Too Smart To Be A Cop?

Too Smart To Be A Cop?


Forty-five-year-old Corrections Officer Robert Jordan believes he has been discriminated against after the city of New London, Conn., deemed him too smart to be an enforcement officer and denied him employment.

After he filed a lawsuit, the federal judge dismissed it, ruling that the police department’s rejection of Jordan did not violate his rights. Jordan strongly disagrees and tells CBS This Morning‘s Thalia Assuras why.

“I was just taken aback,” Jordan says. “Philosophically, I found it offensive to the entire profession of law enforcement. We all know talented, intelligent people that pursue successful careers in law enforcement.”In May 1997 Jordan filed a lawsuit against the New London Police Department for denying him the opportunity of becoming a law enforcement officer in the city where he was born and raised and which he still lives nearby.

“I just couldn’t accept it. And I found out there is absolutely no evidence.Â…There is no connection between your basic intelligence and job satisfaction or longevity on the job,” he says.

Jordan was deemed too smart for the police force because he received a high score on an intelligence test. Jordan, then 45, scored a 33, the equivalent of having an IQ of 125.

The average score nationally for police officers as well as for office workers, bank tellers and salespeople is 21 or 22, the equivalent of having an IQ of 104.

The city’s rationale for the long-standing practice is that candidates who score too high could get bored with police work and quit after undergoing costly academy training.

Recently U.S. District Judge Peter C. Dorsey ruled the New London Police Department’s rejection of Jordan, because of his high IQ test score, was not in violation of his rights.

The court dismissed his lawsuit Aug. 31 and his attorney informed him on Wednesday.

Jordan feels the New London policy is ludicrous primarily because the city, through President Clinton’s Fast Cop Program, received federal money to hire new recruits for the police academy, he says.

“I don’t think it’s setting really good seeds for the future of [its] public employees in the town, “ he adds.

Jordan is not new to law enforcement. He had served as a part-time officer in Groton Long Point, Conn., in 1989.

In 1993 he became a seasonal officer for the Department of Environmental Protection, which takes care of law enforcement in state parks. He never took off a single shift, he says.

Jordan was never late and he felt he really did his job well. So when he decided to try for his local police force, he thought it could turn into something good, he says.

He is currently a corrections officer for the state of Connecticut, on the line, in direct contact with prisoners.

Jordan would love to appeal but the cost of litigation may be too much for him, although he has not ruled out the option, he says.

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