If you’ve ever been arrested and don’t know if you can ever reach your lifelong dream of becoming a cop, then read this article very carefully. Whenever I get asked the question, can I become a cop if I’ve been arrested before? Will I get eliminated because of it? Well the answer is yes and no. Yes you will be eliminated if you are a convicted felon and no if you were arrested for a lesser offense. Simply getting arrested will not necessarily eliminate you, but it will require a lot more work, and a lot of explanation on your part to get the job.
If you got arrested when you were a teenager for shoplifting than that offense will not disqualify you, just be upfront about it. Police departments put more emphasis on your life choices after you turned eighteen and less on your adolescent years.
With that said, you must understand that you’re going into the hiring process with the deck stacked against you if you have a minor blemish on your record. Remember you are competing with people who have squeaky clean records, college degrees, and some may have served time in the military. So, you’ll have to out shine them.
Here’s how to leap frog the competition even with a minor infraction on your record:
The best way to stand out is too impress the police oral board panel. If you score high on the oral board exam, you will crush the competition. You see police departments put more emphasis on the oral board interview than any other stage of the hiring process. That’s why the panel will ask a lot of “what if” questions. If you come up with the correct answers, the hiring board won’t give a care if you spent the night in juvenile detention.