The Push Towards Assessment Center Promotional Testing




Fitzgerald, Shawn

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



In recent years, the law enforcement profession as a whole has come under an unprecedented level of scrutiny by both the media and society. The trust that has long been a staple of the police and the community they serve has been fractured. The importance of hiring the best, most qualified candidates is a priority for many law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of promoting line level officers to the supervisory ranks. While there are a number of agencies that have embraced the concept of a rigorous selection process for supervisors, most rely on either an appointment process or a simple examination. Texas law enforcement agencies should consider adopting a standardized alternate promotional system rather than relying solely upon a written examination or by simple appointment. Law enforcement agencies across the state would be better served in adopting an alternate promotion plan, thereby allowing the best, most qualified personnel to advance into the supervisory ranks. The assessment center approach puts the focus on the totality of an officer’s career versus a one-dimensional approach. Promotions based upon favoritism would become obsolete and those officers being promoted based upon their ability to merely test well would be no more. The answer is clear and the negatives are few. Law enforcement must shift their attention and their resources toward promoting the best, most qualified supervisors.


Police--personnel management, Assessment Center (personnel management procedure)