Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Change in Promotion Rules Angers Two Police Groups Revision Aims to Help More Blacks Gain High Rank

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Change in Promotion Rules Angers Two Police Groups Revision Aims to Help More Blacks Gain High Rank

Article excerpt

Leaders of two police organizations have blasted the St. Louis Police Board's decision to change its promotion system so that blacks who scored below the cutoff on a key written test can stay in the running.

"What the board has done is called `race-norming,' and that's illegal," said Jim Owen, lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers Association and the St. Louis Police Fraternal Organization.

Owen said Friday that the two groups will file suit if the Police Board doesn't retract its policy.

Also Friday, 10 white officers filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The issue involves competition for promotion to the ranks of lieutenant and captain.

On Wednesday, the board voted unanimously in closed session to drop its rule that disqualifies applicants who scored in the lower 50 percent on the written test.

The board decided to let all candidates continue in the test process, which includes oral interviews.

The 50 percent threshold had been in effect for several years. But in the written tests given recently:

- Only two blacks were among 37 sergeants who made the upper 50 percent of test scores for lieutenant. Twenty of 73 who took the test are black.

- Two blacks were among the 13 lieutenants who finished in the upper 50 percent in the captain's test. Eight of 25 who took the test are black.

The test results prompted Police Board Vice President Charles E. Mischeaux to demand the change. Mischeaux said the board erred in not following the advice of consultants who advocated discarding the 50 percent cutoff rule. Mischeaux is also the president of the St. Louis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Landy, Jacobs - a consulting firm from State College, Pa. - had recommended letting all candidates stay in the competition no matter what their test results.

Chief Clarence Harmon had recommended the 50 percent cutoff, saying it had been done that way in the past.

Rodney Williams, the Police Board secretary, defended the policy change. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.