Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops
Note that the guy didn't score off-the-charts high. His test indicated that he had an IQ of 125. Assuming the Stanford-Binet scale, that's right at the 94th percentile.
Stranger yet, his IQ was MUCH too high. His raw score was 33 on their test, and the department didn't interview anyone with a score higher than 27.
I'm not sure which test they use, but from the evidence provided, we can make some elementary arithmetic calculations to pinpoint their criteria. The mean on the test (IQ = 100) seems to be 20. Since a score of 33 equals a 125 IQ, and 125 is 1.58 standard deviations above the mean on the Stanford-Binet scale, 13 (33 minus 20) must be 1.58 standard deviations above the mean. If 13 points equals 1.58SD, then the standard deviation must be 8. A score of 28 would therefore be equal to 1 SD above the mean, or an IQ of 116, approximately the 84th percentile.
But you must score LOWER than 28 to get an interview!
Therefore, they will only consider applicants with IQs ranging from 100 to 115, percentiles 50 through 83.
Remember that I'm reverse engineering these numbers, so they may not be precisely right, but they should be extremely close.
"The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover."
I understand their point in a sense, but eventually they need to have smart detectives to solve crimes, don't they? Doesn't a police force need a few very smart men/women hanging around?
There may be a hidden message here: that nobody would want to be a cop, at least on this particular force, if he/she can find another job.
However, I think there may be something else behind this avoidance of hiring highly intelligent people. Government agencies are run by elected officials and their appointees, who are, possibly, not always the brightest of people. Such folks can feel threatened when they have subordinates who are demonstrably smarter than they are. For the same reason, they may make a point of hiring only people who have neither training nor experience relevant to the job. An appointee once explained to me that he didn't hire people with knowledge of the job, because such people tended to resist doing things his way. He was not being intentionally ironic.
You say that there need to be at least a few very bright cops to solve difficult crimes. That idea makes sense only if we assume that the police exist to reduce crime or, more broadly, that public service really is the function of government.