SMA recognizes the important decision involved in selecting a psychological consulting firm to conduct your pre-employment psychological screenings, critical incident management, operational consulting, and fitness-for-duty evaluations. We also understand the importance of trusting someone who has specialized knowledge of Police and Public Safety to evaluate your candidates, enhancing your agency’s operations. We offer expertise to choose the right people for improved agency management and procedures. Careful employee selection is an investment that protects your agency from unwarranted scrutiny or litigation and allows you to select and retain personnel who epitomize the best practices of your organization.


Pre-Employment Psychological Screening

Our process for psychological pre-employment evaluation of public safety candidates has roots in evaluation methods that have been carefully developed and refined by members of the team over the past 30 years and utilized extensively, effectively and legally on behalf of hundreds of public safety agencies. The strategy addresses the applicant’s suitability for the position using multiple methodologies validated specifically for use with law enforcement personnel, thereby enhancing the effectiveness and defensibility of the evaluation. The methods involved and criteria for making a recommendation include:

• Psychological personality testing
• Psychological testing for psychopathology
• Tests of basic reasoning ability
• Tests of writing ability
• Review of biodata from our Personal History Questionnaire
• Review of background information that is made available
• Semi-structured forensic interview (including detailed history and formal mental status evaluation)

The result of the evaluation is a suitability finding delivered in a detailed report designed to meet the needs of your agency and to conform to legal standards. Most agencies for whom we provide services require that the report give a clear and concise hiring recommendation-recommend or not recommend. We plan to work with your agency to deliver a recommendation that is consistent with your needs. We welcome feedback from our clients and can cater the recommendations accordingly. Our customizable Pre-Employment Services include:

• Web-Based Testing
• Pre and Post-Offer Screening
• Same Day Results
• One-Hour Clinical Interview
• Personalized Reports
• Off-site Testing and Remote Interviewing Capabilities

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Budget-Friendly, Two Step Screening Process (Bifurcated Screening)

A pre-employment psychological screening is a necessary step toward building a strong and meaningful team, but sometimes, it is not always affordable. Our budget-friendly, two-step screening process gives pre and post-conditional offer evaluation results. Unsatisfactory ratings are a reality in the screening process, but by breaking evaluations into a two-step process, you can rank order candidates at the beginning of the hiring process to put the best suited candidates through the remainder of the hiring process first, increasing the speed and efficiency of your hiring process while decreasing costs, saving you money and getting the best candidates through the process more quickly.


Fitness for Duty Evaluations

The Psychological Fitness for Duty (FFD) Evaluation program provides assessment of an incumbent employee whose behavior is regarded as creating risk for the employer and is suspected to be related to a psychological issue. Fitness for Duty Evaluations can have significant legal and safety-related implications and thus demand the highest level of expertise, competence, and attention on the part of the examiner. The objective of the assessment is to:

• determine the nature of the psychological impairment (if any)
• assess the impact of the mental problem on work-related behavior
• assess the risk factors for the employer
• in light of the impairment and risk factors, determine the employee’s fitness for duty
• determine the likelihood of improvement in the employee’s condition
• address any corrective measures which might be appropriate (within the framework required by the Americans with Disabilities Act)
• in appropriate cases, develop on behalf of the employer a proposed contractual relationship (or return to work agreement) with employee. Typically, such agreements define job restrictions (if any), treatment requirements, stipulation that the employee will avoid further adverse behavior, and other relevant conditions
• in cases where this is requested and in which employee is under a return to work agreement, make back-to-work recommendations;

The Fitness for Duty evaluation typically consists of consultation with the requesting agency to determine the most effective method of dealing with the specific issue, psychological testing, a clinical interview with the employee, comprehensive record review, and collateral interviews with persons who are familiar with the employee. A Fitness for Duty report will be issued to the employer through the designated personnel director, attorney, or others. The level of detail in a Fitness for Duty Report, while usually quite substantial, is restricted to job related findings and can be modified depending on the requirements of your agency. Reports draw clearly articulated conclusions related to fitness for duty and (where employee is temporarily unfit or conditionally fit) provide recommendations related to returning the employee to work.

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Post-Critical Incident Management

SMA offers consultation with your agency in the aftermath of an officer-involved shooting, deadly force event or other critical incident. Our psychologists who respond to critical incidents, either on scene, at your department or in our office are trained in and familiar with the tactics and procedures involved in critical incidents and can conduct debriefings and other consultation for your department to help you navigate the post critical incident response appropriately.

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Operational Consulting/Threat Assessment/Hostage Negotiation

SMA assists departments in improving highly specialized tactics, as well as day-to-day operational aspects of an agency. This may include specialized input on counterintelligence/counterterrorism, criminal profiling, tactical support, hostage negotiation and psychological autopsies, all areas in which our psychologists have unique training and experience. We provide consultation and training to agencies related to supervisor training, team management, employee retention, and mediation as well as crisis intervention training and general training in mental health issues public safety employees may encounter in their everyday duties. SMA also partners with Critical Response Associates  to provide the highest level of threat assessment and workplace violence training available.

Click here for IACP Guidelines


Special Assignment Screening

SMA provides highly focused assessment services for personnel being considered for special assignments such as, SWAT, Bomb Squad, Crisis negotiation, Covert Operations, Undercover operations, and others. The assessment protocols provide an evaluation of the psychological strengths of the candidate to function under the unique stresses of these assignments. The protocols comply with CALEA standards for the initial and periodic screening of such personnel to determine whether the officer continues to meet the psychological requirements of the position. Broad methods utilized are similar to those used in pre-employment screening, although testing and nature of interview is specific for this purpose. Stone, McElroy & Associates’ psychologists are unusually qualified to provide this service to public safety agencies at all levels (local, county, state, and federal).

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