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What is a Police Background Check?

A police background check is carried out to ensure that a prospective candidate has the necessary moral fiber along with the history and aptitude to carry a badge and gun. These background checks are more thorough as opposed to regular employment verification and vetting.

Nearly every personal aspect of a candidate’s life that can be accessed through public sources gets inspected. However, the minimum verification requirements vary greatly depending upon the jurisdiction. Police background checks are exhaustive and may even require a polygraph test. Candidates can get disqualified if inappropriate information gets revealed.
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What Does The Police Background Investigation Include?

Police background investigations are extremely thorough. They uncover almost all details of a candidate’s life. A typical investigation will include the following:

  • Friends and family: Investigators will visit the birthplace and current place of residence to uncover personal information about a candidate.
  • Education: Investigators shall obtain high school and college transcripts to verify the educational information as listed on the application.
  • Employment: Reasons for termination, job title, salary, and the period of employment shall be verified.
  • Criminal record: Felony convictions can make it impossible for a candidate to move forward in the hiring process.
  • Credit history: Financial history is checked to ensure a candidate is financially responsible.
  • Drug abuse: Drug abuse is one of the major disqualifying reasons. However, tolerance greatly varies on individual departments.

It is important to carry out a thorough police background verification to make sure the candidate has the desired moral fiber.

Local police check guidelines form the Travel.State.Gov Website.

What is an Employment Verification Background Check?

Which Are The Common Police Background Check Disqualifiers?

Police background checks uncover information from all spheres of life. There are several things that are considered to be serious disqualifiers and can bar a person from pursuing a career in law enforcement. Few common disqualifiers include serious misdemeanors, felony convictions, dishonorable discharge from military service, drug abuse (past or current), bad credit history, and points on the driving license.

History of domestic violence, unreported past crimes, poor employment record, gang affiliations (past or current), and incorrect, incomplete or false information on the application form are also considered disqualifiers. Having tattoos that are offensive in nature or depict offensive symbols is another common disqualifier.

How Thorough Are Police Background Checks?

Police background checks are extensive. They are different from regular employment background screenings. Investigators in charge of the searches do not hesitate to travel to a candidate’s birthplace, their current place of residence, their schools, and colleges to uncover as much information as possible. They will not stop speaking with a candidate’s friends and family to cross-check information. Sometimes, even random neighbors are questioned as part of the vetting process.

A police background check is a vital component of the hiring process of a law enforcement officer and is very thorough. It is a felony to conceal or falsify material facts in the application under the US Criminal Code (18 USC § 1001). Penalty may include five years imprisonment or fines up to $10,000.

What If You Fail The Background Check?

An applicant can be rejected just because they failed the police background check. It is important to note that a candidate doesn’t need to have a significant disqualifying factor in failing the check. Sometimes, minor infractions or inconsistencies may also keep one from getting their dream job. This is because other candidates on the same level without minor issues are given preference over others.

For instance, if a background check reveals that the candidate has a speeding ticket at the age of 18 or got terminated because they failed to meet the expected target at their previous employment will result in a failed check. These issues may not seem severe enough to be a disqualifier, but they are not as good as someone with a clean record.
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How Long Does A Police Background Investigation Take?

Police background investigation is one of the most sophisticated background checks. It includes checking of various places and several facts to attain a full account of an individual’s history and past activities. A typical investigation may take anywhere from a few weeks (which is very rare) to several months.

The time frame depends on various factors, such as whether an applicant has resided in the same place, the number of educational institutions, and the number of past employers. Police background investigation carried out for US Customs, and Border Protection or other federal law enforcement agencies can easily take up to 12 months. This is because they involve collection and review of fingerprints, polygraph exam, and Questionnaire for National Security Positions.
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Copyright by Peopletrail, LLC. All rights reserved.

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