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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93118 Find in a Library
Title: Abstract-Cognitive Abilities in Police Selection and Organization
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1984)  Pages:99-108
Author(s): B W Hancock; C McClung
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: If it can be determined that investigators have cognitive abilities different from patrol officers, then training (socialization) and initial selection should channel at the entry stage of their careers.
Abstract: Creativity and abstract mental attributes are qualities of good investigators, as these abilities are required to recreate crime scenes, reconstruct the events prior to the crime, and deduce probable leads. The selection of investigators in a given department is generally done through promotion procedures, as it has long been assumed that investigators should necessarily be promoted in logical sequence out of the ranks of patrol officers. While patrol officers must possess cognitive abilities which are concrete and structured to perform routine duties, traffic control, and patrol, the investigator must have the additional attributes of abstract, creative cognition. Several tests have been used in counseling to assess cognitive abilities, e.g., the General Aptitude Test Battery contains two subscales measuring concrete and abstract cognitive abilities. By using tests for creativity, patrol officers and investigators can be tests for differences. The investigators' creativity scores (high to low) must also be ranked and compared to existing performance records. After obtaining these objective measures of creativity abilities and job performance, police administrators can compare objective measurement with a subjective measurement by the police supervisor. If the required abilities differ, entry-level testing should determine which officers are best suited to patrol and which to investigate, so as to assign them to patrol or investigative divisions accordingly. Ranks and pay scales would be comparable in the two divisions. Selection of officers for investigation or patrol at entry into the department, would reduce socialization time and financial outlays. Sixteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation units; Personnel evaluation techniques; Personnel selection; Police recruits
Note: Presented at the 9th meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences, Bergen, Norway, 1981.
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