Too Smart To Be a Cop?

A blog about business and economics.
May 1 2013 1:17 PM

Too Smart To Be a Cop?

167848295
Police officers stand outside the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse after authorities arrested three men today in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings on May 1, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Via Nick Gillespie, here's a story of a guy who got rejected as a candidate to be a cop in New London, Connecticut on the grounds that his score on an IQ test was too high.

Since Gillespie writes for Reason, and since Reason is a libertarian magazine, and since the New London Police Department is a public sector entity, Gillespie seems to treat this outcome as obviously absurd and the failure of the victim's discrimination lawsuit as sad. The department's stated reason, however, seems reasonably clear and sensible—namely that they think people with such high scores will get bored with the job quickly and leave after obtaining expensive training.

Advertisement

My guess is, if this story were about a private firm that had been successfully sued, we would be reading Reason articles about out-of-control lawsuits and the wisdom of private-sector managers.

Be that as it may, the whole idea of using intelligence tests in employment—perhaps instead of looking at what college someone went into as a proxy for intelligence testing—is an interesting one, but it continues to be fraught with legal worries.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 2 2014 1:05 PM What's Wrong With "America's Ugliest Accent"
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 1:29 PM Want to Know What Makes David Fincher Great? Focus on What He Doesn’t Do.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 1:22 PM If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would You Notice? What cyranoid experiments reveal about how people act.  
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?