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Background Investigation: Fire vs. Police

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  • Background Investigation: Fire vs. Police

    I'm up for a background check and I was wondering if there is a difference in how background checks are conducted for police applicants vs. fire applicants? My uncle in law enforcement told me that the background investigators spare no expense at finding out everything from your high school grades, credit history, taxes, relationship with family members, friends, teachers, and of course criminal history. He also told me that the standard is pretty tough. Because of the nature of the job (law enforcement in his case), little things could result in DQ.

    Is this also the case for fire departments? And if so, are the background investigators as strict with fire applicants as they are with police applicants?

  • #2
    I think that could vary from state to state. Ours are done by the PD for criminal record ( local, county, state, federal ) and some by the FD for other things. I seriously doubt we look at a credit check and school grades. But bear in mind the FD does enter peoples homes and businesses when no one else is there so it is a thorough look into your past.

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    • #3
      Background

      I have to agree with len1582...We did our own for awhile and then the P.D. did them. Now we are back to doing our own.....Police backgrounds will be more strict as there is more involved with theirs. It all depends on the jurisdiction and state in which you are in ...they are all different. Good luck.

      P.S. I should note that I did backgrounds for many years...
      Last edited by JayDudley; 12-04-2010, 02:50 PM.
      Respectfully,
      Jay Dudley
      Retired Fire
      Background Investigator
      IACOJ-Member
      Lifetime Member CSFA
      IAFF Alumni Member

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      • #4
        I have been through a varying degree of background checks. Some are very in-depth, long processes, and some have been completely painless. I know that most, if not all, PD backgrounds involve a polygraph. There are only a handful of FDs that use a poly. I only have a limited amount of knowledge on the subject, in a specific part of the country, but what I do know for sure is be 100% honest. If you are, you should be just fine.

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        • #5
          Its cheaper for police and fire alike to do an extensive background check vs. hiring you and finding that you are likely to take a bribe if you have a lean on your house or have outstanding debts etc. You can personally pay a police dept to do a full background check to see what comes up (if your worried about something). This way you know what to expect when a dept pulls it. Just be honest on EVERYTHING!

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          • #6
            Poly

            I recently had a co-worker of mine take a polygraph with another local FD. He took the polygraph which consisted of different instruments which monitored heart rate, respirations, weight distribution, etc. The polygraph was very meticulous and given by a retired police officer (30 something years on the job). Questions ranged from very odd questions to normal questions such as drug use/quantity.

            good luck brotha

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