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  • Police Psychological Exams

    I'm posting this here because I didn't want to hijack the thread in the IL forum. My question is does the ADA requirements apply to police applicants?

    I thought that they did, and that a department/psychologist could not disqualify an applicant solely based on a mental health condition; that they needed to show on an individual basis why the symptoms and condition of that particular applicant made them unsuitable to perform an essential function.

    For example, that it was illegal to do a simple equation of say PTSD = DQ. Instead they would have to say something like. "Applicant has PTSD from witnessing a car accident. Three months ago when witnessing another accident they suffered a breakdown, ran into traffic and were hospitalized for a week. Responding to and effectively managing traffic accidents is a key job function of an LEO, therefore they are psychologically unsuitable"

    Whereas another applicant who say was diagnosed with PTSD from an accident as a child, but who has received treatment, been symptom free for 15 years and served as a FF/EMT for 7 years responding to multiple accidents with no ill effects would not be disqualified on that basis.

  • #2
    So you got DQd again... You don’t meet the standards. You are a risk. That’s what their job is: not passing people who have mental health issues that WILL come out and cause problems. No agency wants that risk.

    ADA doesn’t apply nor protect you. You MUST meet the standards.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by vc859 View Post
      I'm posting this here because I didn't want to hijack the thread in the IL forum. My question is does the ADA requirements apply to police applicants?

      I thought that they did, and that a department/psychologist could not disqualify an applicant solely based on a mental health condition; that they needed to show on an individual basis why the symptoms and condition of that particular applicant made them unsuitable to perform an essential function.

      For example, that it was illegal to do a simple equation of say PTSD = DQ. Instead they would have to say something like. "Applicant has PTSD from witnessing a car accident. Three months ago when witnessing another accident they suffered a breakdown, ran into traffic and were hospitalized for a week. Responding to and effectively managing traffic accidents is a key job function of an LEO, therefore they are psychologically unsuitable"

      Whereas another applicant who say was diagnosed with PTSD from an accident as a child, but who has received treatment, been symptom free for 15 years and served as a FF/EMT for 7 years responding to multiple accidents with no ill effects would not be disqualified on that basis.
      It's not as cut and dry as you suggest.

      Psych exams evaluate applicants to determine if they are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position.

      It is an applicant's entire psychological makeup that comes into play, along with traits they demonstrate through testing rather than the affects of one incident alone.

      To further understand the evaluation process. go here https://post.ca.gov/portals/0/post_d...ing_Manual.pdf and read all 214 pages of the Psychological Screening Manual. It should offer some insight into your concerns.

      Yes, the ADA does apply to police applicants, but I fear it is greatly misunderstood. The ADA mandates that an employer first demonstrate that any physical/medical requirement have a valid relationship to the job in question. Next, when disqualifying an applicant for medical/psych reasons, the employer must demonstrate that the person in question has a condition that will prevents them from satisfactorily performing the duties of the position they are seeking.

      Requiring that police applicants be free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position is a valid requirement and meets the ADA test.

      Now, the ADA allows qualified disabled persons to ask for reasonable accommodation. However, that accommodation must be "reasonable," and cannot be burdensome upon the employer.

      Now, consider the following - An applicant who is not free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a police officer, and is incapable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position, seeks reasonable accommodation by asking to be entrusted with a position in which they carry firearms and have discretionary decision making authority over the lives and well being of the public, coworkers and themselves. Such accommodation is nothing close to "reasonable", is incredibly burdensome on the employer and should something unforeseen later happen in this person's career, could place the department in a position of civil liability for negligent hiring that would be difficult to defend against. They are not going to get hired.

      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #4
        To the OP,

        I failed 4 or 5 different psych exams. Then I kept applying elsewhere and got hired. I did not have a medical diagnosis of PTSD like you do. But if you feel like this job for you. You can stop complaining and apply elsewhere. If after 10 or 20 different PDs saying no thanks, you may get the hint that this job aint for you. In my opinion. Someone with a diagnosis of PTSD, will most likely not be hired on by a PD, see my statement I made in the IL thread you started on the same subject.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
          So you got DQd again... You don’t meet the standards. You are a risk. That’s what their job is: not passing people who have mental health issues that WILL come out and cause problems. No agency wants that risk.

          ADA doesn’t apply nor protect you. You MUST meet the standards.
          This was a hypothetical scenario. Hard to get DQ when you haven't applied in several years and by the way I passed my psych exams I have taken in the past and worked as a sworn LEO in various capacities before.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by vc859 View Post

            This was a hypothetical scenario. Hard to get DQ when you haven't applied in several years and by the way I passed my psych exams I have taken in the past and worked as a sworn LEO in various capacities before.
            Huh?

            Comment


            • #7
              As mentioned, the ADA does not apply here. A psych evaluation should take into consideration the different variables like the examples you mentioned.
              It may or may not. It's also very subjective.

              Two of my co workers applied to a dept. in Florida. One was a terrible officer, lazy, etc. The other was top notch, very high speed, always had people's back. I worked with both for at least 5 yrs and felt I knew them well.

              The loser passed his psych eval. and was hired. Good riddance. The kind of person that I don't want as back up--in the unlikely event
              he showed up to back someone up.

              The guy that was extremely proactive did not. I have no idea what it was based on, something in the psych eval. Hated it for him but glad he stayed.
              He later went on to a specialty unit. Last I heard he has 20 + yrs on and will be retiring in the next few years.

              I write this to provide an example that psych eval. is not terribly reliable IMO.
              Keep applying. Be flexible.
              Last edited by Zeitgeist1; 12-29-2019, 10:08 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                Huh?
                Yep.
                Now go home and get your shine box!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CCCSD View Post

                  Yep.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Our recently retired jail administrator (35 yrs on the job) told me that the modified MMPI used for Iowa jail staff was magical.

                    Over the 15 yrs or so he used it on new staff it RARELY missed in telling him the BASIC psychological makeup of new hires. However people "passed" who later became crappy staff AND I am sure that some who "failed" could have been good employees.

                    ADA

                    The ADA isn't really as "strict" as some people make out. The REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS clause is often misunderstood in saying the employer has to make ACCOMMODATIONS to people. However it really means those accommodations made have to be REASONABLE for the employer..

                    If a persons psychological makeup puts them at odds with working in law enforcement (or within a specific unit) that person shouldn't be in the business.

                    The ADA understands that if you put lipstick on a pig you still have a pig and won't force you to hire when you are looking for beef.

                    It should be noted that MOST standardized psychological testing materials can be modified to obtain certain makeups for specialized tasks
                    IE the type of person you want for SWAT units isn't necessarily the type of person you want on a Special Victims squad.. The MMPI can be tweaked by an experienced psychologist to "screen" for the correct profile.

                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So what reasonable accommodations do you expect law enforcement agencies to make for someone with PTSD?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My question is does the ADA requirements apply to police applicants?
                        Yes. However, discrimination (deciding between one thing and another) is allowed when the factor affects job performance.

                        You can’t reasonably accommodate a blind taxi driver.

                        Likewise you can’t reasonably accommodate certain psychological disorders and hand them a badge and a gun.

                        Lastly, as mentioned above, psych evals are often used to look for a particular type of person, not just to screen out psych issues. Certain personality types no department wants, and some departments look for specific types of people.
                        Last edited by tanksoldier; 12-31-2019, 08:01 AM.
                        "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                        "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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                        • #13
                          Do you really want to work for someone that doesn't want you?

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