Memphis police reveal hiring details - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Memphis police reveal hiring details

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council members have been at war with one another over police hiring practices in a clash riddled with racial overtones. Now, police are revealing detailed reasons for rejecting potential recruits.

From January 2006 to June 2008, the written test turned away most applicants: 54% of African American applicants and 43.8% of white applicants.  The Memphis Police Department says the written test checks for basic reading comprehension and how well the applicant can adapt to different work environments.

The Psychological Exam was the second most challenging test for applicants: almost the same percentage of African American and white applicants failed it.  The psychological exam involves two true/false tests that assess behavioral risk factors. It is currently used by several police departments across America.

The percentages of African Americans and Whites turned away for having too many traffic violations was almost neck-and-neck.  Applicants can't have more than four moving violations in a year.

Overall, 2,034 African Americans applied to join the force, and 311 were actually hired.  841 Caucasians applied, and 210 were actually hired.  

Some council members questioned why applicants could not see their psychological test results.

The city's Labor Relations Office released this memo saying the Ethics Code does not require the release of test results, and releasing those results could cause copyright and trademark infringements.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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