Should I be worried about this background investigation?
July 13, 2006 9:00 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for advice from people who have undergone or conducted a police background investigation, relating to references, credit history, and legal intoxicants.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (15 answers total)
I'm currently applying for a job as a police dispatcher, and the background check has me a little spooked. I don't feel like I have much to hide, but there are some factors that could weigh negatively against me:
- My contract at my most recent employer was not renewed. The reasons were primarily budgetary, but there were some personality conflicts and misunderstandings that may have led to my being chosen for the chopping block. All but one person there would likely give me a positive recommendation, but I don't know what that one person would say -- probably a mixed review. And although he wasn't my direct supervisor, he is the boss.
- I'm not on good terms with my mother, for various reasons, and haven't spoken to her in a while. I don't know what she'd say about me if they contacted her; she can be a bit vindictive.
- My credit isn't great. I made some mistakes a while back, and have two fairly serious delinquencies on my record. It's been clean for the past couple of years, however, and over the past year I've taken out an auto loan and some low-limit credit cards and have paid them on time consistently.
- My only illegal drug use was a couple puffs of hash in college, in 1996. It's my understanding that that alone isn't enough to disqualify me. However, last year I experimented once with Salvia Divinorum, which is a hallucinogen. Salvia isn't illegal, and can be purchased over the counter at head shops or over the internet. I got mild closed-eye visuals and a slight feeling of motion from it, but nothing else, and haven't done it since (though I still have some left). I don't know whether or not I should mention that I tried it -- there is a question on the personal history form about "any other dangerous drugs," which seems a bit vague and subjective. I'm inclined to mention it just to be safe -- after all, I didn't break the law by doing this, and I will likely have to take a polygraph during the application process. But I don't know how that will be seen by investigators.
Are any of those factors likely to raise a red flag in investigators' eyes? Should I try to spin any of these, or explain them in the "additional information" section of the personal history form? Just how nervous should I be right now?