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Detroit Chief Tests Cops on Ethics Books

June 19, 2002  | 

Detroit Police Chief Jerry Oliver says a 100-question multiple choice test will help him decide which command officers should keep their jobs.

The officers will be tested on "Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing" by Edwin Delattre and "21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell. Oliver told officers that those with the top 21 scores would be considered for deputy chief.

"I think it's kind of interesting that he believes that 100 questions will determine leadership ability," said Laura Isom, president of the Detroit Police Officers Command Association.

Isom said officers are concerned that Oliver will use the test results to boot them out of positions. She said that would violate labor law and the union contract, which expires in 2004.

In April, Oliver announced a reorganization plan that would require command staff employees to reapply for their jobs.

Last month, Oliver required that the department's 58 command officers -- commanders and inspectors -- and three deputy chiefs study the two books.

The union has filed a grievance accusing Oliver of changing the terms and conditions of employment without bargaining, said Mary Ellen Gurewitz, the union's lawyer.

Union officials don't object to testing, Isom said, just to how Oliver may use the results. "You learn things from the different jobs you've had that can't be measured in a multiple-choice test," she said.

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