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  1. #1
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    Default Another background check question. . .

    I am going through a background check, and I have a couple things that I am worried about. First, they want to know if I was ever convicted of any crime other than traffic offenses. I did get a conviction for petty theft way back in '94, but it absolutely does not show up anywhere in my records - even if you specifically contact the county where it happened (they apparantly have no record of it). Should I list this?

    Second - they ask if I was ever on probation - I was on unsupervised probation back in '93 for driving on a suspended license. Does this need to be listed? Also, I was on unsupervised probation for the petty theft, but since it does not show up on my record, should this be listed?

    I don't want to sound like I am trying to be shady, I just believe that this stuff was so minor, and so long ago, that it is rather irrelivent. Since then I have served in the Army (Honorable discharge, and good conduct medal), and I have had zero other offenses other than traffic tickets.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    FF-EMT Mzanghetti's Avatar
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    Default Be Truthful

    It would be far better to be truthful and lose a job that way than get hired and lose your job for lying on the application. I would be up front and let the truth, if you can't be up front about what you describe as " rather irrelivent" then you may be questioned about what you do think is "relevant"
    Mark Zanghetti
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    Goshen Fire Dept.
    Waterford, CT

  3. #3
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    Tell the whole truth and nothing but.

    Does anyone you know know about the conviction? Your friends, family, old coworkers, etc. They will be contacted and if they find out this info you omitted, you're out.

  4. #4
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    if you were convicted of something...it will show up on your record somewhere, things just dont go away. your back ground investigater will pretty much have clearance to use any means to research your background and will find out everything...especially if you have a conviction. just because it isn't at that one place you checked dosen't mean its gone. i would tell the truth. and like you said, it was a long time ago and you've proved yourself through service to our country and good behaviour. plus if you get caught lying you will most likely be done. then the next time you apply to either that same dept or another dept there will be a record of you failing a background and they will want to know why...when they find out that it was for with holding info you will find it hard to get a job with any fire dept...basically you want to be up front and let them know you've learned from your mistakes and are a better person, you don't want to confirm that your still that shady person with a shady background still being shady from years past...

    good luck and honesty is the best policy

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    Default

    I'm liking this idea of honesty, since I am a very honest guy. Plus I'd have one hell of a guilty conscience!

    Since I have never gone through a thourough background check like this, I am not familiar with them at all. Do they truly look at past offenses, and look at where you are now in your life, and make decisions based on that? Or is it more of a set criteria - 'if they did this, then they don't pass'?

    I'm just worried about this because I want this job more than anything else. In fact I am only testing with this department (and no others) because it's where I really want to work.

    I'm going to be honest, and hope they actually take these on a case by case basis.

    Thanks everyone for all of your input!

  6. #6
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default ????

    When they ask" HAVE YOU EVER"....That means EVER. As a former background investigator if you neglect to be truthful I can say...Your Done!!!!
    The investigators are just that....investigators and they turn in their findings to the department that hired them. It's up to that department to make the decision on if there is enough time between your infractions or if they DQ you for them.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    When they ask" HAVE YOU EVER"....That means EVER. As a former background investigator if you neglect to be truthful I can say...Your Done!!!!
    The investigators are just that....investigators and they turn in their findings to the department that hired them. It's up to that department to make the decision on if there is enough time between your infractions or if they DQ you for them.
    Thanks for the info. I kind of figured that's how it worked. I feel confident that as long as I get to present my 'case', I will not have any problems.

    As an investigator, do you ask any background info on infractions (e.g. why did you do it, how do you feel about what you did, did you learn your lesson, etc), or is it more of a 'just the facts' thing? Also, do you make recomendations based on your findings - like 'he did this 14 years ago, has since been an upstanding person, and has put this behind him as a hard lesson learned - he would be a good hire' (or anything along those lines)?

  8. #8
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default Background

    Absolutely. When we complete our investigations we actually sit down with the applicant and have a talk. This is when you can explain the findings of the investigator . The final report, like I expressed earlier ,will be sent to the departmental head and they will evaluate the results. The final decision will be made by the Fire Chief . I hope this helps.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    Absolutely. When we complete our investigations we actually sit down with the applicant and have a talk. This is when you can explain the findings of the investigator . The final report, like I expressed earlier ,will be sent to the departmental head and they will evaluate the results. The final decision will be made by the Fire Chief . I hope this helps.
    It does help - thank you very much Jay!!

  10. #10
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    When they ask" HAVE YOU EVER"....That means EVER. As a former background investigator if you neglect to be truthful I can say...Your Done!!!!
    An OCSD Sheriff Investigator once told a group of applicants that "ever" means- "From the time you took your first breath of life to you hearing my voice right now."

    I guess that sums it up.

  11. #11
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default ????

    That's where the problem lies. Candidates think that time has past and records are closed (juvenile) and try to get by. Then while they have their sit-down it hits them like a ton of bricks. CALFFBOU you've nailed it.....ever is EVER!!!
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemike409 View Post
    I don't want to sound like I am trying to be shady, I just believe that this stuff was so minor, and so long ago, that it is rather irrelivent. Since then I have served in the Army (Honorable discharge, and good conduct medal), and I have had zero other offenses other than traffic tickets.
    I think your investigator will feel the same way. He'll probably ask you about these blemishes but the positive things you've done since then will be just as important to him.

    I know of a couple of people have been hired with much worse in their backgrounds. It sounds like you have a lot going for you so I think you'll be okay. Good luck and be sure to update this when they give you the good news.
    Last edited by SansMustache; 11-02-2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: punctuation catastrophe

  13. #13
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    Here is another question! I have been using multiple addresses, I have one address for my bike, another for my car. Do you guys think that having two addresses may make me look shady?

  14. #14
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default ?????

    The reason your using two addresses is????????
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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    I live in Philly, but insurance in cheaper in the burbs. I also do not trust the mail carriers in philly, so I have everything important sent to my parent's house.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by seventies View Post
    I live in Philly, but insurance in cheaper in the burbs. I also do not trust the mail carriers in philly, so I have everything important sent to my parent's house.
    I had two addresses listed as well during my hiring process. One for mailing (parent's house; secure mailbox and potential of moving due to hire - easier to transition) and my "living" address. It came up during my process and explained it as above...no issue whatsoever.

    Regarding listing your past infractions, it sounds like you're just learning about the background process. It can be confusing. I erroneously omitted a juvenile ticket during a particular process. When I did some further research on what backgrounds entail, and read the "fine print" on the application packet I realized my error and contacted the department, explained my situation and was allowed to update my application information. There were no issues. Moving forward, I learned how to appropriately submit information. It IS important...small details on applications DO matter!

    I wouldn't stress to much about what happened. 15 years is a long time. I would imagine (from a layperson's perspective) you may be questioned about the petty theft, but it sounds like it was a youthful mistake. We all make them. I stole some baseball cards from K-Mart when I was 10 years old. Today, at 30 years old, I won't even pick up a dime if I see it on the ground. We (well, MOST of us) learn from our mistakes and grow up. I imagine your BI will understand.

    Good luck -

    PHC
    Last edited by powerhourcoug; 11-02-2008 at 10:23 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seventies View Post
    I live in Philly, but insurance in cheaper in the burbs. I also do not trust the mail carriers in philly, so I have everything important sent to my parent's house.
    So you are committing insurance fraud. Rate evasion is insurance fraud. That ought to endear you to the background investigator.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  18. #18
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    Note to the kids reading this thread.

    Pay very close attention. If you are thinking about a career in the emergency services, decide today that you will not be put into this situation. Decide today that you will not use drugs, you will not break the law,you will finish school with good grades and you will keep yourself in good physical, mental and emotional condition. These factors are more important in getting a job than "certs" or other such things.

    Also, a record of stealing will almost certainly keep you from getting a job. Solution? Don't steal.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  19. #19
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default ????

    Let me get this right. Petty theft,probation for driving and you have two addresses. I think you need to follow what George has said. You need to include all of this in your application for a background and then when asked tell them the circumstances. If I were your background investigator I would have doubts on rather you get hired or not. With that said there are Departments who would overlook your transgressions and give you a second look. However..they are far less to say no thank you. You need to put time between you and your past . I wish you luck and if there is any questions you can send me a P.M. and I will try to help.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
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