Saturday, February 04, 2006

Getting into the head of a potential police officer

"I told [the psychologist], 'I cannot understand how you can consider me not well-suited when ... I've served my country honorably in the Marine Corps. ... I feel I have something to offer. I can empathize with the people in the communities I police. ... I just don't understand what it is exactly that they're looking for and how I continuously fail." --A 29-year-old Chicagoan who has taken and failed the police department's psychological test three times. Some say the test unfairly screens out many minority applicants.

Let's see what's so hard about this test.


1. Prisons are ...…
A. always half empty.
B. usually half empty.
C. usually half full.
D. always half full.

2. Minority teenagers are ...…
A. always drunk or high.
B. usually drunk or high.
C. rarely sober.
D. never sober.

3. In general, I feel ...…
A. very discontented -- There is something wrong with everything and everybody in this city.
B. discontented -- There are many things that bother me about black people.
C. contented -- Generally I am satisfied with my life, but things can always be better, like getting rid of immigrants.
D. completely fulfilled -- I've everything I've ever wished for ... under the floorboards!

4. When you picture yourself achieving an important goal, e.g., making an arrest, what would your reaction be?
A. I'd think of it as a measly step toward my ultimate goal of arresting all of "those people."
B. I'd enjoy the feeling of satisfaction of getting in a good kidney punch.
C. I'd reap the fruits of bribes received for as long as I can.

5. I like to take part in recreational activities (e.g., leisurely walks, working out, beating up homeless people for pleasure, playing chess, etc) ...
A. less than once a week.
B. once or twice a week.
C. several times a week.
D. every day.
E. most of my time already consists of recreational drugs.

6. I would be ____ shooting an unarmed black motorist.
A. only slightly comfortable
B. somewhat comfortable
C. comfortable
D. very comfortable
E. always comfortable

7. You witness what you think is a sweet exchange of affection between two people. What is your most likely reaction?
A. I get irritated and arrest them for public indecency.
B. I don't even notice my own erection.
C. I am indifferent, unless if it's a black dude with a white girl.
D. I smile as I beat the crap out of the guy.
E. I try to resist the temptation to force the couple to strip and run across the expressway.

8. People tell me I am …
A. much more racist than others.
B. a bit more racist than others.
C. about as racist as others.
D. as racist as others.

9. Which of these situations is most upsetting and likely to provoke an unwarranted search?
A. A teen driver cutting you off.
B. In heavy traffic, a cab driver going especially slow.
C. A person with 20 items getting in the "6-items or less" aisle.
D. An African-American teenager spitting on the sidewalk.

10. I can _____ eat donuts.
A. always
B. often
C. sometimes
D. rarely
E. never

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