A worrisome sign on the state of society

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by ronduke, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. ronduke


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    Jan 24, 2007
    A worrisome sign on the state of society

    12:00 AM CST on Sunday, February 7, 2010

    I'm an optimist by nature. I believe the general march of humanity is toward progress.

    And I pay little attention when others wring their hands about our being a nation in decline.

    But once in a while, something comes along to give me pause.

    And one instance was the recent search to find new deputies for the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.

    Maybe we are in trouble.

    Five new recruits will begin the training academy Monday. Congratulations to them. But woe the winnowing required to find them.

    Those five began in a field of 206 applicants. That's how many men and women sat down to take the first test on the path to becoming a deputy.

    Some already worked for the Sheriff's Department as jailers. Others were outsiders. But all knew what the screening process involved.

    Anyone with obvious shortcomings wouldn't have bothered to apply. So by self-selection alone, those 206 should have been a quality group.

    But not quality enough, apparently.

    They began with the academic exam – a high- school-level test of memory, grammar, reading comprehension and analytical ability.

    Of the 206, only 39 passed.

    Next came a physical fitness test – 21 push-ups, 29 sit-ups, a vertical leap of 15.5 inches, a 1.5-mile run in less than 16 minutes, 28 seconds. Nothing too rigorous.

    Of the 39, only 16 passed.

    Then came the background investigation. Of the 16, only 10 made it through.

    Next, a polygraph exam. Of the 10, nine passed.

    Then the psychological evaluation. Of the nine, seven were deemed trustworthy to carry a badge and gun.

    Along the way, two more withdrew voluntarily – probably expecting to fail one of the upcoming steps.

    And that left a grand total of five people with the mental, physical and moral fitness to begin training as peace officers – less than 3 percent of the 206 who began.

    Heaven help us. Could that be an accurate snapshot of our society today?

    The results might not have disturbed me so, except for an earlier report. That one looked at our nation's young adults and their fitness for military enlistment.

    The study eliminated those without a high school diploma. It eliminated those too fat or otherwise unhealthy to serve. It eliminated those with a criminal record or serious history of drug abuse.

    Care to guess how many young adults (ages 17 to 24) were left as eligible to enlist?

    Only 25 percent.

    That ought to give anyone pause about our future – when three-fourths of your country's young adults don't have the smarts, strength or character to qualify for military service.

    I suspect that you and I and most everyone reading this resides in the world of that other 25 percent – the fortunate sector where most young people thrive and succeed.

    I'm certain that most of the decision makers in our nation live in that world.

    Oh, we have glimpses of the problem. We know the kid who got mixed up in drugs or bailed on high school. We know the lard butt who excels only at video games and potato chips.

    But maybe it's time for us to wake up to just how pervasive those problems are.

    The military fitness report concluded that more early-childhood education is the key to turning things around.

    I'm sure that's one step in the process.

    But maybe the starting point is a little more alarm and a little less optimism.
  2. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Mar 21, 2005
    Kansas, near the bison.
    On the military enlistment part, standards change within branches of military service as dictated by the needs of the service.

  3. A6Gator


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    Apr 4, 2007
    formerly Barack's Plantation
    Gotta raise the BS flag on this one. There's already enough gov't intrusion in raising kids and early-childhood education is just an extension of that. I haven't seen any evidence showing the effectiveness of gov't sponsored daycare that passes for "early-childhood education." How about correlating applicant performance/suitability to two-parent families or a family structure with a male influence. Clearly, a solid family structure and responsible parents/parenting, is not the total answer, but I think it'd go a long way towards fixing some of these problems.
  4. Unistat


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    Jan 24, 2008
    SE Michigan, near Detroit
    In addition, the millitary and police departments (especially) can afford to be very choosey right now. Canidates that were not necessarily automatic DQ's in the past are now rejected out of hand.
  5. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    Jan 2, 2008
    Eureka, Calif
    I agree with the general spirit of your post, and agree that fewer and fewer candidates are qualified to be cops.

    I gotta stand up for some of the guys who biffed the physical test though. I can't run for ****, and I hate running. I would not pass that physical, well, I might, but it would be really close, based on the run. Doesn't mean I don't have heart, doesn't mean I'm not much of a copper, and doesn't mean I can't knock a scroatbag through a wall as needed. It means I hate to run and choose to not run based on my absolute seething hatred of running. But I'd be knocked out of contention almost immediately if I didn't pass it.
  6. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    Apr 3, 2002
    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Nothing new. We are lucky to get one candidate through the entire process out of every twenty or thirty applicants. Now, this is laterals and pre-service, not recruits, so you would expect even higher quality of applicants since they have already either gone through the training or have been cops.

    Nope. Some of the things you hear about... simply amazing. We have active duty cops admitting to excessive force, stealing on duty, sleeping on the job, and one guy even admitted to rolling a DB for $100 since nobody was around when he came on scene so he figured, the DB won't need it.