10% Of Sheriff's Deputies Stripped Of Guns For Failing Psychological Exam

By Bill Galluccio

September 28, 2022

Closeup of Police Officer Belt
Photo: E+

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office has taken away the guns of 10% of its deputies after reviewing the results of their psychological exams.

An internal audit of the results of the exams, which date back to 2016, found that 47 officers scored a "D" on the test and were labeled as "Not Suited" for duty.

Despite the low scores, they were hired anyway because departments were reportedly given incorrect advice from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, according to SFGate. Departments were under the impression that officers who received low scores on their psychological exams could still be hired at the chief executive's discretion.

Thirty of the officers worked at the Santa Rita Jail. The other 17 deputies worked in other parts of the county.

Officials have defended the practice and said that the exams do not fully capture whether a person is fit to be an officer.

"A lot of young people out of college don't do as well on the psychological exam as someone who has much more life experience," Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly told KGO. "This has nothing to do with substance abuse issues or mental disorders or diagnoses. We believe testing scores will go up based on the number of years of service."

The officers will continue to receive their pay and benefits and will be given another psychological exam in the coming weeks.

The decision to audit the results of the previous tests was made after a former deputy was accused of fatally shooting two people in September.

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