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The Right Solutions for Law Enforcement
    Developing a Fair and Legally Defensible System
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Background Investigations
Understanding the capabilities of entry level law enforcement candidates is paramount to making effective hiring decisions.  It is equally important to remove from consideration those candidates possessing characteristics that would make them ill-suited for a career in law enforcement.  Law enforcement agencies cannot function effectively if they hire individuals who could not be depended upon by previous employers, who have a history of aggressive behavior and/or who have a significant history of traffic and/or criminal law violations.

Relying on basic principles and standards for test development and validation, EB Jacobs has designed a state-of-the art background investigation process for law enforcement personnel that can be adapted for use in any law enforcement agency.  Key to the process is:

  • the use of job analytic procedures to identify and validate a series of factors (e.g., Work History, Reaction to Stress) to provide the basis for evaluation
  • the use of the framework of factors identified (e.g., Work History) along with behaviorally defined standards (e.g., many unexcused absences from work) by all personnel involved in the process, including investigators and decision-makers, to ensure consistency in the process
  • the use of multiple individuals to make decisions so that the level of agreement can be documented and evaluated
  • the inclusion of multiple levels of review before a decision is finalized to confirm and bolster the decisions made
  • the inclusion of an appeal processto ensure fairness to all candidates
Although we bring our expertise in assessment to assist each agency in developing a valid, fair and defensible background investigation system, we fully recognize that law enforcement agencies are uniquely qualified to conduct the investigative procedures themselves.  We work with each agency’s investigative personnel at every step of system development but, once developed, we train agency personnel to implement and manage the system themselves.  In this way, we leave the actual investigations in the hands of those best qualified to perform them, while also minimizing future and continuing costs to the agency.

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