Law Enforcement, Fire Departments, and Emergency Services,
and Security Agencies

The senior clinical group of Behaviordata, Inc. has 30 years of experience in working with law enforcement, fire departments, emergency service and security agencies, and has direct, frontline experience that few clinical groups have. In fact, Diana Sullivan Everstine, Ph.D. has been commended for bravery under fire. Behaviordata provides the following:

Evaluation Services

A separate clinical group within Behaviordata provides evaluation services for:
  • Pre-employment psychological screening
  • Screening for specialized units based on Behaviordata Inc.'s Behavior Analysis System.

Fitness-for-duty Evaluations

Comprehensive psychological and psychiatric fitness-for-duty evaluations.

Consultation Services

  • Organizational assessment
  • Organizational development

Overview

Because of its many years of experience in pre-employment screening for law enforcement, Behaviordata, Inc. has developed the capability to identify critical factors of personality that will fit successfully into jobs in those agencies. This pre-employment screening is critical for police officers, fire fighters, security guards, and other emergency personnel. These critical factors are analyzed by means of a complex statistical formula to determine whether or not a given applicant matches the personality type of employees who have proven themselves to be successful on the job, versus those proven to be unsuccessful. These factors have, so far, been identified for Sheriff's Deputies, Police Officers, Correctional Officers, and Security Guards. Research has shown this method to be both valid and reliable. The findings of this research have been incorporated into the Behavior Analysis System (BAS) of Behaviordata, Inc., which is proprietary( i.e., no other corporation can analyze data with these methods).

Why Psychological Evaluation?

Pre-employment psychological screening is a legally-required addition to the existing selection process for security guards for the following reasons:

1.   It saves the agency money by helping to screen out those who do not have the appropriate psychological characteristics to perform essential elements of the job. One psychological disability suit or early-disability settlement could cost more than an entire year's psychological screening program, and it could be devastating to the organization.

2.   It helps the morale of current employees by assuring them that the people who are hired by the agency are psychologically well-suited to the job.

3.   It reassures the public that every possible step has been taken to ensure that the civilian security guards are mentally healthy and mentally equipped to perform the job.

4.   It gives additional legal protection against cases of alleged negligent retention. These are instances in which an employee's mental state, stability, or aptitude may be called into question because of his or her actions on the job.

5.   It assists the contracting agency in preventing unnecessary workers' compensation claims as well as civil actions, by screening out applicants who are prone to psychosomatic stress disorders, who do not have the personality characteristics that are needed to handle the stresses inherent in the work or may behave in an inappropriate manner.

Pre-screening and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Behaviordata's pre-screening is supported by clinical research utilizing diagnostic categories from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: IV of the American Psychiatric Association. Because Behaviordata utilizes these validated diagnostic criteria, applied to past and current behavior as well as psychological test results, we can determine whether an applicant has a psychological or behavioral problem that would preclude him or her from being able to perform the essential elements of the job. Hence, screening recommendations by Behaviordata will not be subject to challenge based upon ADA criteria. To date, some of Behaviordata's recommendations have been reviewed, but none has been successfully challenged.

Pre-screening and Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST)

Behaviordata's pre-screening process is based solidly on clinical research on applicants. This process successfully screens out applicants who have psychological conditions or patterns of behavior that would preclude them from the position. The Director of Behaviordata is in contact with POST, and has taught pre-employment and psychological screening in POST classes for the past 15 years.

Skills Analysis

Behaviordata's extensive experience in providing psychological screening is based on an occupational skills analysis of each position for which a recommendation is sought. To create a skills profile, the Behaviordata staff works with the contracting agency to determine those skills that make up the fundamental elements of required performance in the position, as well as the philosophy of the department. The staff then analyzes each necessary skill in terms of what psychological qualities are essential in performing them, as well as what psychological and/or behavioral problems would prevent required performance. This analysis also takes into consideration whether or not the employer could make any modifications in the work environment or offer special training to accommodate an applicant's psychological needs, so that he or she could perform as required. For example, if a position required the employee to be able to observe, record, and report behavior of others accurately, and an applicant suffers from a paranoid disorder or has a history of paranoid behavior, this condition would clearly preclude the person from being able to perform the essential elements of the job. And, because research indicates that the condition can be chronic, one not amenable to treatment, job counseling or training would not be effective in enabling the applicant to carry out the duties of the position. Hence, the job environment could not be modified to accommodate this disability. This analysis of essential elements ensures that the agency cannot be challenged by an applicant.

Validation

Behaviordata has the technical and computer capability to conduct whatever kind of specialized validation or demographic study requested by an agency. Our validation research methods have been demonstrated to be accurate and reliable. Our validation study of pre-screening procedures used by our client organizations involved studying candidates who were hired by these organizations and were later released, terminated, disciplined, or described as poor employees; this group of poor employees was contrasted with a group of employees who were described by the organization as good or excellent. The pre-screen process is completely free of any cultural or gender bias.

Negative Impact

Behaviordata maintains a database of its findings to ensure that there will be no negative impact. The pre-screening procedures have been reviewed by outside evaluators as well, who found no negative impact.

Tests Administered

(Gun-carrying)
  • California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI™)
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2® (MMPI-2®;)
(Non-gun-carrying)
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2® (MMPI-2®)


CPI™

This is an objective, scientifically-proven test that measures social adaptation and interaction in social situations. It has been in use for more than 20 years, as documented by at least 3,000 published studies. It tests for the following dimensions of normal personality and social interaction: leadership ability, ability to delay gratification for future or higher goals, comfort in social groups, poise, self-confidence, spontaneity, self-esteem, good health care behavior, social responsibility, possibility of anti-social behavior, self-control, social tolerance and flexibility, conventional social thinking, need for structure, and capacities for independent thought, insight, and sensitivity.

MMPI-2®

This is an objective test designed to diagnose psychiatric disorders and negative character traits. It was first developed in 1940. Objective validation is established by more than 8,000 published research studies on the original version (MMPI®) of this test. The recent revision (MMPI-2®) has also been proven valid by research. This test has a long history of acceptance, and meets the Kelly-Frye Test for use in court cases. The Behaviordata scoring system utilizes the newest MMPI-2® scales of measurement. Most states require this test for gun-carrying positions.

Random Re-evaluating

Because security personnel may have access to every part of a military base, they could pose a potential security or terrorist threat to the base. A very real threat to the security of any base is that an employee who has access to vital sites on the base may be turnedĚ by an outside, hostile group. To counter this potential threat, Behaviordata proposes random re-screening by means of the MMPI-2®. This random re-screening can be done at one, two, or four-year intervals. The re-evaluation process would proceed as follows. Security guards would be be randomly required to re-take the MMPI-2®. The test would be scored and compared with the guard's original results. This analysis would utilize the Behaviordata differential analysis system. This system is exclusive to Behaviordata: no other test scoring system has the capacity to compare and analyze changes in test results over time. If any significant changes in critical factors are found, the following steps will be taken:
  • The contractor and the base command will be notified
  • Recommendations will be made concerning further evaluation, which may include interviewing

The random re-evaluation process will, by itself, benefit the base; if applicants know that they will be monitored in this way, people who have an intent to compromise base security will be less likely to apply. Further, those who may be approached by hostile groups will be not as easily compromised because they know they will be monitored. Behaviordata's principals and senior staff members have 30 years of experience in:
  • Threat Assessment
  • Hostage Negotiation
  • Psychological Profiling
  • Training
    • Interviewing Skills
    • High-profile Security and Executive Protection
    • Crisis and Threat Management (e.g. What to do until the SWAT or Hostage Team arrives)
    • Internal Affairs Investigations


Internal Affairs Investigations

Behaviordata can provide the organization with a neutral, unbiased investigation. Trained investigators, who can respond to an Internal Affairs issue within 24 hours, are retired police chiefs and law enforcement officers who have extensive experience in this field. Our investigators can respond to the scene, or supervise your staff on the scene, to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a manner that cannot be challenged or questioned.