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Psychological Testing for Unarmed Officers

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  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by aka Bull
    Ok. That's clarified. I agree. I also agree companies would likely oppose seeing the doc due to costs.

    Sorry, I was a bit confused.
    No biggie.

    Leave a comment:


  • aka Bull
    replied
    Originally posted by histfan71
    The background re-investigation would be for all, armed and unarmed.

    Regarding psych tests, I can see re-testing unarmed guards every 2-5 years. They have a lesser capability of causing harm. But I think that armed guards (cops too) should be re-tested yearly. Maybe not the entire battery of testing they had to go through to be hired, but an interview with a psychologist at a minimum.
    You make a good point. I could see having the restesting for armed being a smaller battery testing looking specifically for issues that may come to be detrimental in the officer's behavior.

    And I would agree that there should be full testing for cause, should the agency come to an objectively based reason the officer should undergo full re-evaluation.

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  • aka Bull
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    It wouldn't hurt to have all officers tested. However, I think the majority of posts favored psych. interviews for armed officers and written tests (MMPI, etc.) for unarmed officers. My comment refers to an actual interview w/ a psychologist/psychiatrist, something that companies who primarily use unarmed officers would likely oppose.
    Ok. That's clarified. I agree. I also agree companies would likely oppose seeing the doc due to costs.

    Sorry, I was a bit confused.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The background re-investigation would be for all, armed and unarmed.

    Regarding psych tests, I can see re-testing unarmed guards every 2-5 years. They have a lesser capability of causing harm. But I think that armed guards (cops too) should be re-tested yearly. Maybe not the entire battery of testing they had to go through to be hired, but an interview with a psychologist at a minimum.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by aka Bull
    ........
    Though why only accomplish this with armed officers? Are we saying then that unarmed positions are less likely to succumb to behaviors which may make them do dumb things (like the post on the idiot impersonating a police officer)?
    It wouldn't hurt to have all officers tested. However, I think the majority of posts favored psych. interviews for armed officers and written tests (MMPI, etc.) for unarmed officers. My comment refers to an actual interview w/ a psychologist/psychiatrist, something that companies who primarily use unarmed officers would likely oppose.

    Leave a comment:


  • aka Bull
    replied
    Redoing a psych exam on armed officers wouldn't hurt. The timing might be longer though. I would suggest every other year. The cost for larger departments on an annual basis is a factor in my thinking. I would not argue having it redone sooner if there were indications of behaviorial changes (something good supervisors should be on the lookout for as a part of their duties in supervision).

    You could do some basic rechecks to look for indicators each year, for instance annual credit checks to determine if an officer's fiscal lifestyle has changed dramatically (with the knowledge and consent of the officer - which would also be a condition upon hiring).

    Doing a complete background check every five years would be reasonable as well.

    The first line in finding job stress, or behaviorial changes though lies with line supervision.

    Though why only accomplish this with armed officers? Are we saying then that unarmed positions are less likely to succumb to behaviors which may make them do dumb things (like the post on the idiot impersonating a police officer)?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    How many think that testing should be done on an annual basis for those who are armed? I do. A person may start out right, but the demands of the job (or personal problems) may get to them over time.
    I think so too, yearly is a good time frame. I also think that, much like people who hold government security clearances, cops and security guards should have their backgrounds re-investigated every five years. As you say, people's situations change over time.

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  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Psych. Testing.

    How many think that testing should be done on an annual basis for those who are armed? I do. A person may start out right, but the demands of the job (or personal problems) may get to them over time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by The Lord of the Keys
    .......
    I'd also like to comment on what Mr. Security said about credit checks. I'm strongly opposed to them.

    ...............and I don't like being told that poverty makes me untrustworthy.
    Lord: I know it isn't always fair or even accurate. Nevertheless, credit checks will remain an integral part of any background check. Companies like to profile groups instead of handling individuals on a case-by-case basis.

    Take the insurance industry. Your rate is determined by a number of factors, such as age, driving history, type of vehicle, and the like. You may be a safe driver at 18, but you are still going to pay a higher rate because of your youth and inexperience. Can we say that EVERY 18 year old has the same risk of being involved in an accident? No. Still, you are likely to be lumped in w/ other individuals in that age bracket. Insurance companies may further refine their selection by looking at grade point average and so forth, but expect a higher rate.

    No one likes to be discriminated against and injustice is even harder to take. Unfortunately, in a dollar driven market this is the name of the "game."

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by The Lord of the Keys
    I don't want to be prevented from getting a better paying position that might also me to work my way out of a bad credit situation because of my poor credit and I don't like being told that poverty makes me untrustworthy.
    It is not actually the level of indebtedness or poverty a police and/or security background investigator is interested in; although, they will take note of it. It is how you have handled your debt that is relevant to a position of trust and responsibility.

    That's because, generally speaking, a person who consistently pays their bills on time shows stability and maturity, and also good judgment. A person who always pays late, if he pays at all, demonstrates the opposite qualities. Qualities that are directly related to being able to handle police and security work. Yes, I know that there are exceptions to this rule (just like everything in life), but this theory still holds most of its water.

    At one point in my life I was in significant debt. I had a high monthly rent payment (housing costs in SoCal are outrageous!), a car loan, my auto insurance premium was pretty high, a student loan, and three credit cards that were nearly maxed out. But my high indebtedness did not prevent me from getting two police jobs and a Secret security clearance, because I was always careful to make at least the minimum payment by the due date, so my credit score is pretty good. Fortunately now that I am on Kwaj I have been able to reduce my debt significantly. I have been able to pay my car loan off in full, and since no personal vehicles are allowed on Kwaj I was able to cancel my car insurance, except for theft coverage. The Army provides housing so I do not have to pay rent. I was able to pay down my credit cards, but I am still going to have my student loan for a few more years, since I am going back to school starting a Master's Degree program next month!

    Leave a comment:


  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Oh, yeah... Most of the psychological tests I've seen, especially the one that Florida companies give under state law to armed security personnel, are scantron sheets. Some are created specifically for the security industry, and have such questions like:

    A man is robbing a jewlery store. Would you shoot him?
    (a) Yes (b) No

    Others are basically the same repeditive questions, about 25-50, asked 6-8 different ways in a 250-500 question test battery designed to fool you into giving "misleading" or "unsure" answers if you're trying to fool it.

    I've seen the results of those tests before, as a requirement for employment, and have noted some of the strange answers that the tests come up with after only 150 questions. Things as:

    Warning: Subject has overt suicidal tendancies.
    Questions Answered
    Have you tried to commit suicide in the past year? YES
    Have you thought about hurting yourself in the past year? YES
    Suggestion: Refer subject for further evaluation

    Unless your giving a full battery such as the MMPI-II/LE (Law Enforcement Question Battery) or DSM/IV Diagnostic Battery... Its just an insurance gimmick.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Keep your job. Seriously. Having bad credit is a disqualifer for most national service jobs. If you don't have a professional or "skilled trade" to fall back on, you're basically done.

    The kid at Wal-Mart or the retiree has good or no credit. They pass a consumer credit file check. Its getting more and more that a consumer credit file check is becoming standard operating procedure for many unskilled jobs these days.

    Keep in mind that your "creditworthiness" is also more an indication of how profitable you are to a creditor, and not how well you pay your bills.

    Apartment complexes are getting onto the bandwagon by running CCFCs as well. I remember a few years ago, the background check people were starting to wonder if they should create a new system that doesn't revolve around the FICO score because of the insane numbers of people with bad credit.

    The reason everyone has "bad credit" is because they're not profitable to credit lending companies. My credit scores goes drastically down when my credit card balance is too low (not profitable) or too high (keeps to much debt).

    Leave a comment:


  • The Lord of the Keys
    replied
    I'd like to make a couple of comments here. Guardsmark does a psch test on perspective employees and its not worth the paper its written on. I've seen alot of officers weeded out after they are hired because they just were not fit for this work, besides any test that asks if you hear voices and then says that there are no wrong answers seems strange to me.
    I'd also like to comment on what Mr. Security said about credit checks. I'm strongly opposed to them. After I was married we ran into a number of financial problems including a premature birth with no insurance. Without going into more detail our credit was destroyed. Being a Security Officer means being poor and I've had no way to dig out of this hole. Now I've been doing Security for 6 years and I've worked around items of value and around confidential material and certainly if anyone is in a position to steal it is security. Never have I had the least temptation to do so yet I've seen client employees getting caught for theft all the time and many of them made a very good paycheck. It is not being poor that makes a person dishonest.
    What I want to say is this, I don't want to be prevented from getting a better paying position that might also me to work my way out of a bad credit situation because of my poor credit and I don't like being told that poverty makes me untrustworthy.

    Leave a comment:


  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    I've also heard horror stories about 9-1-1. When it first was used they would say call 9-11. I've heard stories where people in a panic have dialed 9 then stopped because they could not find the "11" on their phone

    Leave a comment:


  • Mall Director
    replied
    I agree with it 100%. My educational background is in Psychology, and I use alot of what I earned my degrees in to determine the hiring of new personnel. I am sorry to say, but in this day and age, incompetant or mentally unfit individuals are more of a liability then anything else. Recovering from the damage of an unfit Officer is nearly impossible, and correctable with only time. The damage has been done, whether physical or by image, of a unfit officer operating. Our fields are becoming more technical, advanced, and demanding than before, especially post 9-11.

    Leave a comment:

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