In my early twenties I was going through a spiritual and identity crisis. I was already four years removed from high school and my life was going no where fast. I was sick of drinking, smoking up and the dance club scene. I needed to get my life in shape, so I decided to go in for a cop. I had no idea how grueling and long the process was. I went to the initial inquiry meeting and was motivated by the presentation and committed to the process. The hardest thing about it was that it was far from guaranteed and you could be ousted for the slightest thing. I put all of the doubts behind me and plunged head first into the shallow end.
The first process was filling out a massive seventy page disclosure package where you had to reveal everything about yourself and I mean everything from which porn sites you visited to any undetected crime you may have committed or had witnessed. I was pretty clean but had a few naughty incidents on my resume. This process would then have to be verbalized with your recruitment officer and finally confirmed when taking a lie detector test. I handed in the disclosure package and received a phone call from a recruitment officer to report for the fitness testing. But first I had to get a full medical done which made me nervous but after I saw the doctor everything was okay. In the fitness testing phase I finished second out of fifty. I remember after the test I was sick for days as I pushed myself brutally hard during the test. My hard work in the gym had paid off.
The next step was an interview with a couple of detectives who would ask situational or life questions based on one's experiences. They gave examples of previous questions, but you didn't really know what question was going to come. The questioning lasted over three hours. I did well, only stumbling on a couple of questions. It was the single hardest thing I had to get through in my life and to this day it still holds true.
The next portion was a series of exams that together lasted about eight hours. These exams tested your memory recall, suspect identification, situational judgement and basic reading and writing skills. Implicitly it also tested your common sense and logic. I scored high, but I was shocked at how many university graduates failed the exams.
Then came the second last step before the lie detector. I met my recruitment officer in a room of a very indescpit building. The disclosure interview was to take between six to eight hours. During this interview he would ask me the same questions that were on the disclosure package and there would be follow up questions as well. At the beginning of the interview he told me that it was going to be recorded and I had the option of walking out at that time. He also said that if I admitted to any serious crimes he would arrest me on the spot.
I had the habit of sometimes saying stupid things when nervous and told him he looked familiar. He quickly set me straight saying he was running the interview.
The interview went well except for the part of mischevious behavior where he found it odd that only six months ago I had made prank phone calls and would ring people's door bells and run away, he worked me over for a bit, but then let it go.
Then he got serious and said, "Tell me the names of all the cops you know." I told him and then he said, "Have you ever seen any of these men committ any crimes before or after they became an officer?" The question made me feel very uncomfortable and I mentioned how some of them did drugs and shoplifted, but nothing major.
He continued, "You can call me a rat or a fink for doing this to fellow officers but it is a necessary part of the process. I hope you understand this. Now, I need to ask if you have ever been a victim of police misconduct."
I thought about it for a second and said, "Yes. I was eighteen and went for a walk at night around 2am. I was walking through an industrial area when a car crept up behind me with its lights off. I stopped when I noticed it was a cop car. He asked me what I was doing out there at this time and I said going for a walk. He told me I was lying. He got out of the car and I was terrified and wanted to run. He told me to assume the position on the hood of the squad car and he searched me roughly. I swore at him and he pulled one of my arms behind my back and my face slammed onto the hood. He then handcuffed me and whacked me a half dozen times with his nightstick. After, he unlocked the cuffs and let me go."
"Did you get a name or a badge number?"
"What did he look like?
"Just like you..."
That's when he stood up and rocked me over the head with his nightstick.