What type of things on your record can stop you from being a cop?

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lawrinse2 asked:

While I sit here and fill out this application, all these questions. I cant help but to wonder what type of things can halt you from becoming a police officer. For instance can poor job (cilivan) history, suspended drivers license, slight misdemeanors. I have none of these problems but I wonder what can really hurt you in the application process. Oh yeah I almost forgot it also asked “Have you ever smoked marijuana, first off who is going to admit it, second off if someone would be crazy enough to admit how would they ever find out that the person is not being truthful? These problems are not my problems, just my curiousity makes me wonder. Please answers only from knowledgable people, and no stupid cop jokes, please!!!!!


  1. glamour04111 says:

    felony convictions

  2. Teesip says:

    Answer your application questions however you want too but the Lie Detector test will get you if you lied on the app. You have to have a clean record for example; no criminal offenses, good credit, good work history, no drug habit, etc, etc. You need to be honest and up front with everything.

  3. Melissa says:

    felony convictions will make you ineligible immediately. I am not positive but I think that after a certain number of misdemeanors can halt the process. Also drugs it is better to just say that you never did any, unless there is any kind of documented proof that you have, even like a doctors record or some type of discipline in high school.

  4. hatevirtual says:

    I had to get a very low level security clearance. I was working a 100% civilian job but we had a government contract (that I wasn’t even working on) but everyone in my group needed the clearance to get the contract. Anyways they gave a hair follicle drug test. I had a DUI on my record and I had no issues with getting the clearance.

    I’m sure the more “strikes” you have against you, the less likely they will be to accept you. But if they need officers and you haven’t killed anyone or been a drug mule, then you always have a chance.

  5. Doc Cohen says:

    All of the above can hurt. Drug use hurts, but plenty of people, including myself, have copped to drug use and still become cops, because they’ve demonstrated that it’s a part of their past and will not effect their job performance. It could even help, because it demonstrates an ability to empathize with and understand potential perpetrators which can make them easier to catch.

    The things that hurt the most are indications of unreliability or dishonesty, so crimes that involve fraud or resisting or obstructing an officer, even if misdemeanors. Also, a poor credit history, or even poor reports from landlords with things like late rent, etc. Even an honor code violation from your college could be really bad.

    The way they would find out about your history is that they do a comprehensive background check, where they contact everyone you ever lived with. It might be hard for them to find some of those people, but they will likely go to the places you lived and talk to your neighbors. If you were smoking weed a lot, your neighbors probably smelled it, and will tell them. At that point it will be way worse that you didn’t admit to smoking weed than the fact that you did smoke it.

  6. CJ says:

    Any felony and most misdemeanor convictions can prevent you from becoming a cop, and most notably, domestic violence and drug possession. A positive UA will make it impossible, and drinking convictions will make it tough. It depends on the traffic offense it those circumstances, like reckless or careless will probably mean you won’t get hired, and suspended for sure.
    Other things that will possibly prevent you getting a job as a cop include a bad job record and bad references.

  7. lpdunit107 says:

    All these questions are correct. BUT I had 12 points on my license when I got hired. I lost my license when I was 17 for speeding. Got caught shoplifting when I was 18. Admitted to Marijuana use. Still got hired and had a 25 yr career. It all depends on the department. Ive seen guys go to a less picky, usually smaller department, get trained and prove themselves then take a lateral to a bigger department.
    By the way. I just retired as the Chief of a small department.

  8. pathfinder says:

    Felonies, drug use, bad credit history, multiple misdemeanors, just to mention a few.