The Sept. 9 Nation in Brief item about Robert Jordan's rejection from the New London, Conn., police department because he scored too high on his IQ test shows a lack of wisdom in the department's hiring policy. Apparently, the police department was concerned that Mr. Jordan would become bored and quit, leaving the department with the expensive academy training bill.
This policy is flat-out flawed, for several reasons. First, people leave one department or agency to go to another all the time, regardless of IQ. Sometimes they even leave in the middle of training. This is just a cost of doing business and a poor rationale for not hiring someone.
Second, and more important, the police have sent a horrible message to the public they serve: "We don't want to hire the best and brightest to serve you." Instead of fearing attrition because of high IQ, they should be concerned about losing their force to other departments or agencies due to what I'm sure is low morale among the outstanding officers of the New London Police Department, who have been belittled by this now very public policy.
Finally, the New London Police Department seems to have the belief that those who have high IQs do not belong in public service. This also sends a dreadful message to our young adults who are deciding on their futures.
Those who are familiar with law enforcement know how difficult and challenging it is to stay ahead of the changing environment. Law enforcement needs people who are capable of rising through the ranks and are able to formulate new policies and procedures to keep ahead of the times, not behind them.
I urge the New London Police Department to revise its hiring policy to attract the best and brightest and then focus on keeping them by treating them well and giving them an opportunity to grow.