It’s a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam.
Dayton is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test.
Under the previous requirements, candidates had to get a 66% on part one of the exam and a 72% on part two.
The D.O.J. approved new scoring policy only requires potential police officers to get a 58% and a 63%. That’s the equivalent of an ‘F’ and a ‘D’.
“It becomes a safety issue for the people of our community,” said Dayton Fraternal Order of Police President, Randy Beane. “It becomes a safety issue to have an incompetent officer next to you in a life and death situation.”
“The NAACP does not support individuals failing a test and then having the opportunity to be gainfully employed,” agreed Dayton NAACP President Derrick Foward.
The D.O.J. and Civil Service Board declined Dayton’s News Source’s repeat requests for interviews. The lower standards mean 258 more people passed the test. The city won’t say how many were minorities.
“If you lower the score for any group of people, you’re not getting the best qualified people for the job,” Foward said.
“We need to work with the youth and make them interested in becoming law enforcement officers and firefighters,” said Beane. “Break down the barriers whether they are real or perceived, so we can move forward in this community.”
The D.O.J. has forced other police departments across the country to lower testing standards, citing once again that not enough black candidates were passing.
The Dayton Firefighter recruit exam is coming up this summer. The chief said it’s likely the passing score for that test will be lowered as well.
Friday, March 11 2011