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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Entry Level Law Enforcement  >  Background Investigation: Will Blemishes Hurt Me?


Background Investigation:
ll Blemishes Hurt me?
Police and Law Enforcement News
Monday, January 30, 2012  2:38 a.m.

  Continued from Page 1

It is becoming more common for agencies to assemble and publicize lists of automatic disqualifiers.  Below are the disqualification criteria used by the New Jersey State Police:

1.  If you were ever convicted of an indictable offense or are presently under an indictable conviction expungement.

2.  A conviction of any offense involving domestic violence.

3.  A conviction of any offense involving a “controlled dangerous substance.”

4.  A conviction of any offense involving public office, position or employment (i.e., school board, township committee, etc.).

5.  If you were adjudicated to have committed an act of juvenile delinquency. “Juvenile delinquency” here means the commission of an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute an indictable offense.

6.  If you were adjudicated by a court or found by an employer to have violated any person’s civil rights in this State or any other State.

7.  If you are currently on probation or have ever been on probation at any time within the last 12 months in this State or any other State.

8.  If you participated in a program of supervisory treatment or pretrial intervention for an indictable offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 or an out-of state equivalent.

9.  If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated two times or once within five years in this State or any other State.

10.  If your driving privilege is currently revoked or suspended in New Jersey or in any other State.

11.  If you were dishonorably discharged from any branch of military service or law enforcement agency.

12.  If you have ever renounced your United States citizenship.

13.  If you are currently subject to a final domestic violence restraining order.

14.  If you were ever terminated or asked to resign from a public office, position, or government employment for misconduct involving such public office, position, or employment.

15.  If you have used marijuana or hashish within the past three years.

16.  If you, within the past ten years, have possessed or used any other illegal drug or drugs, including anabolic steroids, other than those prescribed or provided by a physician or purchased over the counter.

17.  If you have sold, or given an illegal drug to another person in your life.

18.  If you have manufactured an illegal drug at any time in your life.

Besides considering a specific incident, background investigators will also look to see how many incidents you have in your history.  So while you may make it past one particular incident, you could still be in trouble if that incident is one of ten different incidents in your past.  This is why it is important to take every measure you can to clean up your background where possible.

How long ago was the issue?

If you are thirty years old and were picked up for knocking down mailboxes when you were sixteen, you should be okay.  If you're thirty years old and you were picked up last Wednesday, you've got a problem.

How much time has passed between the present and the mishap is an extremely important factor and will dictate how much of an issue the mishap will be. 

What has he or she done since the issue?

Almost as important as the amount of time since the incident will be what the applicant has done since the incident.

Using the above example of a fourteen-year-old criminal mischief offense, when we see an applicant who has managed to complete college, get promoted in his or her job, get married, have a child, and volunteer for a first aid squad, a decade-and-a-half old minor offense isn't going to carry much weight.  Even if the amount of time was just five years, it's clear that he or she turned in much different direction.

The good thing about what has he or she done since the incident is the fact that it is within your control.  Here is where you can fill your background with positive experiences and accomplishments to help offset other areas where you may we weak.

In the end it will come down to how you compare to your competition. 

Today, entering law enforcement has become more competitive than any other time in history. Polishing your background is not enough. You need to erect a solid, highly impressive background that makes you not just acceptable but desirable.

Good luck!






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