Legislation scheduled for a public hearing at the Capitol Tuesday would require candidates for law enforcement positions to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before they can be hired.
State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), the sponsor of the bill, says the evaluations are needed to make sure officers can handle the stress of the job. He says agencies already look at the physical abilities of candidates, so their mental abilities should be a consideration as well.The Green Bay Democrat says it’s something about 60-percent of police agencies in the state already require, although it’s primarily done in larger cities. He says rural areas are just as important for making sure the best candidate possible is hired.
Hansen says the evaluations can cost up to $500, although they would not be required for everyone who applies for a job. He says only the final candidate would need to be tested.
The legislation was prompted by the 2006 massacre in Crandon, where an off-duty deputy fatally shot six people and wounded another at a house party. Hansen says he believes the move is imperative to making sure the public and officers are properly protected.
If approved and signed into law, the requirement would go into effect for officers hired after July of 2011.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:01)