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PSYC 3020 (97)
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PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

Chapter 2 POLICE SELECTION  police selection procedures that allow police agencies to effectively screen out applicants who possess undesirable characteristics or select applicants who possess desirable characteristics some examples physical fitness, cognitive abilities, personality, and performance on various job-related tasks. psychologists have been involved in police selection since the early twentieth century. Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test to assist with police selection in California that recommend a minimum IQ score of 80 for future applicants. Following this, attempts were made to use personality tests to predict police performance in the mid-twentieth century mid-1950s, psychological and psychiatric screening procedures of police applicants became a standard part of the selection procedure in several major police forces 1960s and 1970s, major changes to police selection procedures took place in the United States, primarily as a result of two major events. recommended that police forces adopt a higher educational requirement for police officers, recommended that police agencies establish formal selection processes, which would include the use of tests to measure the cognitive abilities and personality features of applicants  generally, the same selection procedures are used by police agencies across Canada, although there are some slight differences across provincial and territorial boundaries. In general terms, there are two separate stages to the police selection process. 1. Stage one is referred to as the job analysis stage. Here, the agency must define the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of a "good" police officer An organizational psychologist, working in conjunction with a police agency, frequently conducts the job analysis. One of the major problems that can be encountered is that the KSAs of a good police officer may not be stable over time, making it difficult to determine what the selection procedures should actually be testing for. might be because different types of police officers, or different policing jobs, will be characterized by different KSAs. Another problem with conducting a job analysis is that individuals may disagree over which KSAs are important. 2. Stage two is referred to as the construction and validation stage. the agency must develop an instrument for measuring the extent to which police applicants possess these KSAs. A crucial part of this stage also requires that the agency determine the instrument's validity research suggests that a different picture of performance can emerge depending on what measure is used. measures of performance during training often do not generalize to on-the-job performance and ratings by different individuals are often contradictory most interested in predictive validity: which is our ability to use a selection instrument to predict how applicants will perform in the future. The Validity of Police Selection Instruments Selection interview: an interview used by the police to determine the extent to which an applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities deemed important for the job  one of the most common selection instruments used by the police.  Typically, they take the form of a semi-structured interview.  there is relatively little research examining the predictive validity of the selection interview in the policing context results are somewhat mixed--degree to which different interviewers agree on their ratings of various attributes when interviewing the same applicant were relatively low  more structured an interview is, the more likely that it will predict future job performance Psychological tests are also commonly used as a selection tool- some measure cognitive abilities, whereas others assess an applicant's personality.  Cognitive ability tests Although each test may emphasize something slightly different, they are typically used to measure verbal, mathematical, memory, and reasoning abilities. Such tests are used regularly when selecting police officers in Canada. require you to take the RCMP Police Aptitude Test (RPAT). measures 7 core skills that are essential in performance for a police officer: written composition, comprehension, memory, judgment, observation, logic, and computation these tests tend to be better at predicting performance during police academy training compared with future on-the-job performance  Personality tests the most common test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) developed as a general inventory to identify people with psychopathological issues. Has low validity coefficients when used to predict problematic police behaviours Another test made for police selection is Inwald Personality Inventory (IPI). identify police applicants who are most suitable for police work by measuring their personality attributes and behaviour patterns. The results found that the IPI was a slightly better predictor of on-the-job performance in the one-year follow-up period than both the MMPI The IPl was able to predict three of the seven indicators (supervisor ratings, citizen complaints, and the overall composite of negative indicators). MMPI could accurately predict only supervisor ratings  Assessment centre  Assessment centre: is a facility at which the behaviour of police applicants can be observed in a number of different ways by multiple observers primary selection instrument used within an assessment centre is the situational test, which involves simulations of real-world policing tasks. Trained observers evaluate how applicants perform during these tasks, and the performance appraisals are used for the purpose of selection. POLICE DISCRETION Police discretion: task that involves discriminating between circumstances that require absolute adherence to the law and circumstances where a degree of latitude is justified important reasons for police discretion are a police officer who attempts to enforce all the laws all the time would be in the police station and in court all the time and, thus, of little use when serious problems arise in the community.  Legislatures pass some laws that they clearly do not intend to have strictly enforced all the time. Legislatures pass some laws that are vague, making it necessary for the police to interpret them and decide when to apply them. Most law violations are minor in nature, such as driving slightly over the posted speed limit, and do not require full enforcement of the law. Full enforcement of all the laws all the time would alienate the public and undermine support for the police. Full enforcement of all the laws all the time would overwhelm the criminal justice system, including the prisons.  The police have many duties to perform with limited resources. Good judgment must, therefore, be used in establishing enforcement priorities. Areas Where Police Discretion Is Used  Common police responses to youth crime include formal arrests, police cautions, community referrals, and family conferences.  approximately 30% to 40% of youth crime is handled informally  In Canada, polic
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