that. As a police officer you will be dealing with a lot of citizens that don’t like you. Your supervisor will want you to take it stride.

      Comment by badge930 | June 24, 2014 | Reply

      • Thank you so much and taking the time to help me.

        Comment by naos32 | June 24, 2014

      • You’re welcome and good luck.

        Comment by badge930 | June 24, 2014

  61. Hello. I was wondering about the process of getting hired. When they see your employment history do they consider gaps of employment as a problem?? I’m not on the books so I was curious.

    Comment by Jenny | August 2, 2014 | Reply

    • During the background check and interview process you will be asked about gaps in your employment. You wont be disqualified for having employment gaps but you should be able to explain them.

      Comment by badge930 | August 3, 2014 | Reply

  62. I recently got my first test scores to get into the academy for Fort Worth texas (a rather large department) and I passed but I wasn’t the highest nor was I the lowest and I am confident that I can pass the up and coming tests but I also am worried I will not get in because I am not the highest ranked also my dad is an officer with the same city and knows the background officers idk if that would help my chances or not …. Any thoughts?

    Comment by Bradg | August 7, 2014 | Reply

    • The fact that you’re dad is an officer shouldn’t affect on your background investigation. As long as your record is clean there shouldn’t be a problem. The fact your dad is an officer may help you in regards to your oral interview. He can help you as far as how to conduct yourself in the interview. Regarding your chance to get hired will depend on several factors such as how you do on the other tests and how many people will be hired from this eligibility list.

      Comment by badge930 | August 7, 2014 | Reply

  63. My name is Paula. I have taken the CPCA (Connecticut Police Chief Associate) seven times. My higher score so far was 82.8. I already tried everything I can to improve my score. Bought books, online study guides, watched a number of videos, even asked questions to police officers I know.
    The CPCA exam are based on scenario questions. For example: “you are on patrol and observe a driver passing a stop sign without stop. You pull him over and he says he is on the way to the hospital. He also says that his wife, in the back seat, is having a baby. You look at the back seat and notice the woman is pregnant and seems to be in pain. What do you do? 1-call an ambulance, 2-give him a ticket, 3-follow him until the hospital and verify his story, 4-tell him you understand the situation, but he has to be careful, let him go.” OR
    “you are in your patrol car, parked in a parking lot. A car is park directed behind you. When the driver tries to leave he hit the back of your cruiser. The driver is an elderly man. No damage was found on the driver’s car or on your cruiser. What do you do? 1-Give him a ticket, 2-no take law enforcement actions-there were no damage on your cruiser or the driver’s car, 3-Give him a ticket. Tell him that due to his age he should go take a eye exam, 4-Tell him to park the car until he sees a doctor.” OR
    “You are a police officer off duty. You leave a restaurant and notice a bank that you patrol all the time has the lights off. When you know it is always on. What do you do? 1-You call dispatch and let them know. 2-You drive around the bank and check if there are any sign of break entrance . 3-You do nothing, you are off duty. 4- You drive by and check if there is a cleaning lady/team inside.” OR
    “You are on duty but in regular clothing. You are in the bank when a man enter and announce that is a robbery. He order everyone to lay down on the ground. He has a gun and he point it to a teller’s face. He has his finger on the trigger. What do you do? 1-Announce you are police officer and tell the man to surrender. 2-Pull your gun and shoot the guy. 3-do nothing. You don’t want to jeopardize the safety of the people in the bank. 4-Do nothing until the guy leaves.”

    Because I took this test so many times I memorized a number of questions and I would like to know if you could help me. Maybe you know someone who took the test and scored higher. Maybe this person could help me.
    Last time I took this test, I tried to switch a couple of question with the intent of increase my score. It did not work and I got a lower score.

    Comment by Paula Kennedy | October 5, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Paula

      Actually 82.8 is not that bad of a score. A few more point and you’ll be in the running.

      Regarding the situation questions you have listed, always keep in mind that police officers do have discretion and two officers may handle the same situation differently and both be right. Also, keep in mind when answering situation questions always pick personal safety and the safety of others over property. With that being said here’s my answers:

      1. You are on patrol and observe a driver passing a stop sign without stop. You pull him over and he says he is on the way to the hospital. He also says that his wife, in the back seat, is having a baby. You look at the back seat and notice the woman is pregnant and seems to be in pain. 1-call an ambulance, 2-give him a ticket, 3-follow him until the hospital and verify his story, 4-tell him you understand the situation, but he has to be careful, let him go. What do you do?

      Answer: pregnant + pain = ambulance. Although, I would give the driver a warning. Driving through a redlight could cause a major accident.

      2. You are in your patrol car, parked in a parking lot. A car is park directed behind you. When the driver tries to leave he hits the back of your cruiser. The driver is an elderly man. No damage was found on the driver’s car or on your cruiser. What do you do? 1-Give him a ticket, 2-no take law enforcement actions-there were no damage on your cruiser or the driver’s car, 3-Give him a ticket. Tell him that due to his age he should go take a eye exam, 4-Tell him to park the car until he sees a doctor.”

      Answer: This is what I would do and what probably most PO’s would do. Take no law enforcement actions if there did not seem to be anything wrong with the elderly person. -there was no damage on your cruiser or the driver’s car.

      3. “You are a police officer off duty. You leave a restaurant and notice a bank that you patrol all the time has the lights off. When you know it is always on. What do you do? 1-You call dispatch and let them know. 2-You drive around the bank and check if there are any sign of break entrance . 3-You do nothing, you are off duty. 4- You drive by and check if there is a cleaning lady/team inside.”

      Answer: You call dispatch and let them know. If you start checking around and run into a couple of burglars (possibly armed) and didn’t notify the dispatcher you’ll be out on an island, on your own.

      4. You are on duty but in regular clothing. You are in the bank when a man enters and announces that is a robbery. He orders everyone to lay down on the ground. He has a gun and he points it at a teller’s face. He has his finger on the trigger. What do you do? 1-Announce you are police officer and tell the man to surrender. 2-Pull your gun and shoot the guy. 3-do nothing. You don’t want to jeopardize the safety of the people in the bank. 4-Do nothing until the guy leaves.”

      Answer: Do nothing until the guy leaves the bank. Here’s where personal safety and the safety of others over property comes into play. You really don’t want to start a shoot out in the bank if you don’t have to. Of course if he starts shooting people in the bank then you pull your gun and shoot him.

      How did you answer these questions? If you have more questions let me know how you answered them and I will comment on your answers.

      Comment by badge930 | October 5, 2014 | Reply

  64. Hi again. First, thank you for your response. Yes, I have other questions and would appreciate if you could answer them for me. Some of them I don’t remember exactly how the answers were posted, so I am going to do my best to describe it. I am sure you will know the answer just by looking at the questions.

    *You are send to a juvenile fight at the park…on your way to the call you see a car accident which people are injured. What do you do?”… do nothing, keep going to the call. There is a fight in progress…call dispatcher, tell them to send someone else to the call…call dispatcher, provide first aid to the injured people, go to your call….ask witnesses to stay with the injured people, go to your call.

    *On patrol…see a car parked in the driveway… has no front plate and you cannot see if there is back plate because the car was parked too closed to the wall…inside the car is a mess…glove box is open…papers all over the place…you assume? car was stolen… the owner of the vehicle left the car in that condition…(cannot remember the other two answers)

    *You are driving to a call…there is a shots fired…officer down…you have a flat tired…there is no back up on the way…you are a block away. What do you do?…continue driving. The officer’s life is more important…stop a driver and ask to take you to the location…call dispatcher and tell you cannot make it and ask to send someone else…change the tires than go to the call

    *You arrested a guy…he was heavily intoxicated…he said his wallet is gone/ $300 inside. He said you stole it…What do you do? Ignore the guy, he was intoxicated…go back to the place you arrested him and look for the wallet…tell him he can make a complain…call your supervisor

    Sincerely appreciate your time and answers

    Thank you

    Paula

    Comment by Paula Kennedy | October 8, 2014 | Reply

    • 1. *You are send to a juvenile fight at the park…on your way to the call you see a car accident which people are injured. What do you do?”… do nothing, keep going to the call. There is a fight in progress…call dispatcher, tell them to send someone else to the call…call dispatcher, provide first aid to the injured people, go to your call….ask witnesses to stay with the injured people, go to your call.

      Answer: I would volunteer to take the accident and request the dispatcher to send someone else to the juvenile fight.

      2.*On patrol…see a car parked in the driveway… has no front plate and you cannot see if there is back plate because the car was parked too closed to the wall…inside the car is a mess…glove box is open…papers all over the place…you assume? car was stolen… the owner of the vehicle left the car in that condition…(cannot remember the other two answers)

      Answer: Try to locate the VIN and run it to see if it’s stolen and try to locate the owner.

      3. *You are driving to a call…there is a shots fired…officer down…you have a flat tired…there is no back up on the way…you are a block away. What do you do?…continue driving. The officer’s life is more important…stop a driver and ask to take you to the location…call dispatcher and tell you cannot make it and ask to send someone else…change the tires than go to the call.

      Answer: continue driving

      4. *You arrested a guy…he was heavily intoxicated…he said his wallet is gone/ $300 inside. He said you stole it…What do you do? Ignore the guy, he was intoxicated…go back to the place you arrested him and look for the wallet…tell him he can make a complain…call your supervisor

      Answer: call your supervisor

      Comment by badge930 | October 8, 2014 | Reply

  65. Thank you again for your answers….
    As you said, police officers do have discretion, and on question #1 for example, a friend of mine who is a police officer, told me I could not ask to send someone else to the juvenile fight because it is a life threatening situation also. He said I could not do much and the EMT crew would taking care of it, so I should give a first Aid then continue to my call. (I will try your answer next time)
    The #2 answer was not an option:-)…I would know about the VIN…but I cannot remember the other two answers…I believe the first one is silly (the car was stolen!?..no necessarily) and if I had to pick between #1 and #2, I would pick #2 (I think #2 makes more sense since the car is park at someone’s driveway)…I am going to try to pay more attention on the other two answers next time. Maybe I am missing something.
    The #3 and #4 were the answers I choose.

    If you don’t mind, I will send you a couple of more questions soon. Please don’t feel like you have to answer it right the way. I am extremely passionate about a career in law enforcement. I never wanted anything as much as I want to become a police officer. I need to increase at least 5 points on my score and am taking any help that comes around.

    Thank you again

    Paula

    Comment by Paula Kennedy | October 9, 2014 | Reply

    • I agree with your police officer friend regarding the juvenile fight could be a life threatening situation but you cannot ignore the accident with injured people. You have to stop and give first aid, which would delay your response to the juvenile fight. Wouldn’t it be better to get another squad responding to that situation right away?

      Comment by badge930 | October 9, 2014 | Reply

  66. Thank you for providing this excellent resource, it’s been very helpful. I’ve learned more about the police academy application process from this comments section than I have from any other site!

    After reading through your answers, I noticed a few points that are relevant to my situation and was wondering if someone might offer some advice/assistance.

    I’ve decided to pursue a LE career from a completely different background (briefly, I’m currently employed as a PhD level cancer researcher). I will be 37 soon, but my local PD has no age restrictions. Many reasons that I’m attracted to LE for my next career, but chief among them are: I want to make a positive impact in the community I live in through public service, want to contribute concretely to the very important task of increasing the safety of my city (relatively high crime rate) while not discriminating (which our PD has been cited for in the past), enjoy solving problems and talking/interacting with lots of different kinds of people and think I would enjoy the job of a cop and be a very good one.

    I’ve already begun the application process for my local PD (just passed the physical ability test). The upcoming written test (CA POST PELLETB) appears to be mainly a language aptitude test, and I will most likely score very high. I’m going to do my best to prepare for the oral board interview with the resources available, but I generally interview well. What I’m most concerned about are the psychological evaluation and the polygraph test, which I know very little about.

    I want to be as honest as possible, but I have to say, I did my fair share of partying in my teens and 20s and I’m worried about being disqualified for that past behavior. I was arrested for possession of MJ when I was 19 and in college, but got a conditional discharge. No arrests since. But I have gone through periods during which I smoked MJ on a semi-regular basis (more than “experimentally”), and I have tried other drugs as well in the past. However, I am most definitely not that guy anymore, I haven’t touched the stuff in about a year and have no desire to do so again. Is this still going to kill my chances? How far removed do applicants need to be from behavior they have distanced themselves from? How much detail do PDs typically ask candidates to reveal about such previous behavior on polygraph tests?

    I’ve read above that you’ve offered others a police candidate polygraph ebook, would you be willing to send that to me? Would be greatly appreciated.

    Best,

    K

    Comment by ke | October 14, 2014 | Reply

    • The one arrest shouldn’t disqualify you. The marijuana/drug use may put up some red flags. Remember, there is a deference between being a regular user and experimenting with marijuana as far as police departments go. You did the right thing by stopping. You’ll have a chance to get hired if you are able to convince the PD that you have distanced yourself from drug use. A lot will depend on whether the PD is convinced that you will not return to using. You seem to have a lot to offer.

      I’m going to email you the polygraph ebook. It will help.

      Comment by badge930 | October 14, 2014 | Reply

      • Hello, My name is Kendra and I am 25 I just applied to the AK Trooper Academy two days ago. However, I am super nervous because in the past I have experienced with marajuana and even sold some after I quit. It was a very short period of time but I know that wont matter. Its been over 3 years! I answered the following questions honestly on the application. I was 21 at the time of all of this.

        * Have you used, transported or purchased an illegal controlled substance other than marijuana during the last ten (10) years (unless under the age of 21 at the time of use AND the act occurred more than 3 years from date of application)?

        *Have you ever illegally distributed, manufactured, or sold a controlled substance (unless under 21 at the time of the act AND the act occurred more than 10 years prior to the date of this application)?

        Do you think this will disqualify me automatically?

        This is what is states directly on the AK trooper site and makes me feel like I have little chance.

        8.Not used, transported, or purchased an illegal controlled substance other than marijuana during the last ten (10) years (unless under the age of 21 at the time of use AND the act occurred more than 3 years from the date of application).

        I answered yes here because I experimented with molly twice when I was 21.

        11.Not illegally manufactured, distributed, or sold a controlled substance (unless under 21 at the time of the act AND the act occurred more than 10 years ago).

        I answered yes to 11 because of the small amount of weed I sold.

        I have a COMPLETELY different life now and have no intentions of going near any of this for the rest of my life.

        Comment by Kendra | December 12, 2014

      • Hi Kendra – In my opinion using marijuana would probably not be a disqualifier but selling it probably is. Sorry for the bad news but it’s my honest opinion.

        Comment by badge930 | December 12, 2014

  67. Thanks so much, very helpful!

    Comment by ke | October 15, 2014 | Reply

    • You’re welcome.

      Comment by badge930 | October 15, 2014 | Reply

  68. What a wonderful site. Thank you for caring enough about those who desire to serve our community to help them in the process of being hired. My son has tried numerous times to be hired. In Texas, at the age of 21, he made it all the way to the second interview and then was not selected. He is now 26 and applied to the county sheriff’s dept. He was asked to do an oral interview with the sheriff’s office but then just recently was told he was not selected. I feel some of this responses to the questions were not what they wanted to hear. He also applied to the city police department but missed moving on to another level by 2 points when he took a “scenario” test. The officer testing him was very frustrated and told him he needed to try again in six months because the officer liked him so much. That mans he has to start the whole process all over again though. My son just recently graduated from the National Guard this year and is a Combat Engineer. He was hoping that would help him. This is a young man who loves his country and wants to serve. He loves community and helping others. I just don’t understand why it is so difficult for those who have such a compassion to be an officer to find a spot. Are there individuals who can give one-on-one counseling or support to individuals like him? Are there other fields that might not be so difficult to get into that might be just as rewarding to someone like my son as being an officer? What other occupations are there besides being a night watch man or security guy? Again, thank you! I absolutely love your site!

    Comment by Karen | October 25, 2014 | Reply

    • Thanks for the kind words. Your son should not stop trying. I know it gets frustrating but it seems like he’s close to making it. The fact that he graduated from the National Guard this year and is a Combat Engineer should help a lot. Yes, it would help if he knew somebody in law enforcement to review his responses. Does he have any idea why he didn’t get selected?

      Comment by badge930 | October 26, 2014 | Reply

  69. What are the chances of a 48 year old man becoming a police officer? I’ve spent the last 30 years in a family business and always regretted not fulfilling my desire to become one. I know, or think I know I am physically able to succeed at the job, I keep in running/crossfit shape, but what are the odds a department would choose me over other younger candidates. Add that to the fact that due to mandatory retirement, I may not get many years on the job. I have no military exp. or college degree, though I do have a completely clean background.
    I tested 20 yrs ago for a small local dept. in Illinois and did not get pass the oral interview, I was told it was a political small dept thing, but who knows. It discouraged me and I never tried again. I regret that and would like to try again but my age is the question. Honestly, what do you think?

    Comment by Jim | November 7, 2014 | Reply

    • Ideally there is not suppose to be age discrimination. Realistically there might be some. They probable will be looking for younger officers but there is a lot to be said for life experience. I worked for a large department and there were some people that came on the job while in their 40s and one was actually 51. Most of them did pretty good because they had a maturity advantage. So I wouldn’t give up your dream and give it a try. I would try for a larger department.

      Comment by badge930 | November 7, 2014 | Reply

  70. Thank-you badge930 for replying! I’ll keep an eye out for local depts here in AZ. Don’t really want Metro Phoenix, more like Glendale, Peoria, Surprise, etc… With smallest city being the latter with 115,000 residents. Decent size departments I believe. I’ll just keep in the best shape I can and look into preparing for written exam, etc… I’m sure that has changed in 20 yrs since I last took one! And keep checking back here too!

    Comment by Jim | November 7, 2014 | Reply

    • Those are good size departments. That will increase your chances. Best of luck and feel free to post your questions.

      Comment by badge930 | November 7, 2014 | Reply

  71. My boyfriend just found out he wasn’t picked to be apart of the police academy. they only picked 20 people and he was 21. is there any way that he can reapply for it in a year or a few months? please let me know. Thank you so much.

    Comment by Stephanie | November 21, 2014 | Reply

    • Sorry to hear your boyfriend missed being hired by just one position. Tell him not to give up. It looks like he has the qualifications to get hired. Since every department is different he should call the department’s personnel department to find out when he can reapply.

      Comment by badge930 | November 21, 2014 | Reply

  72. My son who has never wanted to be anything but a police officer finished college with BA in Criminal Justice, went on to law enforcement academy and took his law enforcement exam passing everything at the top or near the top of his class. He was recruited by our small town sheriff dept. which we did not want him to take as it is a small town good old boy system and we don’t play in that circle. Long story short he took the position as soon as he did it was not two weeks I start hearing must be nice that he is hand picked to get all day shifts, some of us had to work 10 years before saw that, wow he is a really good shot…because he was ask to site in rifles at the range…follow by well that will serve him well on the range. Down hill from there. There are two sides to the county, he was moved to other side nights, put with FTO that was friend with spuring things on from over here…bam remediation…put him someone else they have no problem with him. So now he has had some mouthy officers that really haven’t worked with him, 3 FTO officers with no problem, 2 Sergeants and 1 says that he needed remediation. Then comes his shadow phrase the FTO head who remediation guys best friend pulls him back to other side of county…understand this is not what was laid out on his schedule. His DOK’s were held for days with no feedback and then he was told to sign them. Any Guesses what happened after 8 days? He is terminated from FTO program. Now he has applied at two other agencies and all they questioned was why he was terminated from the FTO program. I am not a mother that stands by her kids no matter what, but when they work hard, do what they are suppose to have their career snatched from him over pettiness it is hard to swallow. So the question is what does he do now? My confident, strong, bright, funny son is no longer the man he was. His dad and I don’t know what to tell him everything we read says a failing FTO is pretty much a career killer. Suggestions please!

    Any help how to he address the FTO issue in interviews or if he is really dead in the water please be honest. I am trying to talk him into going back to school if nothing else maybe he could teach CJ.
    Thanks Sadie

    Comment by Sadie | January 23, 2015 | Reply

    • I suggest he keeps applying to big departments. Bigger demand for officers and less likely to get caught up in petty politics. Regarding the FTO situation, which might come up in the background investigation I suggest he tells the truth. Since there is always 2 sides to the story I suggest when giving his side of the story he takes partial responsibility.

      Comment by badge930 | January 24, 2015 | Reply

  73. Thank you for your advice.
    Couple more things if you can give us some more input:
    I want to clarify although as parents we are proud of his accomplishments he is a very humble person and was not being a show off. If he was I am sure that other officers on the force would not have spoken up on his behalf when the person failed him. Like you said there is two sides of the story. Would you suggest he take his DOK’s to interviews with him to show the stark differences? He has already applied at large dept and a small PD and was rejected because of failing the FTO program. Should he explain the failing report were supposly his friend and the passing were people he had never met? Do you think that would make a difference?

    Comment by Sadie | January 24, 2015 | Reply

  74. Correction to my original post…I think I made it sound like 2 Sergeants said my son needed remediation that was not the case they were two of the people standing up for him.
    Sadie

    Comment by Sadie | January 24, 2015 | Reply

  75. So here’s my dilemma. In the last 10 years I have been trying to get onto police departments in all the states I have lived in throughout my life. I have always aced the written exam, physical agility test, the oral review boards, the psychological exams, and the lie detector test. But when it comes to being hired I am never chosen. They always tell me I have high scores, and would be a good asset the the department, and always in the top 5 percent. What am I doing wrong?

    Comment by Chris | January 25, 2015 | Reply

    • I have no clue why you’re not getting hired if you’re ending up in the top 5% of the test process.The only thing I can think of is you’re applying to small departments with very few openings. It’s a question of supply and demand. Larger departments with the need for more officers will take at least candidates that finish in the top 10%.

      Comment by badge930 | January 25, 2015 | Reply

      • I’ve applied at departments that were between 8 officers and 500 officers. I have a clean background, and I’m working on my bachelor’s in criminal justice with a minor in business management. I’m just getting pissed with all of it.

        Comment by bow2thecow | January 25, 2015

      • It’s time to apply to bigger departments. The department I worked for had 1800 officers. When I applied they had a 100 opening and 500 applicants.

        Comment by badge930 | January 25, 2015

      • So departments life L.A. NYPD and ATL?

        Comment by bow2thecow | January 25, 2015

      • Boston, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, New Orleans…

        Comment by badge930 | January 25, 2015

  76. My question is for Mr Badge930
    How old is too old to be a police officer?

    Comment by Kim | February 3, 2015 | Reply

    • The oldest person I know to come on the job as a recruit was 51.

      Comment by badge930 | February 4, 2015 | Reply

  77. Thank you Sir

    Comment by Kim | February 4, 2015 | Reply

  78. You’re welcome.

    Comment by badge930 | February 5, 2015 | Reply

  79. Hi badge930,
    I have a question for you regarding “personal history statement” packet. I just applied for a sheriff department and returned the PHS packet today. In PHS, there was a question that if I have ever submitted an application with any other law enforcement agency. In answer to that, I have applied two departments about 5 years ago, and I forgot to mention that in the answer. I answered “no”. It just didn’t occur to me at that moment. But after returning the packet I realized the mistake. What should I do now? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks,

    Comment by Andy | February 12, 2015 | Reply

    • Contact the department’s human resource department and tell them you made a mistake on the “personal history statement”. Ask if you can correct it.

      Comment by badge930 | February 12, 2015 | Reply

      • Thanks for your quick response.
        I would definitely do this tomorrow.

        Comment by Andy | February 12, 2015

  80. You’re welcome and good luck.

    Comment by badge930 | February 12, 2015 | Reply

  81. Hello Badge930.
    I passed the written test and have the PAT and PIQ next week. I’ve been fired from a job for getting three strikes (first strike, I helped my co worker chase a man who ran out on his tab. We caught him and then police were called. The second and third were for tardiness). This was when I was 17-18 and am now 26. Is that a big DQ factor? Do I need to list ALL jobs or just jobs from a certain date to the present?
    Thanks in advance,

    Ryan

    Comment by RyanAA44 | February 14, 2015 | Reply

    • Being fired from a job when you were 17 shouldn’t be a major problem for the reasons you gave. I’d list all documented jobs.

      Comment by badge930 | February 15, 2015 | Reply

  82. My son is 26, served 3 1/2 yrs in Army as a medic and was medically discharged before going to Afganistan. He has 2 Associate Degrees and a Bachelor in Criminology. He has applied to several police departments in Texas, one being Dallas. He scored very high on everything and got good responses from the oral board. The last time during the psychological test they said he scored too high (12) and made him retake it, scoring too high again. What does this mean??? Every other test was fine. He was given no other reason, now he doesn’t know what to do. Should he keep applying to other agencies or give up. One thing that does pop up on his background is from the army, having to do with his military ID card. It was damaged and since he was getting out his CO said not to worry about it. One day going into the gate he was stopped and “Detained” until his Sgt. came to get him. No charges were ever filed, we have even spoken to the Provost Marshall on base and he says the MP never took it out of the system. He has letters from his CO, Sgt, and others on this.
    PLEASE HELP US!!!!

    Comment by Brenda McBrayer | March 4, 2015 | Reply

    • First of all, thank your son for his service. The Military ID incident should not be a major problem. It sounds very minor to me. I don’t understand the problem with scoring too high on the psych test. It almost sounds like the psych test administrator is a bit paranoid and thinks your son some how is manipulating the test. Your son should absolutely keep trying. With his education and military background there should be a lot of departments that would be happy to have him.

      Comment by badge930 | March 4, 2015 | Reply

  83. Do you have any advise for anyone going into corrections who didn’t pass the oral psych interview? Appealing the decision, have a doctor just waiting for the cdcr to release my records so the doctor and review them, then test me.

    Comment by Sugar | March 4, 2015 | Reply

    • Appealing the decision is the best course of action. Also, apply for other correction jobs. For what ever reason you did not pass the psych interview may not be an issue next time.

      Comment by badge930 | March 14, 2015 | Reply

  84. My boyfriend currently works as a security guard at a hospital. He has been trying for two years to get on with a department. Almost every time he makes it to final interviews but has not been selected. When I ask him what more he could do, he just shrugs it off and says “keep trying”. I want him to keep trying, but something obviously isn’t going right. So, what more could he do? Are there any mock interviews that are specific to POs? His backgrounders always have great things to say to him and he always passes the test with high 90s.

    Comment by Tiffany | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • Sometimes it takes a long time and many tries to get hired. I know people that got hired after trying for more than 5 years. Is he failing the oral interview or just getting low scores? Some departments have pass/fail oral interviews while others give a score. You can get books or ebooks for police oral exam strategies. Has he tried using those?

      Comment by badge930 | March 20, 2015 | Reply

      • He passes the first round of oral interviews, which is scored, then passes background no problem. It’s during final interviews when they are down to 6-8 people and hiring 3 (or something). A few times he has been an alternate, once he was #11 and they were hiring 10. Is there a better job, like a CO, or something that he should be doing instead? Or anything he should get involved in to make his application better?

        Comment by Tiffany | March 20, 2015

  85. It sounds like he’s close to making the cut. I don’ think he needs a different job. Does he have a degree?

    Comment by badge930 | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • Yes. A bachelors in criminal justice (or criminology I forgot which). And he graduated from the academy a couple years ago.

      Comment by Tiffany | March 20, 2015 | Reply

  86. He seems like
    he is a pretty good candidate. How big of a department is he applying to? The bigger the department the better chance he has.

    Comment by badge930 | March 20, 2015 | Reply

    • He has been applying to a range of sizes. He seems to have the most luck with the mid-range dept. Of course, that’s also the local one. (90k people in the city) The last final interview was for a small town of about 3k. He’s willing to go just about anywhere, but the issue now is the cost to get to all those interviews/psych tests/physical agility test/etc. To drive hundreds of miles multiple times and having to take days off of work is expensive. Thanks for all your input. I don’t know much about the law enforcement process and I only hear what he tells me.

      Comment by Tiffany | March 21, 2015 | Reply

  87. I know you probably heard this before but tell him to keep trying. It sounds like he is pretty close to making it.

    Comment by badge930 | March 22, 2015 | Reply

  88. Hi,

    I am 32 years old, I got into trouble a few times when I was younger. About 15 years ago. I have taken the exam and got a 82. My background concerns me though, back in 2001 I had one minor possession of marijuana (1) bag, and petite larceny charge, and I was arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; which I was immediately let go. I was told those charges have been dropped to a violations. Would these be automatic dis-qualifiers on my behalf? If so, is there anything that I can do to increase my chances as a potential candidate ? Thanks!

    Comment by Jason M | March 26, 2015 | Reply

    • If they were both misdemeanor charges then they shouldn’t disqualify you. I would keep trying. 82 is an ok score but you’ll probably need to get in the upper 80s to get hired.

      Comment by badge930 | March 26, 2015 | Reply

  89. Hi, my boyfriend,33, just got the news that he failed the psych exam. We have no ides as to why he did not pass- no record, no mental illness, no charges, no aggression. The only thing we can think of is the doc thought he was lying about something, maybe his answers seemed too perfect. Is there anything else he can do besides appeal? How long does the appeal take? He obviously will miss this class but I don’t think he wants to wait if it should take a year or so to get this straightened out.

    Comment by margie | April 10, 2015 | Reply

    • Regarding why he failed I could not give a reasonable opinion without knowing what the questions were and what answers he gave. The psych exam can be arbitrary and depends on the person administrating the test. The examiner will use tricks to determine if the candidate is telling the truth. Unfortunately it’s not a perfect system and they occasionally get it wrong. I couldn’t tell you how long the appeal process would be since each department has a different appeal process.

      Comment by badge930 | April 11, 2015 | Reply

  90. thanks, I hope he gets another opportunity.

    Comment by margie | April 11, 2015 | Reply

  91. He should get another chance. He may want to consider applying to other departments.

    Comment by badge930 | April 11, 2015 | Reply

  92. Hi, I applied for correctional position at a big agency that is well known in CA. I passed the test and was in the background process. I had turned in my PHS and forgot to list two other agencies that I applied for. During a second interview, my BI asked me to review my PHS where I again forgot to mention about the two other agencies. During that interview, I then told the BI afterwards when I remembered that I did apply for two agencies and told them the status that same day. This was about 4 years ago. Long story short, I received a letter stating that the background process will be discontinued due to certain information that I omitted. Is this a disqualification? It did not specifically state “qualified”. I have received other letters from one agency where I have applied and failed certain parts and it states “disqualified”. I have a BS in Criminal Justice and in the process of background for probation. I am going to fully disclose all the agencies that I am applying for from now on. This was my very first background check conducted. What are my chances of being hired in probation due to the fact that I forgot to mention the two agencies in the last background? Is this a big red flag?

    Comment by JohnL | April 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Not including 2 agencies you applied for in your PHS shouldn’t be a disqualifier. Seems like a minor mistake. I would keep trying.

      Comment by badge930 | April 17, 2015 | Reply

  93. Hello. I’ve spoken to you in the past about many applications and many denials. You advised me to never give up. Thank you for that. So now, a year later , I have my AA in Administration of Justice, but I still have credit issues and am currently unemployed. I have started the process of joining the Navy Reserve. Do you think the military and degree will improve my chances greatly, or not much? Thanks again.

    Comment by Nichole | April 17, 2015 | Reply

    • Police departments absolutely love to hire people with a military background.

      Comment by badge930 | April 17, 2015 | Reply

  94. I was hoping to hear that. Thanks.

    Comment by Nichole | April 17, 2015 | Reply

    • You’re welcome.

      Comment by badge930 | April 17, 2015 | Reply

      • Hello badge,

        My husband who is 21 is applying for the academy this July. He really wants to do this and is passionate about this job. He DID want to join the army first before applying, but I convinced him to apply to this police academy first as I don’t want him to leave our family. But I am rather worried that he doesn’t have enough experience to stand out. They are looking to hire minority’s and women in our city and he is neither. He is a white Italian male!! He is CPR certified and has been a volunteer lifeguard since high school. His family name is also well known in our community. What more can he do? (Besides learn another language, volunteer, and go to college)
        Thank you!

        Comment by Amanda | April 24, 2015

      • The best way to beat the odds is to ace the police entrance exam. A lot of people without military backgrounds or college degrees got hired by getting high scores on the written and oral exams. The fastest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line. The straight line is the test. Your husband should become the best test taker he can. He should do some research and get the best police test prep material he can find.

        Comment by badge930 | April 24, 2015

      • Also, would you suggest BUYING the police path study guide????

        Comment by Amanda | April 24, 2015

      • Yes, I do recommend the Police Path study guide.

        Comment by badge930 | April 24, 2015

  95. I am currently in the military and have 4 more years to go. I only have one misdemeanor for not having insurance 3 years ago and one speeding ticket my credit is ok and its building. Im majoring in Criminal Justice and will at least have my associates by the time im out.. I’ve all ready have passed the entry exam with a B and I was carious on my chances of getting hired. My home town is a large city with very high crime probably the second or first in the country

    Comment by Jordan | May 15, 2015 | Reply

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about the misdemeanor. Based on your military service and your pending associates degree in criminal justice I think you will make an excellent candidate.

      Comment by badge930 | May 15, 2015 | Reply

  96. So my husband passed all of his tests with flying colors. He was top 15 and ended up
    in top 10. It’s been about 4 months he’s been waiting to hear back. He finally did and was told he was chosen to not go any further for a reason they cannot disclose. They said “we highly recommend applying at other departments “. My main question is why was he not hired even though he passed all of his tests? It was up to a commitee…who’s the committee?

    Comment by Desiree | May 15, 2015 | Reply

    • I have no clue why your husband wasn’t hired. The fact they didn’t give him a reason and suggested he apply to other departments is a head scratcher. This would indicate your husband did nothing wrong. Not knowing what the size or type of department your husband applied to I cant give you a real good answer. I can tell you when the outcome is decided by a committee it’s often based on personal feelings. Most large department have taken the politics out of the hiring process and leave the outcome to the overall final scores of the applicants.

      Comment by badge930 | May 15, 2015 | Reply

  97. Hello,
    I applied for the police exam in 2011 and started my process as a candidate in 2013. I passed all of the pre-entrance testing however, my investigation process wasn’t so great. I never been arrested or anything but some of my family members has. My father has been in and out of prison since I was six years old and has been living out of state for over 15yrs. My brother was arrested once before in which I wasn’t aware of and we haven’t lived in the same household since we were babies and my children father has a criminal history. The only thing on my behalf that was found on my investigation found evidence that I left a job without the proper notification, I got a ticket for using a student metro-card and that I smoke marijuana once before in my life. Someone stated that I shouldn’t allow this to discourage me and that I should apply for an appeal. My application expires June of next year. What do you think I should do?

    Comment by Tee | September 23, 2015 | Reply

    • I think you got good advice. Don’t give up. Apply for an appeal. It seems your infractions are minor and you have overcome a lot of adversity. If you don’t get this job keep applying for other departments. Don’t be afraid to bring up your family problems and how you were able to overcome them.

      Comment by badge930 | September 24, 2015 | Reply

  98. I can still become a police officer if I had two public violations in the past 3 year?

    Comment by Ivan Barias | October 7, 2015 | Reply

    • It depends on what the violations were and how long ago the last one was.

      Comment by badge930 | October 7, 2015 | Reply

  99. Hi guys,

    I have a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and consider myself a good member of society. I did receive an OWI 3 years ago but in my state that doesn’t bar you from departments. In fact most departments let the first one slide as a freebie. I have applied to various departments and did testings and physicals and anything else of that sort.

    I recently just got a contingent job offer. I am admittedly really excited, even though it is contingent. It’s the farthest point I’ve gotten. All I need to do is pass a medical and psychological exam. Medical I know I will be fine in. Psychological I know I will be fine in as well. I am a father of a great 4 year old, in a stable domestic relationship, and have great friends and family. Basically, I am not a nutcase.

    I have researched the Psyche Exam and it is the MMPI 2. It’s 500 questions about personality. It’s gotten me quite concerned because the way it’s scaled seems rather arbitrary. Basically if you score too high in an area the system makes you look like you’re lying and only putting answers that an employer may want to see.

    To put it shortly, I would hate to see a future career dissipate because of an algorithmic system. My test is in a week. Anyone familiar with this and that may be willing to give some insight would be greatly appreciated. This is something I know I want to do and I am confident I would do well at it. Thank you guys!

    Comment by Jonathan Dewey | October 9, 2015 | Reply

    • You seem like a stable rational person. Just answer the questions honestly and be yourself and I think you’ll do fine.

      Comment by badge930 | October 11, 2015 | Reply

      • So there’s been a new development. I have received notification that I have been disqualified due to the background investigation due to honesty/integrity issues because I failed to disclose an arrest. During the investigation, the investigator asked me about an arrest I had when I was 19. After describing it, I recalled that I was involved in a fight and I disclosed this to the investigator. Apparently, I was charged with disorderly conduct and had a ticket but it was paid. I truthfully had no recollection of the event until the investigator approached me about it, let alone recalling being charged with disorderly conduct. I can appeal this decision which I am going to, but I feel really stupid now. I feel like I may lose out because I didn’t disclose what essentially is an ordinance violation. Based on any of your experiences am I more likely to be screwed or do you think an appeal committee will hear out what I have to say.

        Comment by Jonathan | October 13, 2015

      • They will listen to your appeal. Whether they overturn your disqualification is unknown. It depends on how you argue your case. Dishonesty based on omission may be easier to defend than defending giving false information.

        Comment by badge930 | October 13, 2015

  100. Hello, I just recently took the police exam and I was very upset with what I saw. It makes me believe that they are not giving everyone a fair chance at all. After everyone came out of the exam room, and put their test in a box. The police took the box full of test and walked it out to one of the cars to get “graded”. I watched the officers walk back into the building without ever taking the test out of the car, or box and thirty minutes later they came out saying who passed and failed. I’m fine with failing a test, but to know that they did not even grade it and said I failed makes me wonder what was the point of even taking the test.

    Comment by Dan | November 21, 2015 | Reply

    • That’s a pretty serious charge. That would be an unethical/illegal employment practice. If you are sure that the tests were not graded I would report the matter to the US Department of Labor. It would help if you had another witness.

      Comment by badge930 | November 22, 2015 | Reply

  101. Thank you very much . And i’m sorry to be a pain but one more question they will count the day i apply right ? That mist be before 35 years old it doesn’t matter if they call me after that right?

    Comment by Francesca | November 24, 2015 | Reply

    • Francesca – If the requirements indicate you must apply before the age of 35 then you can be over 35 when you actually get hired.

      Comment by badge930 | November 29, 2015 | Reply

  102. Thank you so very much for the information you gave me . You are awesome!

    Comment by Francesca | November 29, 2015 | Reply

    • You’re welcome and good luck.

      Comment by badge930 | November 29, 2015 | Reply

  103. Well I’ve got to tell you-every civil service exam I took, I scored above 100% due to my federal service record (military, active duty 8yrs, retired-yes retired with full VA and ARMY pensions). I also maxed every PT test I took. Background always checked out (I still had a federal TS sec clearance). However, EVERY TIME I WENT IN FRONT OF THE BOARD I WAS FAILED. I still haven’t figured it out yet and think about it from time to time. I went through this process with 2 dozen departments in the Seattle-Tacoma area over a period of a year… Nothing.

    Then I get a call from a federal app I dropped through theUSAJOBS website…DCIS (defense criminal investigation service)-Federal law enforcement specializing in antiterrorism and counterterrorism investigations and operations. Having been Ranger and Special Forces and deployed three times, I was a shoe-in. I loved my job but left right after I was promoted to senior case officer,I left, never to return to the job.

    I was never insulted, I knew what I was asking for. I hated being constantly blamed for things I didn’t do, but I understood it was the nature of the job; lol, if you think public opinion and scrutiny sucks, wait til you meet your boss!! Overbearing, micromanaging, belittling-and that stays pretty steady, even after your probie year is up-I was there 2-1/2yrs. Upon leaving, I was told ‘what a waste’, ‘you’re no patriot’, a lot of crap…these are the people you work with-just as bad as the scum you’re putting behind bars.

    Today, I realize what LEOs go through but find locals to be the worse, real sense of empowerment behind the badge. Often times (unless I know them), they don’t know who they’re talking to, it’s just funny to think about what these guys are saying and they have no idea what’s going on within the larger scheme of things. Most of the guys just want a good paying Union job with the bennies and the empowerment, yeah… Very small-scale.

    I’m done, that’s my rant.

    Comment by MicGia | December 18, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you for your service. Rant away, you earned it.

      Comment by badge930 | December 18, 2015 | Reply

  104. Hello, I had my police officer oral interview Monday. I believe I did well but my only problem is I didn’t arrive 20 minutes early to check in. I made to my interview with 10 minutes to spare. Will this disqualify me?

    Comment by Joe J | January 13, 2016 | Reply

    • I don’t think it will disqualify you but it might be a taken into consideration when they’re giving your score.
      .

      Comment by badge930 | January 13, 2016 | Reply

  105. Hello, I’m curious about how much of an impact family members have on my hiring process. My mother married someone from England who has been waiting on his papers for upwards of 7 years and I was always told he wasn’t allowed to leave the country while they were being processed. However, when I asked her for his immigration information to put on my application she said she didn’t have it because there were issues with the agency processing his paperwork and wouldn’t answer my questions further. If I submit my application and make it through all the regular processes, will it hold me up if they find something wrong with his paperwork? They are legally married in the United States, but I’m hoping that what my parents choose to do won’t affect my life in such a drastic way.

    Comment by Mandi | January 19, 2016 | Reply

    • That situation should have zero impact as long as you are a US citizen.

      Comment by badge930 | January 19, 2016 | Reply

  106. I have a good POST score and I have been chosen to interview for two departments. The first department: I passed the interview and I made the hiring list, but the city is abolishing the list I am currently on, so I need to start the process over. The second department fails me on the police report writing portion. Whether the applicant passes or “fails” is subjective and left up to the Lt at the department. I know my police report writing isn’t bad because I have worked with an officer at a large department on report writing.My question is, how can I prepare for the “Report Writing” portion of the exam. What do I need to change to get hired?

    Comment by SFGal | February 11, 2016 | Reply

    • I worked at central booking for a couple of years so as someone who reviewed over a thousand reports I looked for certain things. They were clarity, brevity and if it was a criminal complaint it had to include all the elements of the crime. If it was an arrest report it had to include probable cause for the arrest. Of course, grammar and spelling were also a factor. Hope this helped.

      Comment by badge930 | February 11, 2016 | Reply

  107. i have a question. If i was rejected from one police department, do i have to mention it to the other police agency when ask about other agencies i applied too?

    Comment by israel | March 8, 2016 | Reply

    • If you’re asked by the department you’re applying to, I would tell the truth. Most likely they will find out anyway.

      Comment by badge930 | March 8, 2016 | Reply

  108. Let me start at beginning:
    When I went away for college far from home, I eventually got homesick and talked to my parents every day. Hearing how sad I felt they wanted me to talk to a counselor for help.
    So I did and when I applied to NYPD, I told them what happened at school.

    I went through all parts of NYPD tests and passed. Waited quite a while to hear when I would go into the academy. After about 8 months and still not hearing anything and no dq letter, my parents talked to an officer that they knew and he made a couple phone calls. Come to find out that the Psychological Department Did not accept my college’s answer and wanted an official letter stating. What happened at school, but I did not see a doctor just school counselor but my Psychologist won’t accept schools answer and I have missed the first two classes of the year.

    Does anyone know if I can get someone higher up to review my case ?
    As I am being left in limbo.

    Comment by brownrock | April 1, 2016 | Reply

    • Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I think you’re just going to have to wait for the process to run it’s course. You may want to go to the personnel division and try to talk to somebody about your situation. You might find somebody to give you some answers and explain the situation to you and give some kind of time table.

      Comment by badge930 | April 1, 2016 | Reply

  109. I applied with the Baltimore city police 7 times and passed the test, but i am unable to tuch my toes. By me not able to tuchmy toes that means i am unable to be a police officer. so in other words to perform my police duties I must be able to touch my toes to make an official arrest or make a traffic stop or even stop a fleeing felon. so to complete all these tests I must sit down on the ground and touch my toes before I make an effective arrest i must be able penot touch their toes and bent on the police force for more than 15 police officers that work with the police force that cannot touch their toes and bent on the police force for more than 15 years. so what does that matter to law encorcement, not being able to touch my toes now or being a police officer for 15 years and still can’t touch my toes so what is the difference. I have two degrees and can’t get a job. I have AAS in Homeland Security and a BS in criminal Justice and i have no criminal record or traffic violations. But the Baltimore city police department will hire a person that has a history of violence, brutality and racism.

    Comment by Zannie Jernigan | April 20, 2016 | Reply

    • Police departments have specific physical requirements that they want their candidates to be able to perform. I understand that there are 15 year vets that are no longer able to perform these physical requirements. But they did when they were hired. What they are no longer able to do physically they more than make up for with job experience. I understand your frustration. My suggestion is apply for other departments. Their testing procedures may be different.

      Comment by badge930 | April 20, 2016 | Reply

  110. My son applied to a department. He had his polygraph and was told he did fine. He was then called by the background investigator and told there were some inconsistencies. My son stated he told the truth. They proceeded with the background and my son received very good recommendations. He received a letter 3 weeks later saying he was not accepted but could reapply in a year. He emailed the background investigator asking if he should reapply and what advice would he give. He has not received a reply. This is a large department. My question is why won’t they tell you what came up and why don’t they ask you if there is an issue.My son is 21 has an associate’s degree and is a year away from his bachelors. He came in third in his group for the physical agility. Should he continue? He lives in a house with 3 of his friends. Would there behavior reflect on him? He really want this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

    Comment by kathyonemoretime | May 25, 2016 | Reply

    • My advise would be to tell your son to keep applying and apply to other departments. Many applicants apply to several departments before getting hired. Since polygraph tests can be subjective, maybe the next time the examiner will give your son a pass. Good luck.

      Comment by badge930 | May 25, 2016 | Reply

      • Thank you.

        Comment by kathyonemoretime | May 26, 2016

  111. You’re welcome

    Comment by badge930 | May 26, 2016 | Reply

  112. Hey I’ve taken 5 different cadet exams and failed all of them. The exams are fairly easy, will this affect my hiring process if i pass any of them?

    Comment by Lalo | August 7, 2016 | Reply

    • If you pass the exam previous failures should not affect the hiring process.

      Comment by badge930 | August 7, 2016 | Reply

  113. Help Please. My brother just spent 2 years working on getting accepted into the police academy and he just took a hair test and it came back negative for cocaine. My brother has never done drugs in his life in fact he is so against it that he has never drank a sip or alcohol or even tried a cigarette. I am heartbroken, my brother worked so hard for this. I don’t understand what could of caused this but is there anything he can do he is just feeling hopeless and giving up and I know this can’t be the end. Please any advice would help. He deserves this. He would make a wonderful officer.

    Comment by samantha | September 2, 2016 | Reply

    • Actually, if the test came back negative for cocaine it means no cocaine was found.

      Comment by badge930 | September 3, 2016 | Reply

  114. Thank you Don. My son seems to think it was something he did in high school that hit him on the polygraph but come on as a single parent it couldn’t have been too bad if I wasn’t notified by the school so now he’s under the assumption he will fail all polygraphs if he applies to other departments. very frustrating, this is all he has striven for over the last 8 years or so. Disappointed in Police policy dad.

    Comment by Mark Brewer | September 9, 2016 | Reply

    • I’m going to send you an email with something that might help.

      Comment by badge930 | September 10, 2016 | Reply

  115. I have read through the greater majority of all of these comments.

    First, thank you for your time and dedication.

    In June I passed the basic academy and obtained my (CA) POST. I am a few classes away from earning my BS in psychology. Long story short while I worked for one of my employers I stole merchandise that would retail close to $1,000. Never got caught, knowing that I would have to take a polygraph I decided the best thing would be to return to my employer and come clean, and replace what I took.

    I have submitted 15 applications, have been through the background process 5 times and been DQ’d each time.

    When I was 13 (28yrs today) while online I watched what is considered child pornography, I didn’t know any better at the time. At age 18, I drove while under the influence of alcohol. And at 15 I got in a fight at school.

    My concern is that I stated too much in my PHS because nothing was ever “on paper”. Well I’m too honest, but before I did all of this I decided I would be 100% honest.

    Now I’m seeing that if I get lucky it’s probably going to take me a lot more time.

    At this point I’m going to go back to landscaping, feeling discouraged.
    Should I keep applying and possibly rack up more DQ’s or just wait 1-2years (will have to go through requal if I dot get a peace officer position during 3years)

    Again thank sir you for everything that you do.

    Comment by NotgoodenoughYet | September 28, 2016 | Reply

    • Most departments have automatic disqualifiers. You may have hit on one with your admissions during the polygraph. What you probably should do is take a step back and learn as much as you can about automatic disqualifiers and taking the polygraph before going through the process again.

      Comment by badge930 | September 29, 2016 | Reply

      • Thank you for responding.
        I did fail my initial 2 polygraphs, I was told I was “withholding” but I was really neevous and had to use the restroom.
        The other polygraphs I passed, but once the background process was started I would get the DQ a few weeks later.

        Admission to a felony: by me taking the merchandise from my previous employer even though I returned, confessed and payed up, this must be my disqualifier.

        I may be better off throwing in the towel. This was my own un-doing.

        Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

        Comment by NotgoodenoughYet | September 29, 2016

  116. That was most likely the disqualifier.

    Comment by badge930 | September 29, 2016 | Reply

  117. I had an physical test that was the 1 st test and also my
    1st attempt and I was dis qualified in running test so this
    Will be any black mark for my future attempts of all every stages of exam ….. That if I select in next attempt.. means

    Comment by Manjunath Prasad | October 5, 2016 | Reply

    • Being disqualified for the running test will not be held against you for any future tests.

      Comment by badge930 | October 5, 2016 | Reply

  118. Graduated at the top of the class day after graduation I was denied an interview that had been previously accepted please explain how something like this can happen

    Comment by Erin Minogue | December 13, 2016 | Reply

    • Sorry to hear you were denied an interview. Unfortunately, I cant give you a rational reason for the denial without more information.

      Comment by badge930 | December 13, 2016 | Reply


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