Too Intelligent For Police Work

U.S. police applicants can’t be too intelligent for law enforcement jobs.


Have you ever called a police officer “stupid” or questioned whether he/she was actually using their brain?  If so, you would not be alone … because you may not be wrong with that query.

Although not widely known, federal courts have ruled since 2000 … that police departments can legally opt to NOT hire someone simply because he or she scores too high on an intelligence test. The millenium ruling followed a lawsuit filed in 1999 by Connecticut resident Robert Jordan, who was told by the New London Police Department that they only interview candidates who score 20 to 27 points on an intelligence test.

Jordan, a 48-year-old college graduate with a degree in literature, had scored 33 points when he took the Wonderlic Personnel Test in 1996, giving him an IQ of around 125. His score was well above the 21 to 22 points that officers score on average, which reflects a slightly above-average IQ of around 104. […]

Jordan also sued the city of New London, Connecticut, saying that his civil rights had been violated because he was denied equal protection under the law. But again, the courts ruled against Jordan, saying that the city of New London had “shown a rational basis for the policy,” which was that those who scored above a certain level would likely “grow tired of police work”, and leave shortly after receiving “costly” training. […]

As Jordan’s story finds its way back into the media, some argue that the problem the United States has had in recent years with the increased militarization of civilian police forces is related to the fact that the only people eligible to become police officers are those who are of “just above average” intelligence — especially since law enforcement agencies tend to promote from within. This means that those who eventually become detectives (and Police Chiefs) and solve crimes are the same people who were initially allowed to become police officers at least partly because they did NOT score too high on an intelligence test.  […]

Around the world — and even within the U.S. — police are not required to possess remarkable intelligence. Police-reform advocates argue that if the standards were raised regarding what it takes to become a police officer and if the pay was better, it would weed out the so-called “dumbasses” who cause so many lawsuits and are a liability to their departments.  >Source




One thought on “Too Intelligent For Police Work

  1. Pingback: People may be too smart to join the police | behindourcops

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