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Take Charge Of Your Career

IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOUND UNFIT FOR DUTY BY DR. GARY GLASS WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU.  In an effort to stop the use of Department paid Psychiatrists as the Department's agent to harass good officers we are compiling data on several doctors.   If you have been sent to Dr. Gary Glass, located in both Atlantic County and Wayne, PA, for a Fitness for Duty exam please contact us at (609) 377-5948 or email edpdlaw@comcast.net.  You can remain anonymous if you want.
EdPDLaw Editorial
April 16, 2013


Sgt. Thomas Hunt has filed suit in US District Court against his employer, Borough of Wildwood Crest and has named Dr. Gary Glass of Northfield in the suit.  Dr. Glass was named for his findings and determination in a Fitness for Duty Exam he conducted on Sgt. Hunt which led to his being found unfit for duty and his termination from his position with the Wildwood Crest Police Department.  Click here to read the Complaint.

 This is either the 3rd or 4th time that Dr. Glass has been sued for his involvement with South Jersey Police Departments and his reputation as the "go-to" for Departments wanting to get rid of officers.  He has been sued for malpractice on multiple occasions by officers who magically develop "personality disorders" that cannot be corrected leading to their termination.  

In one instance, Dr. Glass conducted no testing whatsoever on the officer and within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the "exam" faxed over a nearly 10 page report to the Police Department concluding the officer had a personality disorder that could not be rehabilitated and required his termination. This personality disorder must be contagious because a lot of officers evaluated by Dr. Glass have contracted it. 

In reality, Sgt. Hunt was targeted because of his association with the police union and being a member of the contract bargaining committee.

The Law Office of Michelle Douglass has written an informative article on the use of Fitness for Duty exams to terminate unsuspecting officers.  Click here to read the article.


Fitness For Duty Examination

   Forensic Psychologist, Laurence Miller's insight into the FFD
Officer shares his FFD exam

Perhaps one of the most vulnerable areas for police officers is to be ordered to a Fitness for Duty Examination.  Until a police union is faced with this career ending action forced upon one of their members, they take little action to prepare.  This article, corresponding links and case law, is written to heighten your awareness of the very real threat that this action poses against unsuspecting officers and unprepared unions.

Because of the nature of police work, there is very little preventative actions that can be taken to advert a Fitness for Duty Examination once ordered.  The courts have held that the following behaviors are grounds to order a FFD exam:

*   Excessive use of force

*   Change in performance

*   Conflicts with supervisors (insubordination)

*   Conflicts with coworkers

*   Excessive use of sick leave

*   Poor work performance

*   Poor judgment

It is easy to see that this list can be applied to any police officer at anytime and used to justify attendance at a Fitness for Duty (FFD) exam, the results of which could immediately end the officer's careerIt is for this reason that it is strongly recommended that safeguards be set in place in the union contracts and that a SOP for reacting to this situation be implemented within the union with the union attorney's approval. 

The FFD is conducted by a police forensic psychologist who is usually on retainer by the Department and used for the screening of police applicants.  This forensic testing agency is paid by the Department and they are paid to provide the Department with the desired results.  The Department will supply the FFD examiner with the contents of the officer's personnel file, or at least those portions that support the Department's position.  The police officer has no way of knowing what documents were supplied to the examiner and in many cases is unaware of the contents of his personnel file.  The examiner will interview the officer's supervisors and/or those officers that the Department will supply to give examples that question the officer's ability to perform his duty.  

The officer cannot refuse a FFD.  The examiner will ask that the officer sign a Release/Authorization to disclose the contents of the test to his Department.  The legality of this issue has not been clearly defined as of yet and it is strongly recommended that the officer  does not waive his rights and Release the information.  Although the officer cannot protect the recommendation or determination from being released to the Department, he can protect the contents of the examination from being Released.

It has been recommenced by some attorney's that the officer and/or his union representative review the Release and cross out any language that waives the officer's rights to privacy under the HIPPA act or any other applicable right to include the ADA (American with Disabilities Act).  The officer is urged to place express language in the contract Authorizing the release of the results of the test only to his attorney.   The findings and recommendations from the test are different from the actual results.

The findings of the test can be reduced to a sentence, either the officer is or is not fit for duty.  The recommendations are also fairly limited, either the officer can be sent for counseling and re-evaluated at a future date, the officer is not in need of counseling and/or psychological intervention or the examiner does not feel that the officer can be remediated.  These findings can be placed in a one page letter to the Department by the examiner.  In most cases this should satisfy the Department's insistance on cooperation by the officer, and thereby protect the officer from having intrusive information released to his Department.  A sample Authorization is available for review and approval, or modification by the union attorney.

    The union is urged to place language in its contract that will :

1.  Have the officer tested by a Forensic Psychologist of the Union's choice, at its expense, within 24 hours of the Department test.

2.    Have an agreement in place in the contract whereby the results of the testing, including all information, documents and documented interviews be turned over to the officer's attorney within 24 hours of the completion of the testing, and that said information will not be released to the Department for an additional 48 hours, if at all, to allow time for the officer to have the second testing completed and to review the results with his attorney.  The officer will need to agree not to report to duty during this period.

3.    The Department's Forensic Psychologist shall supply all the information, including the actual test administered and answers given, to the officer's attorney who will then supply the same information to the Union's Psychologist.  The officer will also have the ability to submit his own information to both Psychologists, thereby giving the Department's Psychologist an opportunity to review all the evidence and not just that which supports the Department's position.

What to Do if you are Ordered to a FFD:

The Fitness for Duty Examination in Detail.

Officer Details his FFD exam

    This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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