The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission has ordered Boston police to reconsider seven applicants rejected because psychiatrists deemed them unfit for service. The Boston Globe says the move has angered police officials, who say they are best suited to decide who should patrol the streets with a gun and badge.
In a recent case, commission chairman Daniel Henderson blasted the Police Department's psychiatrists for rejecting a female candidate, saying doctors appeared to make their decision based on her appearance and personality. Henderson said the doctors called her “too thin,'' said “her hair was a mess,'' and that she gave rigid, robotic responses to their questions. Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who defends the screening process and is fighting the most recent decision, has accused the commission of going too far in telling the department whom to employ. Last year, Davis wrote to Gov. Deval Patrick asking for a meeting to discuss the commissions rulings on candidates police rejected for various reasons, including a history of drug use.