Attached is a chapter in a newly published book entitled Police Psychology and Its Growing Impact on Modern Law Enforcement.  I am most pleased to inform you that Chapter 5, “Current Issues in Psychological Fitness for Duty Evaluations of Law Enforcement Officers” was co-authored by me and the highly respected police psychologist David M. Corey of Corey & Stewart.

Dr. Corey has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Fielding Graduate Institute (now Claremont Graduate University), Santa Barbara, California; degree conferred September 1988.  He is Board Certified in Police & Public Safety Psychology. He specializes in Forensic, Consulting, and Police & Public Safety Psychology in Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Utah, and Arizona.  He serves as a consulting psychologist and expert witness to government and public safety agencies, corporations, and attorneys/courts in the areas of employment assessment (pre-employment and fitness for duty), and workplace threat management.

Our chapter addresses both legal, as well as psychological implications of fitness for duty evaluations.  Courts throughout the United States have ruled that the “awesome powers” entrusted to law enforcement officers, and the safety-sensitive nature of their positions, impose on their public employers a responsibility to ensure that their officers are fit to perform their duties.

But, as with an officer’s powers, the authority of a law enforcement employer to mandate a psychological fitness-for-duty evaluation (FFDE) is not without boundaries.

The chapter addresses the legal authority of an employer of peace officers to require a FFDE; the limits to that authority; and the implications of these constraints both for employers and the psychologists who conduct these evaluations on their behalf.

The chapter concerns itself with both the law and the professional standards of the practice of police psychology. Key topics also include the legal threshold for requiring an FFDE; limitations on the content of an FFDE report; and the qualifications of those conducting fitness for duty evaluations.

Hopefully, this will be of value to law enforcement executives in determining when a FFDE is appropriate and whether it should be mandated.

As always, should you wish to discuss this in greater detail, please feel free to contact me at (714) 446 – 1400 or via email at mjm@jones-mayer.com.

Information on www.jones-mayer.com is for general use and is not legal advice.  The mailing of this Client Alert Memorandum is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Read Chapter 5