Police Psychology: Are You Biased, Of Course…
By Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
Just when you thought all the stupidity in the world was surrounding the election this year, I thought I would tell you some more bad news. Judicial Watch just released an article that states that police departments can no longer stop a person from becoming a police officer because they have a criminal background or drug abuse. Apparently it is discriminatory (see the article here).* Am I missing something, isn’t the purpose of the selection process to discriminate good and bad employees, people who earn a job versus people whose record indicates they could be involved in corruption, breaking the law or a become a problem later. Isn’t past behavior the best predictor of future behavior? The inmates would literally be running the asylum. Now is that a bad idea?
In 1966, Phillippe de Broca released a French film call King of Hearts which explored the topics of the inmates running an asylum, in fact it was a town being run by an asylum. In World War I, a town had a bomb planted by the departing Germans that threatened to blow up the whole town. The townspeople evacuated and they sent in a Scottish soldier to defuse the bomb. The town had a large mental asylum on the outskirts and the someone left the asylum doors open and the inmates inhabited the town and took on the roles of the town folks. What transpired was an absolutely hilarious situation comedy as the inmates would do things that were completely against convention and lived life to have fun, not accomplish things like when the town was inhabited by the regular residents. They held parades, had ill-conceived romances, wore outlandish clothing, all in an attempt to make life fun. Could we exist this way? Could our lives use reduction of convention? Can we learn to laugh at ourselves again? (more…)