Amidst a major staffing crisis within Washington State Patrol after the mandate firings and overall morale of the profession, Chief John Batiste reassigned their psychologist of 27 years for allegedly not passing enough "minorities" during psychological evaluations.
Daniel Clark, Washington State Patrol's staff psychologist of 27 years, was reassigned from his position to screen new recruits after the Seattle Times published data which showed that non-whites are failing more psychological screenings than whites.
According to Seattle Times and Northwest News Network, 20 percent of white candidates were rejected over the past four year compared to 33 percent of black candidates, 35 percent of hispanic candidates, and 41 percent of asian candidates.
Clark's staff reassignment comes as Democratic Governor Jay Inslee continues to pressure law enforcement agencies to focus on diversifying the force despite the current existential staffing crisis. Not to mention, the majority of law enforcement agencies in the state of Washington are already reformed "progressive" agencies.
"I treat everybody as an individual and make my recommendations based on an individual assessment," Clark told Seattle Times. "Psychologically, I don't believe that there is bias."
Clark explained to Seattle Times that he doesn't discriminate with the tests and that the tests he administers are national written tests.
A private contractor called Public Safety Psychological Services (PSPS) took over Clark's position on Monday and signed a contract with Washington State Patrol that will expire in June 2022. PSPS conducts preemployment screenings for law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel.
Democratic Rep. Bill Ramos said that after he and other state lawmakers read the Seattle Times article they presented the data to Governor Inslee who then had a meeting with Chief Batiste to the findings.
"It's been the work we've been doing for a number of years, but this finally just put it out on the table for everybody to see," state Democratic Rep. Bill Ramos said. "We basically went in and said, 'Here, look, have you read this article? Are you aware of what's happening?'"
Futhermore, Washington State Patrol is set to hire an outside auditor to complete an evaluation of WSP's screening process for new recruits which will last an estimated six months.
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