Chicago Police Considers Dropping Entrance Exam To Increase the Number of Minority Officers

A police officer in the Chicago Police Department sent this story to me. It appears that the CPD is moving oward dropping the entrance exam for officers to add more minority officers and avoid legal battles over applicants rejected on the basis of the exam.

Chicago would become one of few cities that have an application-only process. Applicants would need to have at least 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of college credit or four years of continuous active duty in the U.S. armed forces — or 30 semester (or 45 quarter) hours of college credit and one year of continuous active duty in the military.

Chicago has not held a police exam since Nov. 5, 2006.

Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue said the idea “sounds too stupid to be true.” It appears that it is true.

The city plans to add 86 officers — far less than what is viewed as necessary for the optimal size of the force.

It would appear that you do not want just minority officers but the most qualified minority officers. Rather than drop the entrance exam, the city would be better off removing any bias in the exam and actively recruiting minority officers from Chicago and the military.

Chicago may be repeating the mistake of Washington, which cut corners on the training of officers in the 1980s to take advantage of federal money for new officers. Those officers in the classes of 1989 and 1990 lead to a series of later arrests and discipline problems among those graduates, here.

This is one of the most important public positions in our society. These officers stand the line of both law enforcement and the protection of civil

For the full story, click here.

31 thoughts on “Chicago Police Considers Dropping Entrance Exam To Increase the Number of Minority Officers”

  1. Tootie–

    I’d like to recommend a book to you—”The Mismeasure of Man.” It was written by the late Stephen J. Gould and published in the early 1980s. It addresses the subject of IQ tests and how they were based on faulty assumptions. In the book, Gould uses an example of intelligence tests administered to immigrant Army recruits during World War I. Of course, many immigrant recruits for whom English was not a first language and who had not yet become acculturated to the US did not do well on the tests.

    I’m describing that part of the book to the best of my ability because I read “The Mismeasure of Man” so many years ago.

    Quoting Gould: “…the abstraction of intelligence as a single entity, its location within the brain, its quantification as one number for each individual, and the use of these numbers to rank people in a single series of worthiness, invariably to find that oppressed and disadvantaged groups—races, classes, or sexes—are innately inferior and deserve their status.”

  2. More of this will happen as government continues its stupid immigration policy of swamping the nation with intellectually inferior immigrant pools.

    We could swamp the nation with groups of persons proven to have high IQ’s, but instead have preferred to swamp the nation with those who have among the lowest IQ’s in the world.

    This is how American elites will create a nation of easily manipulated and highly taxed drones who are not interested in the life of the mind or liberty.

    I’m just the messenger.

    Decline, fall, kaput.

  3. LK

    What, in your opinion, would translate to a perfect fit for policing the citizenry?

    People who serve in the military are probably in a better prepared to become police officers than someone with 60 units of college credit.

  4. Tom,

    Do you have any evidence of the military “radically” changing their standards to meet recruiting needs?

  5. TomD.Arch,

    I also live in Chicago, and I think you’re on point.

    I also believe that if the city made the test completely Afro-centric, what ever would entail, and there was a study guide available, the scores based on race really wouldn’t change significantly.

    The damage has been done years prior to the applicants taking these tests in terms of study habits and test taking skills.Unfortunately the public schools here really suck.

    These tests are far from rocket science and deal with very basic criminal and departmental procedure. The tests should actually be made harder than they are. There are guides available to study from.

    I’d like to see thee same proposal put out there for jet pilots from the FAA,or brain surgeons from the medical boards.

  6. Great…

    My sense is that the police in my fine city (Chicago) have been getting better over the years. 15 years ago, I had the sense that qualifications for the CPD were based mostly on minimum body-fat percentage and maximum IQ limits. But the younger officers seem to be a bit smarter, a bit more fit and very much more reflective of the population. (I think there may even now be a CPD float in the gay pride parade!)

    About 4 years of military service: um, didn’t the US military lower its standards radically about 4 years ago in order to meet recruiting needs?

    “Chicago may be repeating the mistake of Washington, which cut corners on the training of officers in the 1980s to take advantage of federal money for new officers. Those officers in the classes of 1989 and 1990 lead to a series of later arrests and discipline problems among those graduates”

    It’s a huge problem currently. Chicago pays out many millions each year in settlements and judgments arising from police misconduct. It’s scary to think it could get worse.

    About walking a beat vs. patrolling in cars – I think that community policing is better overall, but let’s not forget that “walking a beat” is the environment that nurtured the ‘police officer running protection racket’ situation that was so prevalent in “the good old days.”

  7. As a side note … our Chief of Police and Fire are also under Civil Service thus removing the overt threat of political appointees and patronage from those positions.

  8. In my city where I served as a commissioner, the top 5 names were submitted to LE. From those 5 the PD choose their candidate or, if none of the 5, due to background checks or “culture of the workplace” or candidate didn’t want the job, were hired then the next 5 names were submitted. The same procedure was in place for the FD. Scoring well on the competitive exam did not guarantee one a job … it guaranteed one an interview. Our state allowed up to 20% points for military service but we only permitted 5% points.

    I understand that any bonus points for military service is being challenged in our state courts due to the fact that military service is now volunteer, not mandatory … and other legal points that I’m not familiar enough with to discuss … but having to do with discrimination, etc.

    The whole point of Civil Service is to take patronage and political payoffs out of the process in hiring government workers thus, hopefully, giving taxpayers the best available workers for their tax dollars.

  9. Much of what James stated I agree with. As someone who worked in Civil Service for 32 years and via good test scores rose to the highest possible Civil Service titles I very familiar with this.
    In NYC we had a one in three rule whereby two out of the top three available test passers could be rejected to choose a worker. As a former Union Activist my initial reaction to this was to take offense, however, when I became a Supervisor, Mnager and Executive
    I saw its merits. Some people who had scored highest on a given exam were totally unsuited for the position. They were simply good test takers. I believe in the Civil Service concept, but feel it is an imperfect system.

    As I mentioned in my previous post there is a problem in the need to find qualified PO’s, who are people of color. This solution is not the answer and avoids the real question at hand.

    I am so there with the belief that military service alone does not a good police officer make.

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