Oral Board Exam Police Test Study Guide
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Oral Board Question, ‘Your Partner Commits a Crime’!

Jul 30th, 2021
oral board question

Oral Board Questions on Personal Life

This type of oral board question can come in many different forms. One of the most common is to mention a situation in which you witness a partner police officer steal something of low value.

For example:

“What would you do if you saw your partner steal a magazine from the store?”

Fundamentally, the oral board panel asks these questions to establish whether you would act lawfully – irrespective of who is involved in the question. Here is another kind of oral board question you may be asked:

“You and a partner officer are on patrol and enter a local store. You notice that nobody is watching over the store, but you conclude that nothing wrong is going on. You both decide to leave but, right before that, you saw your partner officer take a magazine from one of the shelves.

How do you react?”

Sample Oral Board Answer

Here is a potential sample answer:

“First, I would hope that the officer paid for the magazine, perhaps by leaving some cash at the checkout. I guess, however, that he did not. In this situation, I would be forced to talk to and relay these details to one of my supervisors as soon as I have the opportunity.”

During the oral board exam, be aware that you may be challenged with follow-up questions based on the answer that you give.

A potential follow-up question may be

“Okay, so let’s discuss this further. Let’s assume that your partner happens to be a veteran who is only 1 or 2 years close to retirement.

Would you really destroy his lifelong reputation for the sake of a $1.50 magazine?”

In response, you may answer:

My course of action would have to be the same, irrespective of whether he is a veteran close to retirement.

What matters is that he committed a crime – namely – theft. And, as a law enforcement officer, it is my duty to act upon this type of situation. So, whilst it may be unfortunate that he decided to steal, it is he that has decided to potentially undermine his reputation – not me.

I am merely undertaking the duties that are expected of me. So, yes, I would still contact a supervisor and relay what transpired in the store that afternoon”.

Take-Home Message

Here are the take-home points you must consider:

  • That you would uphold the law regardless of who is involved.
  • That you understand when it is necessary to relay a problem to a superior of yours – namely, your supervisor.
  • That you are understanding and empathetic of the veteran’s problem, but that you still must adhere to the letter of the law. You are not argumentative.
  • That it is the thief who has ruined their reputation, not the law enforcement officer.

In the oral board exam, some candidates argue that they would “arrest” the officer. In this case, that is not the most appropriate option. It is optimal to relay this case to your supervisor who may, in the future, lead to an arrest. Along with securing the right answer, it’s also vital that you create the best possible impression – as you enter, during, and as you leave the oral board interview. Only the candidates that perform best on both of these will secure the best result and make it through to the police academy. Scoring high on both the written exam and fitness test, matters too.

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