Joseph Libowsky,
former Special Agent

There are 2 categories of items which may affect a potential applicant’s ability to become a police officer. “Automatic Disqualifiers” are items which will automatically remove the applicant for consideration as a police officer. “Discretionary Disqualifiers” are considered on a case-by-case basis and may or may not remove an applicant from consideration. Disqualifiers are determined by each department and may vary from department to department. Categories of disqualifiers include criminal history, drug use, tattoos, and credit history.

If you have anything in your past, or present, and you are concerned that it may affect your ability to become a police officer, look are various police officer job announcements to find the list of disqualifiers. Make certain to determine if they are automatic or discretionary disqualifiers. Even if you are disqualified from becoming a police officer with one department you may want to check with other agencies. Before you make a decision that a law enforcement career is not an option for you it is a good idea to check with multiple departments.