Case 21: Suffolk County, NY
Police Entrance Exam Excludes Qualified Whites
Racial Preferences = Racial Discrimination

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Update 06/20/01:  White Police Officer-Applicants sued for reverse discrimination and lost this round!   After many years of expensive litigation, the court bowed to pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice to allow Suffolk County to manipulate entrance exam results so that intelligence and cognitive abilities have less weight than "bio data" and other proxies for race.  The result?  Qualified white candidates are rejected while more minorities pass the new test.

1. Introduction and Overview

The Suffolk County, NY Police Dept.
Minority Dilemma

Summary:  [July 7, 2000]  For the past 4 years the Suffolk County Police Department has been under a court order NOT to hire any police recruits.  Why?  The short answer is that too few blacks and other minority candidates were able to pass their entrance exam.

          The longer answer is more complex, but nonetheless disturbing.

          As recently as 1996, the police recruit test administered by Suffolk County, NY, Police Academy relied largely on mental ability, memory, and reasoning skills.  At that time Suffolk County tested important things such as the ability to remember details of a hypothetical crime scene for 5 minutes.  They tested things like the ability to read, understand, and retain 6th grade level English statements.  The 1996 test attempted to determine if officer applicants had the smarts to make snap decisions about the use of excessive force, and about the necessity of administering Miranda warnings, among other things. 

          But the U.S. Department of Justice felt that too many of the available pool of black and other protected minority applicants were so poorly educated that they could not pass the 1996 Suffolk County exam.

          In government-speak, the 1996 test had an "adverse impact" because too high a proportion of minorities failed it.

          Thus, in 1996, the Court ruled that Suffolk County PD had to devise an entrance exam which did not discriminate on the basis of intelligence, logic skills, or abstract reasoning.

          In short, the Court ruled that Suffolk County had to come up with an entrance exam which admitted a higher proportion of poorly educated individuals with lower reasoning ability and with lower reading skills.  This "dumbed down" test would theoretically admit more applicants from the federally protected classes of blacks and minorities.

          Based on initial test results in 2000, Suffolk's new test does exactly that, and more. 

Minorities make up less than 13.6% of Suffolk County's population.
According to Census 2000, racial minorities are a very small percentage of Suffolk County, NY.  Whites represent 86.4% of the population, blacks represent 7.1%, and all other minorities are only 6.5%.

         The new 2000 test, designed for Suffolk County by the high-stakes minority-testing firm SHL (Landy-Jacobs) eliminates a very high percentage of experienced, educated white officer applicants and instead admits a very high percentage of individuals who cannot read or write at the 6th grade level and who do not possess very good logic skills, reasoning skills, or memory skills.  In short, the new test admits a much higher percentage of poorly prepared individuals many of whom happen to be protected minorities.

          In late 1996, and early 1997, in the face of substantial pressure from such massively-funded groups as the U.S. Department of Justice and the NAACP, Suffolk County agreed to hire a high-stakes minority testing firm, SHL Group / Landy-Jacobs, to construct a police academy admissions test which rejected more white officers and which hired more minority officers from the government's list of protected races. 

          The resulting test was administered in year 2000 with the result that it did, indeed, reject a higher number of qualified whites and conversely resulted in the admission of less well-educated individuals, a large number of whom are minorities. 

          These facts have become the basis for pending reverse discrimination lawsuits against Suffolk County PD by a number of well-qualified white police academy applicants, many of whom have served with distinction in other police jurisdictions but who nonetheless were rejected by SHL / Landy-Jacobs new "dumbed down" 2000 entrance examination.

          A number of white applicants who performed extremely well on the outlawed 1996 Suffolk exam (which tested mental ability) have failed to make the cut on the re-engineered year 2000 exam (which gives up to 66% less weight to mental ability).

          Many of the rejected non-minority officers are decorated police veterans from other jurisdictions.  Some of the rejected "non-minority" officer-applicants have previously received service commendations, and many have received the highest possible ratings for their conduct as police officers in other jurisdictions.   Their records and performance are beyond reproach.  Yet they have managed to fail Suffolk County's newly designed "pro-minority" test in 2000.

          Suffolk County's year 2000 re-engineered police test (designed by the SHL Group / Landy-Jacobs) greatly reduces the weight given to mental ability, reasoning skills, and abstract thinking by about 2/3.  Conversely, the new SHL / Landy test gives much more weight to bio-data (life experiences, personality questions, and similar measures) in order to make up the additional 2/3 of the new 2000 test's composite score.

          Public safety continues to be at risk in Suffolk County, NY, as the "racially correct" forces at the U.S. Department of Justice continue to enjoin the county from hiring new officers until Suffolk comes up with an acceptable scheme to admit a larger number of less-intelligent, less-skilled individuals to their police academy -- all in the name of "proportional representation" of the correct skin colors.

U.S. Dept. of Justice Contradicts Itself:  Before "racially correct" mania infected the U.S. Department of Justice, the DOJ enthusiastically endorsed "cognitive testing" as the most important, single indicator of competence in law enforcement.  Their reversal in this matter is truly amazing; apparently the Justice Department has discovered that many poorly-educated individuals, many of whom are minorities, do not possess the education or reasoning skills which DOJ previously endorsed.

          For example, in 1987 the National Institute of Justice, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Justice, released this strong endorsement of the importance of intelligence, reasoning skills, and general mental ability for police officers and investigators:

          "In a study performed by the U.S. Department of Justice titled 'Investigators Who Perform Well', written cognitive tests [mental ability and reasoning skills tests] were recommended for detective selection.  'Written civil service examinations best predict arrest activity and investigative skills, including gathering evidence and crime scene management... The civil service tests are designed to measure cognitive abilities or the capacity to know, perceive, and think.  These traits in turn lead to creativity, abstract reasoning, memory and intelligence, all of which are considered vital for recreating crime scenes, pursuing crime leads, and organizing crime information logically and clearly."   (Cohen and Chaiken; Investigators Who Perform Well, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1987.)

          This statement is clearly in direct opposition to DOJ's current politically-correct position "more minorities at any cost, regardless of qualifications."

          Similarly, as recently as 1994 the Department of Justice cited the publication "Hiring Right" by Susan J. Herman, published by Sage Publications, as follows:

          "One cannot ignore the pervasive use of written cognitive tests and the high degree of validity associated with these instruments.  The U.S. Employment Service, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Labor have all identified cognitive skills as the single most important determinant of job success." [Emphasis added.]

The Uniform Guidelines:   Several federal agencies have responsibility for enforcing racial quotas upon government and private employers, the top three of which are the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

          In 1978 these agencies adopted the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) which stipulate in great detail the manner in which employers must hire the correct (proportionate) number of preferred minorities.  The 1978 Guidelines remain in full force and effect today and are heavily relied upon by high stakes testing firms such SHL Group (formerly Landy-Jacobs) in their design of "dumbed down" employment tests such as the Suffolk County, NY police recruit exam.

          A quick reading of the Uniform Guidelines will reveal the extent to which the federal government has stacked the deck against non-minority job applicants, such as the white police officers in Suffolk County who have sued for reverse discrimination.

Additional Background and Info:

The federal Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (Recommended)

Judge Derails Hiring of Cops in Suffolk County (05/19/00)

The Role of Minority / Quota Consultant SHL Landy Jacobs

END Case 21: (1) Suffolk County vs. White Police Officers, MAIN Page.


Case 21:
(1) Suffolk County Police
Main Page
Case 21:
(2) Affidavit of Rick Jacobs, SHL Group
Case 21:
(3) Appeal by Plaintiffs
Case 21:
(4) U.S. DOJ brief against Plaintiffs
Case 21:
(5) Opinion and Order turning down Plaintiffs' appeal

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*  We use the term reverse discrimination reluctantly and only because it is so widely understood.  In our opinion there really is only one kind of discrimination.