Entry-Level Police Selection: The Assessment Center is an Alternative

12 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015 Last revised: 6 Mar 2015

See all articles by Joan E. Pynes

Joan E. Pynes

University of South Florida

H. John Bernardin

Florida Atlantic University

Date Written: 1992


This article examines the utility of an assessment center for the selection of entry-level police officers. The assessment center successfully predicted both training academy and on-the-job performance. The predictive validities of the assessment center ratings were compared to the predictive validities of a paper-and-pencil cognitive ability test. The cognitive ability test outpredicted the assessment center ratings for training academy performance. However, the assessment center ratings outpredicted the cognitive ability test for on-the-job performance. Assuming a selection rate of 150 candidates for the cognitive ability test, there would have been adverse impact against the Black and Hispanic candidates. Basing selection on the assessment center results would have eliminated the adverse impact against Hispanics and increased the percentage of Blacks being selected. Despite the implementation costs associated with assessment centers, they are a viable alternative for selecting police officers.

Keywords: entry-level assessment for police officers, selection of police officers, assessment center, predictive validity

Suggested Citation

Pynes, Joan E. and Bernardin, H. John, Entry-Level Police Selection: The Assessment Center is an Alternative (1992). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2573100 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2573100

Joan E. Pynes (Contact Author)

University of South Florida ( email )

Tampa, FL 33620
United States

H. John Bernardin

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States
561-297-3640 (Phone)
561-297-2675 (Fax)

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