Troopers - More Rigid Standards

(05/16/2002)

Dear Editor, I've been reading with much interest the "activities" of the local State Troopers.

I very much agree with the statement that police officers should be "stable, responsible, mature, professional, sober and honest."

Being in the mental health profession, I have stated many times to whomever would listen that any public servant, especially one that is armed should have to undergo a psychological evaluation. We worry and fret so much over our leader's physical health and make sure the President has regular physical check-ups, but how often do those leaders and other public servants undergo some kind of screening for good mental health?

And I've always been amazed at how long Supreme Court Justices live once they are appointed to that position. They all seem to live to a ripe old age and I wonder about how "stable" they are when it comes to making decisions that ultimately affect all of us at some time or another.

Anyway, back to the State Troopers. It appears that perhaps more rigid standards should be applied as to who gets into the Police Academy and maybe a psychological evaluation could be a part of those standards?

I have known some very good, respectable State Troopers who work very hard in very stressful situations and do a professional job. Its just a shame that "several bad apples, it seems, are spoiling the whole barrel."

Thanks for bringing this situation to your reader's attention. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

Helen Woodyard
M.Ed., C.R.C., L.P.C.