Jordan v. City of New London case
Jordan vs. City of New London
Jordan vs. City of New London
The following paper follows the case of Robert Jordan vs. city of New London, where the plaintiff (Jordan) was denied a position as a police officer for scoring high on an intelligence test. Jordan then filed a case contesting the department’s decision CITATION Hug03 l 1033 (Hughes, 2003).
Key facts and issues
In 1996, Robert Jordan appeared for a written screening process, namely the Wonderlic Personnel Test and the Scholastic Level Exam, conducted by the Law Enforcement Council of Southeastern Connecticut, for the position of a police officer. Sometime later, he learned that the city of New London was interviewing candidates, but Jordan’s application had been denied because he did not fit the profile, even though he scored well above the conventional median score of 21 CITATION Rob00 l 1033 (Robert Jordan, Plaintiff Appellant vs. City of New London and Keith Harrigan, Defendants-Appellees, 2000).
Jordan, aged 46, suspected a case of age discrimination, and thus filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The city of New London, however, revealed that Jordan had not been rejected due to his age, but because of his score of 33 on the WPT. In order to prevent overqualified candidates from getting bored and quitting their jobs without precedence, the departments only interviewed candidates who scored within the median range of scores CITATION Rob00 l 1033 (Robert Jordan, Plaintiff Appellant vs. City of New London and Keith Harrigan, Defendants-Appellees, 2000).
Following that, Jordan contested a civil rights action against the city of New London in a district court in Connecticut. He alleged that the city of New London had denied him equal opportunities and protection, thus violating the Fourteenth Amendment and Article 4, Section 20 of the Constitution of Connecticut. However, the court ruled in the city’s favor, citing that their rationale for rejecting Jordan’s application was fair, and no clause related to equal opportunity and protection was violated. The court also agreed to the defendants motion for a summary judgment, which is contested only in cases where there is no substantial evidence or genuine issue regarding any fact. In such cases, the moving party is allowed a judgment as a matter of law CITATION Rob00 l 1033 (Robert Jordan, Plaintiff Appellant vs. City of New London and Keith Harrigan, Defendants-Appellees, 2000).
Does one have to have a lower IQ to be a police officer?
Taking a personal stand, I agree that more stringent selection processes will limit the pool of eligibility significantly. In this aspect, Tom Hughes presents some valid arguments. First, the decision of a legal department is extremely important with respect to recruitment, especially during a time when applications to the police department are already shrinking. Additionally, rejecting an application on the grounds of a better score than the rest creates a negative image of the police department for any state. Additionally, because Jordan’s case also brings into consideration employment law, it is an example of the numerous cases against the police department in this aspect CITATION Hug03 l 1033 (Hughes, 2003).
Even though Judge Dorsey, who presided over the case, said that the case was not one of discrimination, Jordan’s argument also supports the above motion: rejecting a candidate on the basis of his or her ‘intellectual makeup’ is akin to gender or race discrimination. The case could become a discouraging predecessor for those with a superior IQ and wanting to apply for a job with the police department CITATION MET99 l 1033 (Times, 1999).
Improving recruitment for law enforcement
As a task force officer for law recruitment, I would first concentrate on identifying the challenges that officers face during the recruitment process. The economic recession inspired some change and increase in the number of applications to the police department. Thus, improving economic conditions for people may be detrimental to the number of applications that the department receives every year CITATION Wil14 l 1033 (Wilson, 2014).
Additionally, acquainting people with the changing generational preferences is also another area that needs concentrating. There needs to come about a change in the preferences and attitudes of the people working for and in the department, so as to help them identify with the new generation, and keep up with the changing trends of the department CITATION Wil14 l 1033 (Wilson, 2014).
One of the ways to improve the recruitment process and inspire more people to apply for positions with the department is to engage community members. This can be done through various activities to improve rapport between the common populace between people and police. This can also be used to change the general idea of the police force. Most Americans do not realize the value of the law enforcement department. Thus, apart from inspiring healthy relations between America and its protectors, community activities can also be used to revamp the image of the department CITATION Pea l 1033 (Pearsall III & Kohlhepp, 2010).
BIBLIOGRAPHY Hughes, T. (2003). Jordan v. The City of New London, police hiring and IQ: “When all the answers they don’t amount to much”. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 26(2), 298-312. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13639510310475778
Pearsall III, A. A., & Kohlhepp, K. (2010, April). Strategies to Improve Recruitment. The Police Chief, 77(4), pp. 128-130. Retrieved July 18, 2015, from http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&article_id=2056&issue_id=42010
Robert Jordan, Plaintiff Appellant vs. City of New London and Keith Harrigan, Defendants-Appellees, No. 99-9188 (UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT August 23, 2000). Retrieved from http://www.aele.org/apa/jordan-newlondon.html
Times, N. Y. (1999, September 9). METRO NEWS BRIEFS: CONNECTICUT; Judge Rules That Police Can Bar High I.Q. Scores. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/09/nyregion/metro-news-briefs-connecticut-judge-rules-that-police-can-bar-high-iq-scores.html
Wilson, J. M. (2014). Strategies for Police Recruitment: A review of issues, contemporary trends and Existing Approaches . Law Enforcement Executive Forum.
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