After retiring from the Navy, one of the career opportunities that I explored was that of law enforcement officer. I served as a Naval Police Officer for a tour of duty aboard the USS Enterprise and was successful enough in that job to be offered to be sent to Navy Investigator school and assigned as an investigator if I would volunteer for another tour of duty on board the ship.
I declined. Not because of the job, but because of the ship…but that’s another story.
Anyway, I passed the written exam for the Virginia Beach Police Department before deciding to go in a different direction.
At any rate, my point is that I do have some (admittedly limited) knowledge of what skills and abilities it takes to become and be a Police Officer.
All that was to lend some arguable credibility to my position on this story:
Chesapeake officials last week announced plans to hire a consultant after exam results left 30 applicants – none of them women or blacks – in the running for the promotions. Those were the top scorers of the 144 who took the tests earlier this month.
Two Chesapeake police organizations say the exams were fair and have threatened to sue the city if it tosses out the results.
But the city’s police force has had trouble with tests in the past. In 2007, Chesapeake settled a racial discrimination lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice that accused the Police Department of unfairly disqualifying black and Hispanic officer applicants with a math test. The department has now changed its entrance-exam requirements.
I remember “math test-gate” when it happened. Apparently basic math is racist…who knew. I can attest that the math test (at least in Virginia Beach…which pays more than Chesapeake and can, therefore, be more…um…quality conscious…as a result) is not that freaking hard. There were no higher level calculations involved and even the word problems only required about a middle school reading level to comprehend.
It simply was not that hard.
But still, over half the candidates were eliminated by the test in the screening process in which I was involved.
I don’t know what was involved in the Lieutenant’s test that has caused all the controversy this time. Apparently Chesapeake removed the racist math problems from their tests, so now perhaps it’s racist and sexist to demand that Lieutenants know something about, say, the law? Or maybe requiring knowledge about departmental procedures and policies is racist and sexist? Maybe the test writers ramped up the reading comprehension level of the Lieutenant’s test all the way to the 9th grad level. That would definitely be racist and sexist…we can’t expect minority and/or female High School graduates to be able to read at the 9th grade level now can we?
In light of this, I wouldn’t expect the quality of your average Chesapeake Police Officer to improve any time soon. Apparently having racial and gender diversity is MUCH more important than having the most qualified people possible serving their communities. Why they even bother with the tests is a bit beyond me. Why go to the trouble of creating the illusion of merit based hiring and advancement? It’s a waste of time and taxpayer money. Just put the candidates names into hats divided by race and gender and randomly pull the number of names from each hat that is needed to meet the quotas. Save everyone some time and aggravation and invest the money in something useful…like…say…improved body armor for the Police Stormtroopers. Heck, they may even be able to afford a Tank with the money saved. Why use a battering ram to knock down the doors of the subjects when you can knock down the a whole wall from the safety and comfort of an armored vehicle?
Then they’d NEVER have to be worried about one of those pesky subjects having the audacity to try to defend their homes against the attack.