Senior police officer questions assistant chief test
By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
May 7, 2002
Capt. Theresa Cutright is expected to appear before the Meridian Civil Service Commission today to express doubts about a written test administered April 17 to candidates for the position of assistant chief of the Meridian Police Department.
Cutright filed a "general appearance notice" on April 25 and has been placed on the agenda for today's meeting of the commission.
She scored less than the 70 percent required to be certified by the commission as a qualified candidate for assistant police chief.
Testing for the position was weighted as follows: 65 percent on a written test; 25 percent on an oral exam; and 10 percent on departmental seniority. Only three officers passed the test with a cumulative grade of 70 percent or higher: Capt. Betty Evans, Capt. Keith McCary and Lt. Al Brown.
These three officers will be certified today as qualified candidates by the Civil Service Commission.
Cutright questions whether the test is obsolete to present-day law enforcement issues, and whether the situations presented are typical to Meridian.
Cutright said she is also "concerned by the unusual manner in which this examination was scored."
While she said she cannot be more specific, she says she has the support if not the endorsement of other Meridian police officers who took the test.
Cutright listed among the officers supporting her query to the Civil Service Commission: Capt. Jeff Lewis; Capt. Rick McCary; Capt. Tommy Miller; Capt. Roger Welborn; Lt. Wade Johnson; Lt. John McAlister; and Lt. Johnny Swancey.
The commission is expected to take Cutright's question under advisement. Meanwhile, because a slate of qualified officers will be certified by the commission today, an announcement of a new assistant police chief could come within days.