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Police chief responds to questions about test

By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
May 12, 2002
Chief Benny DuBose says he doesn't really understand Capt. Theresa Cutright's objections to a written test given April 17 to officers competing for the position of assistant chief of the Meridian Police Department.
Cutright questions the validity of the test and the Meridian Civil Service Commission has scheduled a June 27 hearing to allow her to voice her opinions.
DuBose said he reviewed the test before it was given and sees no problem. If age is the issue, DuBose says it is almost the same one given in 1992.
Both DuBose and Cutright took the test in 1992 and both passed.
It's "almost" the same test because DuBose removed about 30 questions he felt should not be included. These fell into two categories: 1) questions that referred to books and publications the officers had no access to, and so could not review; and 2) questions that referred to U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Eleven officers took the assistant police chief test. Only three received a passing grade: Capt. Betty Evans, Capt. Keith McCary and Lt. Al Brown.
The written test had about 130 questions and accounted for 65 percent of each officer's overall score. An oral interview counted for 25 percent; departmental seniority made up the final 10 percent.
No new assistant police chief will be named until after Cutright's public hearing.
MDOC releases flood of public records
I had visited the Mississippi Department of Corrections' Web site at www.mdoc.state.ms.us in the past, but was pretty unimpressed and hadn't been back in a long time.
I was talking to the MDOC's communication director, Jennifer Griffin, on the phone the other day and she referred me to the site again. A public records explosion happened there while I wasn't looking.
The site is still under construction, but it is already packed with information. A monthly report breaks down the prison population demographically. You can search the current population by name, see a photograph of the prisoner and review the facts of his or her conviction and sentencing.
You can check admissions by month, or look at budget and cost-per-day information. There are special sections for the families of prisoners and Mississippi's 66 death row inmates.
The Inmate Data Profile shows what percentage of prisoners were convicted for which crimes. The top 10 crimes are no surprise:
1) Sale of cocaine, 10.46 percent;
2) Residential burglary, 7.46 percent;
3) Armed robbery, 6.18 percent;
4) Possession of cocaine, 5.8 percent;
5) Homicide, 5.79 percent;
6) Felony DUI, 5.48 percent;
7) Aggravated assault, 5.29 percent;
8) Grand larceny, 4.8 percent;
9) Non-residential burglary, 3.75 percent; and
10) Robbery, 3.71 percent.
This description only scratches the surface. Griffin, a former television news reporter, says more additions are planned including inmate searches based on types of crimes and where they occurred.
Check it out.

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