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Ten Common Ways to NOT Get Hired

Ten Common Ways to NOT Get Hired

Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith

You don’t really want to be a cop, do you? Fighting crime, saving lives, big guns, fast cars, a cool uniform, hot calls; that stuff’s not for you. The hours are long, the gratitude is short-lived, and there may occasionally be people trying to kill you when you’re just trying to make a living and do a little good. Take some advice from the front lines of police hiring and training, here’s ten way to make sure you do not get hired by any law enforcement agency.

10. That 20-page application they want you to fill out? Just consider that pesky document merely a guideline; they can’t possibly expect you to waste your time filling out every single box, blank, and question. Why would anyone really want a certified copy of your high school transcripts, an official duplicate of your birth certificate, and an accurate list of everywhere you’ve ever worked or lived.? Do they really need to know how to contact your grandparents, your old roommate and your college resident assistant? Just fill out what you can, you’ll have plenty of time to show them how organized and thorough you are once they bring you on board as one of their officers.

9. Don’t worry about your level of fitness. Police testing can take a long time; you may sit on an eligibility list for months, even years, before you begin the academy. So why worry about what kind of shape you’re in? Wait until you get confirmation that you’re about to start recruit training to get serious about working out, especially if you have youth on your side. You played high school football, you’re on a summer softball league, and you’re awesome at Wii boxing so you’ll get in shape in no time, right?

8. Always remember that you are owed a good police job. Don’t think that you have to work hard, prove yourself, or compete with anyone else; you are entitled to this opportunity. After all, how many people are willing to make the sacrifices you’ll have to make as a crimefighter: working shifts, facing down armed criminals, cutting your hair really short? They should feel fortunate that you’ve chosen to apply at their agency, and it’s that agency’s responsibility to make sure your career dreams are realized.

7. Make sure your social networking sites show what a fun-loving party animal you really are. The person doing your background check will certainly get a chuckle out of that picture of you passed out in front of your fraternity’s record-breaking beer can pyramid. And those racy boudoir portraits you had taken for your ex-boyfriend, the ones of you wearing nothing but a toy shoulder holster and a smile? I’m sure the chief of police will understand that it’s not your fault that your ex posted them on his My Space page after you guys broke up, complete with all of your contact information. Besides, the cops can’t actually access that stuff, can they? Can they!?

6. Why worry about your personal appearance? “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” isn’t that what your grandma always said? You’re applying to be a cop, not a Marine or a Wall Street broker. When you show up for the physical agility test, everyone is sure to love your Female Body Inspector t-shirt you bought in Cancun, or be impressed with those Victoria’s Secret PINK short shorts you just got at the mall. Besides, that scruffy Brad Pitt look or the high school Goth girl fashion statement may be just what they’re looking for in the Narcotics Unit of the agency you’re applying for.

5. Don’t bother to read anything more difficult or thought provoking than the latest issue of People magazine or your buddy’s fantasy football blog. Even though studies show that the number one predictor of success in the police academy is your level of reading comprehension, you did more than enough reading in school, and it was painfully boring then. Reading actual books interferes with your emailing, texting, Skyping, and keeping up with all that great reality TV. You’ll have no problem catching up once you’re in the academy.

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    usafveteran

    almost 6 years ago

    86 Comments

    to epdofc75---he was just saying that because he is mad that he can only get security jobs..I agree with you on your comments

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    mesegars

    almost 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    I love all our men in uniforms, I very much respect the Police and troopers, I had a flat tire tonight and a trooperstopped and fixed my tire for me, I could have hugged his neck but I knew that would not look right lol. His name was officer mac ward I will remember him always. Myra

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    prairiepig

    almost 6 years ago

    152 Comments

    I think I see one of our new hires in there.

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    OfficerWard

    almost 6 years ago

    1384 Comments

    Love the article! Well written and amusingly pointed!
    :)

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    jardine51

    almost 6 years ago

    14 Comments

    Many things cannot be taught in an academy, for example, the ability to foresee a bad situation coming, possessing officer/public safety (keeping your head on a swivel at all times), anticipating how the "bad guy" is going to respond, eliminating a problem swiftly before it goes out of control, using REASON/LOGIC when dealing with the public and finally sheer guts! A person obtains these qualities through LIFE EXPERIENCE. You cannot obtain them by being born yesterday (no mistakes in life) or because you are so good at taking tests! What a crock! If you really want to know about someone's character, it takes effort/research/willingness to be human. Remember, the truth about someone is somewhere right in the middle. Honesty and Integrity works both ways guys!

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    Topgun420

    almost 6 years ago

    46 Comments

    After a move from Ct to Florida I agree with your assessment. 30 years in LE and I agree that the PERCEPTION the candidate gives in the interview and with the background investigation is very important. Another great articule! Sadly the pool of candidates is small due to all the spoiled young applicants whom have never had to make decisions before. And we know police work is about making SPLIT SECOND decisions ON YOUR OWN!!! THIS CANNOT BE TAUGHT IN AN ACADEMY!

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    jardine51

    almost 6 years ago

    14 Comments

    Bottom line...there are some (I said some! Don't complain if the shoe fits!) background investigators who are self-righteous and unbelievablely lazy!!!! Based on my training and experience, those background investigators who fit these two categories will never give an honest shake to the individuals wanting to become a cop. A person can only explain the past and repeat shit so many times before it becomes twisted gossip! The general attitude of background investigators today is the less work, the better the applicant. This is a lazy attitude and it breeds huge liabilities in the future for departments. A department never knows if Andy Applicant (who looks good on paper) is going to turn out being a white supremist leader, selling and using cocaine while contributing to the delinquency of many minors. True story! This was during the course of eight years of employment with a department which thought he looked good on paper. I tend to agree with mdsp_17. Most of this article is fear and hype! It's the old "carrot on a stick" crap! How bad do you really want it crap! Lol...these are the same people who made a rank and forgot what it was like to struggle every inch of the way. They are also the same people who forget the "individual risk" one takes by becoming a cop and literally laying your life on the line. Where does that fit in the equation of determining things? Here is a thought: Instead of looking for reasons to not hire someone, why don't departments start looking for reasons why they should hire a potential candidate? The answer: It's too much work for some background investigators.

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    mdsp_17

    almost 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    Although I had to read this article to get a laugh… I find it ridiculous. First off ten ways not to become a cop. Ok you would have to have an IQ of between 50 and 80 to even believe that you had a shot at becoming a police officer, if you did all of these things. People concentrate to much on what they should and shouldn’t do. Look if you want to be a police officer great go try. Most of you will not become one and will always say you wanted too. Just like us ex-military guys hear all the guys say, I really wanted to join but never did. Now for the ones that do try and do make it. You should not have to read things like this to ease your worries. Look just like the military, the police force wants to hold itself high. They do have a reputation to keep. So they want to instill all the fear and worries they can in there future applicants this way they will get the truth, they will find out all your dirty secrets. The worst part is the majority of the times its because of you. They get you so hyped up that you mess up. That is really want they want its just like the military they push you further than you can go just to see how you respond in your training that way they no what you are and are not capable of. If you are ex-military you should have no problem because you should have already been pushed and tested way more than any police force will. As for the ones that aren’t be yourself if you are honest and genuine, the rest will come. Although some do slip though the cracks and I’m sure there are quiet a few partiers and a few that probably smoked pot too. Just don’t focus on stuff like this it will not prepare you.

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    azcopper51965

    almost 6 years ago

    602 Comments

    Good article Sgt. Smith .....................sorry iIdid not say that first (re: my other post) but that needed to be said too.

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    StormShadow

    almost 6 years ago

    104 Comments

    Great article and so very true in todays world!

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    JGphins

    almost 6 years ago

    6 Comments

    As a 40 yr. old applicant & current soldier returning from active duty overseas, my chances of becoming a police officer are high thanks to the above stated findings. Nonetheless, nothing short of 110% and then some of all my effort will go towards obtaining this position. Look out young buc!

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    amituanai

    almost 6 years ago

    2 Comments

    Funny Article!Okay Guys everybody want to become a C.O.P.Lets take a break and lets go find a Donut Place!oopps my BAD!

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    andee82

    almost 6 years ago

    30 Comments

    I would party everyday and sleep in until noon if I could do it. These are the reasons I am becoming a cop. Down here they are not as strict, I will patrol hungover and take my breaks at the local bar. I cant freakin wait!!!

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    Warden

    almost 6 years ago

    834 Comments

    lol i cant wait to be a cop

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    Anonymous

    almost 6 years ago

    I like it... just what I need as I am applying to keep my head on straight

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