Psychological Disqualification Appeals
Notice of Proposed Disqualification (NOPD)
Too many young men and women are wrongfully branded as "Psychologically Unsuitable" as candidates for law enforcement positions. These determinations compromise their ability to ever be employed in a law enforcement career. For example, imagine learning that the reason you were deemed unsuitable was due to the fact that you had mental health intervention, a decade ago, when your parents divorced—"Poor Stress Tolerance."
Have you taken the written examination and psychological interview for New York City Police Officer or New York City Correction Officer and received a NOTICE OF PROPOSED DISQUALIFICATION (NOPD)?
We Can Help
Contact Dr. Mark Lerner, Clinical, Forensic and Police Psychologist at (631) 385-7551 or Robert Kronenberg, Esq., NYPD Capt. Ret. at (631) 234-4434 or (212) 776-1950 for a FREE confidential telephone consultation.
"Withdrawing" from the Process
While NYPD and DOC candidates deemed "PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNSUITABLE" are offered the opportunity to "WITHDRAW," they are NOT informed that their psychological files remain with the NYPD and/or the DOC. This documentation can be utilized at any time in the future by the NYPD, DOC or another law enforcement agency. Only by appealing a psychological disqualification can a candidate clear one’s name.
Appealing a Proposed Disqualification
The New York City Police Department and the New York City Department of Correction have changed their process regarding the appeal of a psychological disqualification. The initial notice forwarded to the candidate will state that the NYPD/DOC “is proposing to disqualify you from this position.” The change is the NYPD/DOC’s use of the word “proposing”. It is at that point that the candidate will be able to begin the appeal process. If the candidate fails to initiate the process after receiving the Notice of Proposed Disqualification (i.e., typically within 30 days), the disqualification will be deemed final and the candidate will not be able to obtain his/her psychological disqualification file from the NYPD/DOC. Thus, it is critical that the candidate begin the appeal process when he/she receives the notice of proposed psychological disqualification.
Other Law Enforcement Evaluations
If you require a psychological evaluation for other law enforcement agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriffs Department, New York State Department of Correction, etc., contact Dr. Mark Lerner.
Appealing a Civil Service Psychological Disqualification
Have you applied for the position of police officer, correction officer, probation officer, park ranger, state trooper, sheriff, firefighter or other civil service position and learned that you have been psychologically disqualified?
If you believe that this decision is wrong or capricious, you should appeal this determination. In most jurisdictions, you have a very limited time frame (e.g., 30 days) to initiate your appeal.
Psychological evaluations for civil service positions typically include both written (i.e., paper and pencil) objective assessment and an oral (i.e., self-report) clinical interview. The former often involve the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), the California Psychological Inventory (CPI), the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory - III (MCMI-III), a Candidate Questionnaire (e.g., CPQ; Police Candidate Questionnaire) and the Cornell Index (CI). Additionally, some evaluators will utilize projective measures including the Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and drawings. The clinical interview is generally a structured series of questions.
Candidates may be psychologically disqualified for a number of reasons such as anxiety, depression, poor judgement, poor credibility, immaturity, etc. Additionally, maladaptive behaviors are considered. These generally include difficulties in such areas as school, employment, one's personal history, etc.
When appealing a psychological disqualification, candidates are strongly advised to seek the legal advice of an attorney, such as Mr. Kronenberg, who is experienced in handling civil service cases. An independent psychological evaluation will need to be performed by a clinical and forensic psychologist, such as Dr. Lerner.
The independent psychological evaluation will include a review of the entire civil service psychological record and provide additional psychological evidence to be considered in concert with the content of the candidate’s psychological file.
Finally, whether or not you are intent on pursing employment with the civil service position to which you applied, it is strongly advisable to appeal a psychological disqualification. Such a determination can compromise your ability to secure employment with another entity. By appealing your disqualification and having an independent psychological evaluation conducted, you can have a document in hand that addresses the validity of your disqualification and sets the record straight regarding your current psychological functioning and ability to perform the requisite functions of the job to which you applied.
"Why was a preliminary decision made that I was "PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNSUITABLE?"
Following is a list of some of the most common reasons for being found psychologically unsuitable for law enforcement positions:
• Excessive Anger
• Poor Judgment
• Poor Impulse Control
• Bias (racial or other)
• Poor presentation
• Poor Stress Tolerance
• Poor Interpersonal Skills
• Poor Social Competence
• Poor Dutifulness
• Substance Misuse/Abuse/Addition (including alcohol)
• Failure to Adjust to the Psychological Demands of Adulthood
• Poor Credibility
Notice of Proposed Disqualification (NOPD) with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) or the New York City Department of Correction (NYCDOC)
Receiving an NOPD by the NYPD or the NYCDOC can be a disheartening experience for any candidate aspiring to join the Department. However, it is crucial to understand the importance of appealing this decision, as it can have significant long-term implications for the candidate's future prospects.
First, appealing an NOPD increases the candidate's chances of being called back and given another opportunity to become a member of the Department. Though the initial decision may be frustrating, it is not uncommon for candidates to successfully appeal and have their disqualification reversed. By presenting a strong case that addresses the concerns raised by the NYPD or the NYCDOC, candidates can demonstrate their commitment, character, and ability to perform as members of the force. This can open the door for reconsideration and help them achieve their goal of joining the Department.
Furthermore, appealing an NOPD also has the potential to clear the candidate's name and enable them to secure employment with another law enforcement agency. With the increasing demand for qualified officers across various jurisdictions, having the necessary psychological documentation that addresses the concerns raised by the NYPD or the NYCDOC can serve as a valuable asset in future applications. By thoroughly addressing and refuting the concerns outlined in the NOPD, candidates can demonstrate their suitability for a career in law enforcement and overcome any doubts or misconceptions that may have been previously raised.
In conclusion, appealing a Notice of Proposed Disqualification is of utmost importance for candidates seeking a career with the NYPD or the NYCDOC. It not only increases the likelihood of getting another chance with the Department but also provides an opportunity to clear one's name and secure employment with other law enforcement agencies. By appealing to and addressing the concerns raised, candidates can preserve their aspirations and pave the way for a successful and meaningful career in law enforcement.
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