[IPAC-List] Police telecommunicators selection tools

Jim Kuthy jkuthy at biddle.com
Fri Jun 10 11:19:30 EDT 2011

Having studied and worked with the public-safety dispatching community in the area of selection and retention for the past twelve years, I can offer some insight into these issues.

First, the Hogan Personality Inventory has been validated for public safety dispatchers. (We worked with the Hogans to collect information for parts of the validation report.) Contact me offline and I can send you a copy of the report. Also, I know there is a proprietary selection tool that has been developed by Profile Evaluations, Inc. (see http://www.pei-911.com/pt.htm). They claim to have evidence of validity, but I have not had the opportunity to review their reports.

Second, as far as I know there have been no studies that have examined the effectiveness of adding personality measures to the selection process. However, there is a good deal of anecdotal evidence that makes this claim (including some that we have heard from our own clients that use the HPI in this way). Also, the literature is generally very favorable for showing that personality testing can add utility to selection decisions.

Finally, the answer is "yes," many public-safety agencies use personality-type measures as part of their selection process. Those that do generally indicate positive results. However, Public-Safety Dispatch agencies are typically under-staffed and overworked, so trying to get them to participate in research studies is extremely difficult to do. (We are trying to conduct some studies ourselves within the next six months on the validity of another personality-type testing product).

Jim Kuthy, Ph.D.
Biddle Consulting Group, Inc.
Developer of CritiCall Pre-Employment Testing Software for Public-Safety Dispatchers and Calltakers
jkuthy at biddle.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Morris, Ramona (JUS) [mailto:Ramona.Morris at ontario.ca]
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011 5:20 PM
To: IPAC-List at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Police telecommunicators selection tools

Three questions:

1. Are there norms for police telecommunications personnel
(call-takers/dispatchers) on any of the big personality tests (neo-pi-r,
16 factor etc.)

2. Are there any evaluations of their use in improving selection
practices (e.g. increased effectiveness /efficiency)

3. Are any police services using these sorts of selection tools.

(I believe that some services are using the MMPI for comm. staff, but
this screens for major malfunctions, (axis 1 and 2 maybe) as I
understand it...which I freely admit is a very thin level of

Ramona Morris

Research and Evaluation Unit

Ontario Police College

10716 Hacienda Rd.,

Aylmer ON N5H 2T2

519 773 4417

(c) 519 765 5619

"We are the owners of our silences and the slaves of our words."

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