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PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION PREPARATION (PEPtalk)

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Explaining the psychological evaluation process and reducing candidates' fears


The missing link in

law enforcement

preparation

 


Appealing a Civil Service Psychological Disqualification 


Have you applied for the position of police officer, correction officer, probation officer, park ranger, state trooper, sheriff, firefighter or other civil service position and learned that you have been psychologically disqualified?


If you believe that this decision is wrong or capricious, you should appeal this determination. In most jurisdictions, you have a very limited time frame (e.g., 30 days) to initiate your appeal. 


Psychological evaluations for civil service positions typically include both written (i.e., paper and pencil) objective assessment and an oral (i.e., self-report) clinical interview. The former often involve the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), the California Psychological Inventory (CPI), the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory - III (MCMI-III), a Candidate Questionnaire (e.g., CPQ; Police Candidate Questionnaire) and the Cornell Index (CI). Additionally, some evaluators will utilize projective measures including the Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and drawings. The clinical interview is generally a structured series of questions.


Candidates may be psychologically disqualified for a number of reasons such as anxiety, depression, poor judgement, poor credibility, immaturity, etc. Additionally, maladaptive behaviors are considered. These generally include difficulties in such areas as school, employment, one's personal history, etc.


When appealing a psychological disqualification, candidates are strongly advised to seek the legal advice of an attorney, such as Mr. Kronenberg, who is experienced in handling civil service cases. An independent psychological evaluation will need to be performed by a clinical and forensic psychologist, such as Dr. Lerner. 


The independent psychological evaluation will include a review of the entire civil service psychological record and provide additional psychological evidence to be considered in concert with the content of the candidate’s psychological file.  


Finally, whether or not you are intent on pursing employment with the civil service position to which you applied, it is strongly advisable to appeal a psychological disqualification. Such a determination can compromise your ability to secure employment with another entity. By appealing your disqualification and having an independent psychological evaluation conducted, you can have a document in hand that addresses the validity of your disqualification and sets the record straight regarding your current psychological functioning and ability to perform the requisite functions of the job to which you applied.


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If you have been found Psychologically Unsuitable for a law enforcement position, and are considering appealing the determination, please contact Robert B. Kronenberg, Esq. at  (631) 234-4434 or (212) 776-1950.