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  • Need some advice for a friend struggling with the state test.

    I've got a friend who works for a small department and just went through the part time academy (weekends and computer work). He has dyslexia and has difficulties understanding what he's reading. It's hard to explain because I can't really relate. He got some certification from the state that says he can have reading assistance with an official school and state tests. The academy director told him that it was BS and refused to allow any help. I think he got a 66%, so he just missed it.

    What I'm looking for is some help finding some type of study guide or something for him for a retake. He went to a local college's academy and they do things a little different. It's more school-oriented (papers, homework, etc.); and I think the state test can be different material that may not have even been touched on in the classroom. I went to ISP almost 20 years ago, so some things have changed and I'm not much help.

    I know there's going to be some responses saying that he just shouldn't be a cop, but this boy deserves a chance. He did his FTO with me (which shows his initiative because he didn't get paid work with me since we're a different agency) which he prior to and while was in the academy. He has done a great job and I'm proud to work with him. He hasn't struggled at all with his performance, other than occasionally needing some help with the lengthier reports, but he's ended up doing just fine on those, too.

  • #2
    Sounds like a Title I ADA 1990 complaint waiting to be filed based on the testing alone.
    "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28"

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    • #3
      This is an issue that doesn’t come up that much and there is not a lot out there with respect to dyslexia, or reasonable accommodation under that ADA as it relates to police work.

      The London Metropolitan Police has posted information online regarding how they deal with dyslexic applicants. The questionnaire they have dyslexic applicants complete was of particular interest. Most people think of dyslexics as folks who simply read things backwards, however, looking at London Met’s questionnaire, it appears that depending in the degree of dysfunction, Dyslexia can be a serious impairment to police work. Take a look at

      http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/po...ia_sop2012.pdf

      The questionnaire is at the very end of the page.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        I don't know. The state test is pretty simple. If he needs assistance with the test what about interpreting IVC or ILCS...or even worse writing case reports? ADA is not going to get him out of being sued from poor report writing or civil right violations based on poor interpretation of court precedents. Too much of this job depends on reading, writing, interpretation and articulation to see the test as his major obstacle with dyslexia. Cops without dyslexia get jammed up over these same things.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by enhamilton View Post
          I know there's going to be some responses saying that he just shouldn't be a cop, but this boy deserves a chance.
          None of us have enough information to make that call based on what you posted.

          Originally posted by enhamilton View Post
          He did his FTO with me (which shows his initiative because he didn't get paid work with me since we're a different agency) which he prior to and while was in the academy.
          Am I to understand that your friend did an FTO program with an agency which does not employ him? How is that even possible with geography, location oriented patrols, subject oriented patrols and agency policies?

          “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

          George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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          • #6
            I didn't have any help on my state exam. I did it the same way everyone else did who got on. I studied my behind off and earned it. This whole job is learning/understanding new things, interpreting laws, reading, analyzing, etc. If your friend cannot handle a test, how is he supposed to handle solo patrol and be expected to make decisions on his own?

            How did he get on FTO as well? That makes no sense. If he isn't hired, failed his state exam so he is not a "certified" Officer, how can enforce laws for a department he doesn't work for?

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            • #7
              To clarify, he did field training through us. Not the Field Training and Evaluation Program. His agency is small and there's no such thing as FTEP or any other kind of field training. We can still go through the checklists, report evaluations, etc. They've got to get it somewhere and at least he took that initiative. A lot of guys from small agencies get a set of car keys and a badge and go wreak havoc without any guidance whatsoever.

              I've got the answers I figured I would, but what I'm looking for is some type of study guide help for him. He's going through stacks of binders, but that's essentially 400 hours worth of material.

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              • #8
                There was no actual "study guide" while I was in. From how the State Exam works, there are 3 versions. Each versions tends to focus on a different area of law a little bit more than the others.

                In our classes, we had study guides that other recruits had put together from previous sessions. Recruits that passed the test, got into a group and tried to remember everything they could from the exam. We went over hundreds of questions.

                Problem is, and I'm sure others will agree, is that there are many curve balls thrown on that test. There are several questions where the answers are so similar that they are all right. Not counting the fact that certain questions have had their answers changed due to amendments in laws, but the test isn't updated to reflect it.

                I don't know anyone who said that test was easy. My entire class was paranoid and thought we failed. Everyone in the academy was like that. Yet no one failed in my class at all.

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                • #9
                  i thought 66% was passing on the state exam.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Glawk View Post
                    i thought 66% was passing on the state exam.
                    It is. I was doing some filing the other day and ran across the notification letter from ILETSB. I just double-checked and sure enough it says 66% is the required score for passing.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Raiden341 View Post
                      There was no actual "study guide" while I was in. From how the State Exam works, there are 3 versions. Each versions tends to focus on a different area of law a little bit more than the others.

                      In our classes, we had study guides that other recruits had put together from previous sessions. Recruits that passed the test, got into a group and tried to remember everything they could from the exam. We went over hundreds of questions.

                      Problem is, and I'm sure others will agree, is that there are many curve balls thrown on that test. There are several questions where the answers are so similar that they are all right. Not counting the fact that certain questions have had their answers changed due to amendments in laws, but the test isn't updated to reflect it.

                      I don't know anyone who said that test was easy. My entire class was paranoid and thought we failed. Everyone in the academy was like that. Yet no one failed in my class at all.
                      I struggled on the written for my agency but not on the certification exam. I was shocked at how simple it was. I was not sure how well I did but I was sure I passed. I wasn't in the top ten of my class academics wise. I barely passed my first test and failed my second test despite studying for hours to prepare. Then I started nailing exams in the mid 90s and the instructors asked what did I do and I told them I stopped studying so much. I had a few exams in the academy that were actually harder to me than the state exam. I don't know. Maybe it was the version I had. Who knows.

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                      • #12
                        And wasn't the state test 200 questions?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post
                          And wasn't the state test 200 questions?
                          Yep.

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                          • #14
                            I misread his letter. It didn't have his score. It was a 66% passing requirement.

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