SRS I'm not sure what to do with my life.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by mandrew, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. mandrew

    mandrew New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    5,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.F.
    I'm 21 and about to graduate from a local University with my Bachelors in Sociology next semester.

    I've wanted to become a police officer for quite some time now, and at the moment my confidence is pretty shot. I applied with the local PD this year and I got pretty far along in the application process, but a few days ago I was disqualified because of my previous history with marijuana, which was pretty extensive throughout my teenage years.

    I won't get into details, but I never sold it, never used it before/during school, work, or driving. It was really just a weekend thing I'd do with my friends. I haven't touched it in three years and I'm happy without it.


    I talked to some local officers about my situation, some of whom said I'm a terrible person and should never apply to any law enforcement agencies again. I think they are being ignorant in making such harsh judgments after not even knowing my full story. Others were more understanding and said I need to put more time between me and my drug usage. This makes sense, however I don't think any amount of time less than a couple decades would actually be considered redeeming of my poor behavior as a teenager by any Police Department.


    So I'm left with this problem... I still want to be a police officer, but I can't apply anywhere for at least 4 years and I have very high chances of never getting hired anyway. It's pretty clear that I need to find a new path, but I have no idea what I want to do.


    I'm thinking I'll start graduate school in 2010 after a year off from college. In the mean time, I'll find a full-time job somewhere once I graduate and build up good credit, live on my own (currently live with my family), and just try to enjoy my life as much as possible. I've got hobbies and I like people, so I won't get bored. I just don't feel any real interest in other careers at the moment.



    Feel free to share experiences or give me advice.
     
  2. Kreigore

    Kreigore New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    PA
    Without knowing any more details, I am assuming you were picked up on charges of using illegal substances.

    I would give it time, but as you said, you may be out of luck. Recently, one of my buddies went through the PA state academy, and if you give them any reason to believe you are not (or ever were not) on the right side of the law - you don't make it past the interview or application process.

    As far as your ideas after you graduate, it is important to build up credit. Do you really need to live on your own that soon after graduating? If you can stomach it and your parents are reasonable, live at home for a while. Save some money and invest well. It depends if you're considering moving into an apartment or a house - my advice is move into an apartment if you absolutely have to move out. I purchased my first home about 2 years after graduating, which was fine, but given my situation, it would have made more sense to rent than buy.
     
  3. Snag

    Snag Nigga stole my bike!!

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    9,804
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cube city
    Like Kreigore said, I am assuming you have a drug charge of some type in your recent past. If not, just don't tell them you have a history of drug abuse. I don't believe most police departments give a lie detector test. Now if you want to go federal, then that's another story.
     
  4. mandrew

    mandrew New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    5,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.F.
    My record is squeaky clean... The only thing I ever got caught for by the cops was smoking cigarettes when i was 15 or so, and I gave them a fake name.


    I have to tell the truth for two reasons:

    1) my integrity is extremely important to me. Even though i don't feel that marijuana is a terrible drug and that my use makes me a bad person, I think lying in order to get the job would be a terrible mistake and my credibility as an honest, sincere person would be out the window.


    2) They polygraph. Even if I wanted to lie, I couldn't. The big problem is I'm in CA where every single department worth a shit uses the polygraph exam and swears by it... If you don't pass, you don't get hired even if you told the truth and the interpreter made a mistake.
     
  5. CorpseStreet

    CorpseStreet New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,447
    Likes Received:
    0
    I work as a dispatcher at my college for the Office of Public Safety. Many of the younger officers have told me that they applied to work there so that they have some experience and get a leg up before applying to be a police officer. Maybe you should consider doing that. It is possible that having that on your belt plus time between you and the marijuana use will help make you a better candidate. Plus this might give you a slight idea of what it would be like to be an officer and help you decide if that is really what you want to do.
     
  6. Abomb

    Abomb New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    well that blows man.
     
  7. Vysion

    Vysion New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,729
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    FUCK THAT!

    1) It's just marijuana, it's not like it was a hardcore drug like PCP, cocaine, or heroin.

    2) You were just a teenager at the time. Teenagers, no matter how much they deny it, are extremely susceptible to peer pressure.

    Don't listen to those pig headed jackasses. If you want to be a police officer you keep trying until they let you in and then you be the best police officer you can be.

    Our current President smoke pot in college, and he managed to get the job.
     
  8. Abomb

    Abomb New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    20,480
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    true story
     
  9. mandrew

    mandrew New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    5,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    S.F.
    Yeah, the hypocrisy is ridiculous. I've read interviews where cops in the local PD stayed anonymous and they said flat out "I lied about my drug usage when applying.. Thankfully they had not introduced the polygraph to the hiring process at that point, otherwise i wouldn't have been hired." It's whack as hell but them's the breaks.


    Anyway, I've been considering a job in Human Resources when I get out of college. I figure my sociology degree is good for any job involving analysis of behavior and personal history, and I know that HR jobs can pay pretty well and often have a lot of room for advancement. I could be happy doing this, so at the moment I'm feeling a lot of comfort knowing there are actual options out there for me.
     
  10. eXyle

    eXyle ׂ

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,774
    Likes Received:
    0
    marijuana is not an automatic disqualifier for a lot of departments. also, each department has their own policy regarding prior drug use. 3 years is a small window for such extensive use, so at this point, time between you and those incidents is what will serve you best.

    if you want to be an officer, don't give up. there are people who applied to 10 different agencies before being hired. therefore, apply to as many places as you can (can always lateral to another department afterwards). look into becoming a reserve officer, they tend to be more lax for that position. you can also seek employment in related fields (such as corrections, parole, etc.). also, being former military will greatly help you too, if you're willing to join.

    in the meantime, i say don't give up, apply wherever you can (check their DQ policies though, some won't let you ever apply again if you've been DQed), find employment in a related field, befried local officers (so that they can be listed as references), and keep a clean record (employment, credit, traffic, drugs, violence, housing). 5 years tends to be a decent window, so in those 2 years, you can just get fit, go on ride-alongs, and just get involved in the field. committment, drive, and patience are your greatest allies. furthermore, look for departments that are hiring (for example, some depts in LA are offering signing bonuses). some depts prefer to take laterals and only take exceptional applicants on as new recruits. lastly, you can try to become certified on your own by paying your own way through an academy.

    no one is perfect and people make mistakes. if you're honest and have demonstrated change and improvement and just put some distance between you and your mistakes, you'll be okay.
     
  11. Fox800

    Fox800 Fear Boner OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    4,367
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Look into getting a job in communications/dispatch in the mean time. Maybe put yourself through a law enforcement academy?
     
  12. davesexplorer

    davesexplorer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    The law enforcement career is an unforgiving one. For my current job my process from the first test to the point where I knew I was going into academy was one year. Add another 8 months in academy and I finally achieved what I wanted.

    That's the end, however the means included applying to 4 other departments and one time before this to my current department. Disqualified for various reasons, all departments have different requirements and disqualifications.

    Dont get discouraged by one department turning you down, I was disqualified from one department because of a speeding ticket when I turned 17. (I'm now 25!) If you truely want to be a police officer - KEEP TRYING!!!! The job isn't for everyone, and neither is the process to get here.

    Coming from someone who made it, I can say it was worth every penny, every ounce of sweat, blood and thanks to pepper spray - tears!
     

Share This Page