Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Done With Day 2

Day 2 is over and things are looking good. Today was the physical fitness test at 6:30 this morning. It went really well. I even did better then I thought I would. The minimum standards to pass are 17 push-ups in a minute, 27 sit-ups in a minute, and a 1.5 mile run in 15 minutes and 35 seconds. We started with the push-ups. I paired up with another guy from Utah. I was able to get 59 push-ups done. I figured I'd get somewhere near 40 at the most, but I was shocked that I was able to keep going. It must have been the adrenaline. I had the highest number of push-ups so that was good. I was able to get 41 sit-ups. I thought I would struggle the most with this and would have liked to have done better, but come to find out I was the third highest out of the group. By the way, there was probably 20 guys who were trying. The run was last. This is what I thought I would do best on. To my surprise, it was the hardest thing for me. It could have possibly been the heat, or an all asphalt track, and the fact that we did all three right in a row and I put a lot of effort into the push-ups and sit-ups. I ended up finishing the run in 12 minutes and 6 seconds, so I did really well, but I was in the middle of the group. I was just hoping to one of the leaders, but I guess I shouldn't complain.
An hour after the fitness test I met with Detective France for my background interview. It was about a two and half hour interview where he asked me all kinds of questions about my background. Drug usage, alcohol usage, employment history, criminal history, and all kinds of random questions. It was a little tense because you pretty much have to tell him all the bad things you've done in your life, big and small. Luckily I don't have too much to tell, but it's hard because you're nervous that you might forget about something you did and then remember on the polygraph. They use these notes for the polygraph. It went well and I'm scheduled for the polygraph tomorrow morning at 8. I'm a little nervous but it should be no big deal. This is my last step for this trip. Once this is done, I wait for a couple weeks and they will send me a letter telling me if they are going to continue with the background check, or if they are going to pass. So I'll be on pins and needles waiting for a couple weeks, but hopefully it will all go well.
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who is supporting me. It really helps a lot to know that all the people I love and care about are pulling for me. Thank you so much for the encouragement. It has given me the extra boost of confidence that I needed. Thank you all so much and I love you all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day One Is Over

Just an update on what's happened so far on my police officer journey. Today I took the multiple choice part of the Mesa police exam. It started at 8:30 this morning. It was 2 hours long and 100 questions. The minimum passing score is 70%. It doesn't sound that hard. I thought I would be able to get through it pretty easily. Well, the test was a lot harder than I thought. I was really nervous while taking the test because I wasn't real sure that I was going to pass. It took me one hour and fifty minutes to finish. Luckily, I scored an 81 so I did pass. I was hoping for a higher score but I was just glad I passed it. It was a really hard and intimidating test but now it's over and I'm on to step two.
The second part of the process was an oral board interview test. I met with two officers on the hiring board for the police department. The interview started at 1:30. They asked me 8 questions. Most of them were just like a job interview; Why do you want to be a police officer, what makes you qualified, why are you better then the other candidates, etc. The other two questions were situational questions where they gave me two scenarios and asked how I would respond to each one. I really felt like a did a good job during the interview. I felt like it was easy and I breezed through it. I could be wrong but when I walked out of the interview I knew that I had passed. The two officers met for about ten minutes to discuss my answers then called me back in. They told me that I had passed and would be moving on to the next step. I asked if they could tell me what I scored on the interview but they could not tell me. Hopefully I got a high score. I really felt like I did.
So the next step is tomorrow morning at 6:30. It's the physical fitness portion of the test. I'm not really worried because I can do the minimum pretty easily. I'm just going to push myself to try and get a really good score that will look better to the hiring board. I'll let you know what happens. So far so good though.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mesa Police Exam here I come!

The time has finally come. I leave for Mesa on Friday to finally take the police exam. I've been waiting for what seems like forever, but it's finally here. I'm starting to get nervous now because I've been planning for the future as if I passed the test so it would be quite a disappointment if I don't pass.

Just thought I'd go through the process of what's going to happen over the next week and a half. I'll try to be brief so this doesn't turn into a book. Here's what each day looks like.

Saturday July 12th--Test workshop. A three hour class to go over the testing process and strategies to pass.

The actual testing process begins on Monday. The first test I take is a written multiple choice and reading and writing test. This will test my short term memory, reasoning, common sense and observasional skills. This is the test I'm most nervous about. It's not something you can really study for. I have a prep guide but it just goes over strategies and test taking techniques. With this test it's almost like either you got it, or you don't. Right after I finish this test, it will be scored and if I pass I will be scheduled for an interview test with two or three hiring officers.

In the interview test I'll be asked situational questions, what would you do if... They will also ask about my personal character. Basically just like a job interview. It's a chance for me to convince them I'm a qualified candidate. The officers will also score this right away. If I pass, I move on.

The next step is the physical fitness test. This will be the day after the written and interview test, Tuesday morning most likely. I'm pretty comfortable with this test. I have to do 17 push-ups in a minute, 27 sit-ups in a minute, and 1.5 mile run in 15 minutes. Doesn't sound too difficult does it? I've been working out the past couple of weeks and should be able to get through this done with no problems.

After the fitness test I will be scheduled for a psychological exam and a polygraph test during the following few days. Once those are done and they will begin an extensive background check. This is when the waiting game begins. The background check can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months. They'll be contacting old neighbors, teachers, employers, co-workers, family, friends, anyone who I may have had contact with. So if someone calls you and asks questions about me, be sure to talk me up. I could use the help.

Once that is all done and they determine I am a qualified candidate, I will be placed on an "acceptable list". The hiring detectives will refer to this list as they are filling spots for the upcoming academy classes. Hopefully everything will go well and I will be in the next academy class that starts in January.

That's it. No big deal right? It's a pretty quick and easy process. I'm excited to get started with it at least. If at any point I don't pass one of the steps then the process stops. I can retest but there is a waiting period of either 3 or 6 months. Not sure. Hopefully all will go well and I'll be starting my lawenforcement career in January. Just wanted to let everyone know what i'll be doing the next week and a half. Wish me luck!!