The psychological exam is perhaps the most important but least utilized assessment of an armed Security Officer applicant.
It’s estimated that more than 90% of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. require psychological screening of their applicants, either before or after receiving a conditional offer of employment. In the security industry, however, none of the nations’ most respected companies have followed suit, until now.
In the post 9/11 world, a lot of demands are placed upon the modern Security Officer; their days can be emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing. There will be days when they are forced to stand firm yet polite in the face of tremendous verbal abuse, and there will be times when they may be exposed to horrific scenes.
With this in mind, Cambridge Security has introduced mandatory psychological screening for all armed Security Officer applicants. Utilizing a Mental Health Assessment Tool that was developed by a board certified child, adolescent and adult Psychiatrist. Originally developed for mental health clinicians, this tool uses a database of more than 35,000 patient assessments. Using those as the basis, algorithms assess potential conditions. For Cambridge, the implementation will allow for an honest, unbiased assessment of applicants based on standardized questionnaires, DSM-5 criteria, community benchmarks, and expert opinions in real-time.
While the results are not an official diagnosis, our provider asserts that it can comprehensively screen for 52 mental health conditions using 26 possible chief and secondary complaints. According to the developer, it also provides an, “analysis of suicide and violence risk, and warns of possible traumatic brain injury, if applicable.”
Last week our Chief Operating Officer, Jim D’Arcy, conducted in-person training with our leadership team and recruiters. D’Arcy said, “Despite there being no laws or regulations making mental health assessments a pre-requisite to licensing, our executive management team unanimously agreed that creating a higher standard for our Officers who work in an armed capacity was the responsible thing to do.”
The company began screening applicants this week.