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Can You Be Too Smart to Become a Cop?

Can You Be Too Smart to Become a Cop?

Most people would believe that police departments would want the brightest people to apply to become a police officer.  After all, the job requires split second decisions.  But is there a cap on IQ’s for candidates?

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There is no question that a police officer is required to make quick decisions.  And their decision making skills affects the lives of those they have taken an oath to serve.  So one would imagine that police departments would want the smartest people to apply.

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The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test is one of the most common tests used to assess a persons Intelligence Quotient, or IQ.  It is also a test that is required during the hiring process to become a police officer, so law enforcement is interested in a candidates IQ.

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According to the IQ and Global Inequality, the average IQ in America is 98.  The average IQ of a police officer in America is just above average at 104.

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But the question must be asked, can a candidate be too smart to become a police officer?  Would intelligence get in the way of a police officer doing his job?

Candidates Testing to Join the New Mexico State Police

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On March 16th, 1996, Robert Jordan and 500 other candidates from Connecticut took a written test as part of the process of becoming a police officer.  Part of the test was the Wonderlic Test, the test that determines the candidates IQ.

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Several months after completing the written evaluation, Mr. Jordan learned that the city of New London had begun interviewing candidates.  As he began to inquire why he did not receive consideration, assistant city manager Keith Harrigan explained that he “didn’t fit the profile”.

Albert Einstein

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It was explained to Mr. Jordan that his score on the  Wonderlic Test was a 33, and candidates who move on in the recruiting process must score between 20 and 27.  In other words, Mr. Jordan was too intelligent to become a police officer.  But why?

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At first, Mr. Jordan believed the reason he was overlooked was because of his age.  At 46 years old, he definitely wasn’t the youngest candidate to apply.  So he took his case to court.

District Court for the District of Connecticut

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After having his case heard before the courts and filing an appeal, the courts ruled that Mr. Jordan’s civil rights were not violated.  The city’s defense was that they believed because Mr. Jordan had a higher IQ, that he would not be happy as a police officer.

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Is it that a smarter person would become bored as a police officer?  Or is the reality that police departments focus on a certain IQ who wouldn’t have a problem enforcing laws that they disagree with?  A candidate who is smarter than the average bear, but not smart enough to question an order?  How else will they continue to build Police State, USA?

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