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Sunday, June 26, 2011

[CO] Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner on screening police recruits

Greeley Gazette
Vanessa Dominguez
June 26, 2011
[Excerpts] With the recent “bad cop” stories in the news, most wonder; do they hire just anybody?... What would cause someone to be disqualified? Lying or falsifying any information on the police officer application packet, a felony arrest, a past including domestic violence, and not giving permission for the department to check your social media sites would automatically disqualify someone in the consideration process... The paperwork used for the application process for a police officer includes a thorough investigation of a candidate's past activities, Facebook page, traffic tickets, credit history, and personal history... Those applicants who score in the top ten percent on all of the tests above undergo another extensive background check. Former employers, neighbors, and criminal records are checked. This is where some applicants are eliminated due to "drug use, arrests, domestic violence, or other records. Even if someone passes all of the tests and looks good so far but there is a doubt in the oral board's mind, the tie always goes to the city... Is it true there is a polygraph test? Yes, the polygraph and psychological tests are the last pieces of the puzzle. With the polygraph, applicants are told the questions prior, providing the opportunity to tell the truth. Many are eliminated due to this process... Can police officers have mental disorders? If someone is on prescription medications for a mental disorder, "It's something if you've got a psychological or physical condition that is maintained through medications that does not exclude or disqualify them." Someone who has a temper, has a power trip, displays irresponsibility, or may be a danger to self or the public would not be a model candidate. The psychology test takes four hours and includes a written test and talking with the psychologist... Why do police officers break the law? Some may slip through the cracks as people "change over their lifetime." Someone may have no issues and years down the road may experience a life changing event that alters behavior. "There may be no red flags in an applicant's background at all, people will do unexpected things...They gave no indications, what we're looking for in our investigations is that someone does not have an integrity problem... You try and look for those red flags, the person who has the courage and intelligence and won't do anything stupid while he's doing the job... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety misconduct colorado state politics]

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