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-   -   Police Officer Psych Eval (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=641036)

coyote43g 11-07-2012 2:58 AM

Police Officer Psych Eval
 
Hey guys, I am sure I am not the first vet to have tried to become a police officer after getting out of the service. Before I get into it, I'd like to give you guys some background info as accurately as I can.

I first applied to this agency last year in January. I took their test and passed it with flying colors. I went through the background check and passed that as welll without much hassle. I also passed the polygraph test, physical agility test, and the physical. I got a letter saying that I was Conditionally hired, depending if I pass the psychological evaluation.

Fast forward to June when I took my psych eval. Upon arrival, I was greeted by my appointed "shrink" and we proceeded inside her office. She asked me a few questions that was based on my background investigation and the standardized MMPI personality test. She asked me about my deployments and if I experienced any kind of trauma. I had told her that a friend of mine had died in a firefight and I felt remorse (I mean who wouldn't right?). Every thing seems to be going well and when I was done, we shook hands and I waited for my results. About a week later, I received a letter disqualifying me for having PTSD issues and that I can fight it or wait till a year and re-apply again. Btw, nowhere near my military medical record shows that I have been diagnosed with PTSD.

I waited for a year and during that wait period, I went to support groups with other service members who suffers from PTSD. I scheduled another evaluation with LAPD and that brings me to two days ago. My shrink was not the same person from the last time, however she did have notes from the other person and she went off on that. This time around, it felt really impersonal. SHe asked questions, I answered and while I was talking, she was typing her notes on her computer. It seems that she really wasn't taking me seriously or the evaluation. She told me that she wanted me to find some proof that I went to seek some counseling and then they will either 1) Let me go back in the process or 2) Find me unfit, which I can appeal by getting evaluated by an outside agency. I believe that I had addressed my so called issues by talking about it to professionals and other PTSD sufferers. I pride myself as a person who has a good handle on their emotions despite having been through combat. I drink rarely, and If I do I limit it to 1 or 2 drinks, I don't have any kind of anger issues, I have a job, I go to school, I have a steady relationship with a woman that I plan on marrying, and most of all I lead a normal life.

With that, I ask you my fellow calgunners and vets, have any of you experienced this when applying for a police officer position? I feel as if I am being faulted for being a service member that went through combat. I have done the best I can to deal with it by openly talking about it. I understand that the department seeks mental stability with their officers and I know that I am. If they reject me, I plan on seeking a second opinion from an outside source.

Do you know who I can turn to? is there an advocacy for veterans who are trying to continue their service in the law enforcement community but being denied because of a service related nature? thank you for you time. I know it was a bit lengthy, please let me know if there's suggestions on what I can do. Obviously I don't want to make a big stink out of this, I want to be employed with any department who would have me.

Thank you all.

kermit315 11-07-2012 2:18 PM

Mine was pretty standard, but it was in Florida too. I answered some preliminary questions, did the test and he explained the results. Pretty straight forward.

phenamunan 11-07-2012 3:30 PM

Sucks to hear that. From what I understand, LAPD has a very selective screening process that makes getting a TS clearance look like a cakewalk.

POLICESTATE 11-07-2012 3:38 PM

Seems a really casual diagnosis of PTSD from what I read of your account. I don't suppose there is a way to get a more standard test for PTSD from a shrink to either confirm the diagnosis or disprove it?

Paradiddle 11-07-2012 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by POLICESTATE (Post 9677262)
Seems a really casual diagnosis of PTSD from what I read of your account. I don't suppose there is a way to get a more standard test for PTSD from a shrink to either confirm the diagnosis or disprove it?

The MMPI is not a "casual" test. Read up on it - it was eye opening for me when I did some homework on it.

If it showed you as having PTSD then you must be unconsciously showing signs. That test has been around since 1939 and is the only test used for TS and/or other military evals, plus it's the only one admissible in court. It's a solid test - well vetted.

Did you actually get the results of your MMPI and take them to a therapist? That might be worth it - have someone actually review the results with you so you have a more clear indication of what is going on with you. The human brain is amazing at dealing with things and can easily "fool" you into thinking everything is okay.

I'm not saying you are or aren't suffering from PTSD, and I'm certainly not saying you are unfit to be a police officer. I think you owe it to yourself to find out what they are seeing.

My .02.

POLICESTATE 11-07-2012 3:57 PM

Didn't know the MMPI was considered to be something worthy of making a diagnosis from, I thought it was more a screening tool to determine potential issues with folks.

In any case I agree, it's best to see a therapist or shrink on your own.




Quote:

Originally Posted by Paradiddle (Post 9677363)
The MMPI is not a "casual" test. Read up on it - it was eye opening for me when I did some homework on it.

If it showed you as having PTSD then you must be unconsciously showing signs. That test has been around since 1939 and is the only test used for TS and/or other military evals, plus it's the only one admissible in court. It's a solid test - well vetted.

Did you actually get the results of your MMPI and take them to a therapist? That might be worth it - have someone actually review the results with you so you have a more clear indication of what is going on with you. The human brain is amazing at dealing with things and can easily "fool" you into thinking everything is okay.

I'm not saying you are or aren't suffering from PTSD, and I'm certainly not saying you are unfit to be a police officer. I think you owe it to yourself to find out what they are seeing.

My .02.


Paradiddle 11-07-2012 4:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by POLICESTATE (Post 9677414)
Didn't know the MMPI was considered to be something worthy of making a diagnosis from, I thought it was more a screening tool to determine potential issues with folks.

In any case I agree, it's best to see a therapist or shrink on your own.

It actually has an amazingly interesting history

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneso...lity_Inventory

developed in 1939 to help screen people for the military prior to WWII.

coyote43g 11-07-2012 5:52 PM

Thanks for the input guys.

Actually the MMPI was not the problem. The person that interviewed me said that I did posses a lot of qualities that fits a police officer. It had something to do with the death of my friend.

I am definitely getting a second opinion on this. I just didn't like the fact that the original person who interviewed me said that my medical record stated that I needed help, even though there aren't any kind of mental help recommendations on my records. Then to make matters worse, during my second interview, the person evaluating me didn't seem to be interested in what I had to say. She was looking at her screen and asking, "how do you feel about that?", "what did you mean by that". I felt like I was on trial and she was leading me to answer a certain way and I chose not to let her do that.

POLICESTATE 11-07-2012 6:00 PM

I re-read your OP and it seems to me that you didn't say anything odd according to what I'm saying, although "remorse" is not the word I would have chosen but then we are all different.

It sounds to me like that shrink has a few issues of her own. GO FIGURE :rolleyes:

I think there are good shrinks out there, but I think there are some pretty lousy ones as well. If anyone doubts this look at the children of shrinks. Some of them are pretty balanced, some of them are pretty screwed up.

Oh look here's one:



It could be she's just uncomfortable in front of a camera or she's got some strange **** going on upstairs :eek:

Or maybe she's got some weird facial muscle di-di-di-di-sorder.



Quote:

Originally Posted by coyote43g (Post 9678313)
Thanks for the input guys.

Actually the MMPI was not the problem. The person that interviewed me said that I did posses a lot of qualities that fits a police officer. It had something to do with the death of my friend.

I am definitely getting a second opinion on this. I just didn't like the fact that the original person who interviewed me said that my medical record stated that I needed help, even though there aren't any kind of mental help recommendations on my records. Then to make matters worse, during my second interview, the person evaluating me didn't seem to be interested in what I had to say. She was looking at her screen and asking, "how do you feel about that?", "what did you mean by that". I felt like I was on trial and she was leading me to answer a certain way and I chose not to let her do that.


ankyle62 11-07-2012 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by POLICESTATE (Post 9677414)
Didn't know the MMPI was considered to be something worthy of making a diagnosis from, I thought it was more a screening tool to determine potential issues with folks.

In any case I agree, it's best to see a therapist or shrink on your own.

It's not something to diagnose from, but it is something that can show potential problems which they will explore for a diagnosis. I would just keep trying to appeal if possible and maybe get an outside assessment to maybe further explorer their assessment or debunk it.

epilepticninja 11-10-2012 10:24 PM

I've taken the MMPI more times than I can count. That test is a joke. To the OP, I applied and was hired by LAPD many years ago. I couldn't make my academy date because Uncle Sam wouldn't let me out of my enlistment three months early. Looking back on it, the Gov't probably did me a favor. That agency has a lot of internal problems. Sounds to me like you got a jacked up shrink. Me personally, I'd move on to another dept. since what you told the shrinker shouldn't have been a reason for disqualification.

POLICESTATE 11-10-2012 10:33 PM

I was looking at it and it's just a serious of true/false questions right?

I was reading the first 75 they put online and I thought a lot of these have a bit more to them than a simple black and white, 0/1, yes/no, true/false answer.

Here's my answer to 10:
Quote:

1.I like mechanics magazines - No real opinion, I'd read one before People magazine
2.I have a good appetite - true
3.I wake up fresh & rested most mornings - depends on whether it's cold are warm
4.I think I would like the work of a librarian - never really thought about it, I guess true, assuming the pay/benefits meet my needs
5.I am easily awakened by noise - I sleep like the dead FALSE
6.I like to read newspaper articles on crime - I do, I don't, like isn't a factor in it
7.My hands and feet are usually warm enough - They feel neither warm nor cold, I don't obsess about the temperature of my extremities unless they are COLD
8.My daily life is full of things that keep me interested - Yeah mostly, but not always, whatever, True I guess if you had to twist my arm
9.I am about as able to work as I ever was - True
10.There seems to be a lump in my throat much of the time - If my allergies are acting up yes, if they are not then no.
After reading about the test and about the opposition to it I must say, I think it's crap. I bet you I could take this test and get a certain score today and then take it six months from now and get a different score, simply because my perspective on some things have changed and how I might answer these questions that force you into BS simplistic yes/no answers may also change depending on my mood. Which means I'd probably just write down the yes/no answer that sounds most sane. :)

Paradiddle 11-11-2012 9:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by POLICESTATE (Post 9700456)
I was looking at it and it's just a serious of true/false questions right?

I was reading the first 75 they put online and I thought a lot of these have a bit more to them than a simple black and white, 0/1, yes/no, true/false answer.

Here's my answer to 10:


After reading about the test and about the opposition to it I must say, I think it's crap. I bet you I could take this test and get a certain score today and then take it six months from now and get a different score, simply because my perspective on some things have changed and how I might answer these questions that force you into BS simplistic yes/no answers may also change depending on my mood. Which means I'd probably just write down the yes/no answer that sounds most sane. :)


It's only true or false - you can't write comments. The questions seem odd, and the test seems easy to "fool" but statistically it's proven not to be. Also, statistically speaking the results will be remarkably similar if taken today and 4 months from today (assuming you aren't taking drugs for your psych issue or in treatment). There are a bunch of "control" questions that are mixed in there as well.

frankm 11-11-2012 10:33 PM

Just keep trying, try other departments.

POLICESTATE 11-11-2012 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paradiddle (Post 9705864)
It's only true or false - you can't write comments. The questions seem odd, and the test seems easy to "fool" but statistically it's proven not to be. Also, statistically speaking the results will be remarkably similar if taken today and 4 months from today (assuming you aren't taking drugs for your psych issue or in treatment). There are a bunch of "control" questions that are mixed in there as well.

Yeah see that's the problem, most of these things are not that black and white. I don't like how it forces you to choose between two extremes when many of these questions are not really going to be like that for most normal people :)

eyeruh 11-12-2012 8:07 AM

The worst part is, we can argue about it all we want, but it doesn't change the fact it is used by a plethora of agencies. OP, my advice is to move on to another department.

Consider it their loss and they may be doing you a favor.

ankyle62 11-12-2012 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by POLICESTATE (Post 9706448)
Yeah see that's the problem, most of these things are not that black and white. I don't like how it forces you to choose between two extremes when many of these questions are not really going to be like that for most normal people :)

which is why they test these tests and do research on it. The MMPI is consider to be a pretty solid test and is much more complicated than what you are looking at.
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/min...ry-mmpi/all/1/

Petro6golf 11-15-2012 1:21 AM

Dont stress so much. If you want it you will get it. I failed the psych for one dept because the psych lady said I owned too many guns (3 is not too many) and she said I lied (which I did not) and that I have ptsd because I did two deployments as an infantryman. I applied with another dept and passed the psych just fine and got hired. you can make it happen if you want it. Just dont make yourself a false hero on the test by answering how you think the psych person wants you to answer. just be yourself.


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