Some Houston Police Officers Haven’t Had Proper Mental Health Screening

An investigation found a psychologist’s office had simply rubber-stamped the screenings for thousands of officers.

By Alain StephensMay 9, 2016 2:54 pm| ,

There is a law in place that’s supposed to screen police officers and jailers across Texas, with state-mandated standards: required training for firearm use, how to avoid racial profiling, But one standard requires officers to pass a battery of psychological tests to make sure that candidates are mentally fit for duty.

A Houston Chronicle investigation finds that thousands of police officers have been going to work without proper psychological screening. St. John Barned-Smith, reporter for the Houston Chronicle, says police academy applicants have to get what’s called an L3 certification, a standard personality and mental health screening. One mental health counselor was charged with conducting these screenings pro-forma, essentially rubber-stamping them.

“It’s cast a very wide net of officers who received their certifications from her,” Barned-Smith says, “in the number of at least 3,000.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How many she screened for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office used her, at $100 a pop

– What charges have been leveled at this psychologist and her husband, with whom she shares a practice

– The liabilities of officials who may have used her instead of other, accredited professionals