Police Background Check and Requirements

There are only a handful of things that can keep you from getting a job as a police officer, and among those things is a tainted criminal record, including (but not limited to) felony convictions, domestic violence charges, or any form of racist behavior, such as a hate crime. Since each applicant's criminal record is carefully scrutinized, don't even bother trying to tell any "white lies" or hide any kind of criminal charge or conviction; they will find out everything about your past one way or another, so it's best to come clean and hope for the best. After all, they are the police and they happen to specialize in investigating criminal activity. Having a clean record is a major plus, if not essential, when applying for a job opening as a police officer, so be sure to continue making smart decisions on a regular basis. The hiring staff is also very weary of hiring anyone that may have potential drug or drinking problems, so it would be best to stay far away from such potent vices. Another important area that typically gets overlooked is your driving record. Make sure you carry sufficient car insurance, avoid getting into accidents, and most importantly, don't get any traffic tickets! Most police departments will disqualify candidates with more than 1-2 moving violations the past 3 years, so practice your safe driving skills.

What You Can Do:

  • Abstain from illicit drugs
  • Don't drink; if you do, drink in moderation (avoid getting "wasted" or a DUI)
  • Don't smoke; quit if you do
  • Make sure you have not been convicted of ANY felonies (automatic disqualification)
  • Don't get convicted of any misdemeanors. If you do get into trouble, try to get a plea in abeyance
  • Avoid any kind of hate crimes
  • Avoid any kind of domestic violence charges
  • Seek to repair/expunge any crimes committed
  • Establish a clean and professional job history
  • Avoid being late to work or getting fired from any job
  • Practice safe driving and avoid getting into any kind of car accidents
  • Carry sufficient car insurance
  • Avoid getting any kind of speeding tickets or moving violations

Continue Learning: Find out which police skills can help increase your chances of getting hired as a police officer.