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1. Get your Union Representative and have him present when you are ordered to the Fitness for Duty Examination. Do not leave the Department without having your Union Representative meet with the Supervisor who is ordering you to the examination. Your representative should treat this like any disciplinary action and clarify your rights under Garrity.
2. Contact your attorney. If you do not have a personal attorney, use the union attorney. Have your union representative speak with the attorney to establish that he/she is acting as an agent on your behalf thereby creating an attorney/client privilege.
3. Get instructions on how to handle the Release/Authorization that the examiner will ask you to sign prior to the examination. If your union and/or attorney has an authorization form, have it faxed to you and use it. Do not sign the testing agencies authorization form without having it reviewed by your attorney first. If you do not have an Authorization Form you can download one here.
If you cannot reach an attorney, wait until you can, there is no time limit in which to comply with the exam. If using the form on this page, put an "X" across the testing agencies form and write "see attached" where you are to sign their form. Then attached the signed form you have downloaded.
4. Instruct your Union Representative to contact your attorney and make an appointment for you with an independent forensic psychologist to be conducted within 24 hours.
5. Give your Union Representative the name of your medical doctor and instruct him to make an appointment for you with him/her within 24 hours.
6. RELAX - If you have taken the above steps you have done everything that you can to protect your rights. Now, you have to pull yourself together and clear your head. Although you have every right to be angry and frustrated, this is not the time, nor is this the time to confide in your examiner, he works for your Department.... you can speak to your medical doctor within the next 24 hours.
7. Expect the test to take between 6 and 8 hours, so get comfortable, stretch, relax. This is the same type of screening test that they gave to you prior to hiring you.
8. They are going to ask you the same questions a hundred different ways. Read over the questions, determine what they are looking for, formulate your answer and be consistent with it.
9. Be confident in yourself and your abilities. Remind yourself of your accomplishments. Be mindful of your training while you are taking the test, ask yourself, is this answer consistent with my training and experience. What would I think of someone if I was the examiner in this position. Remember, the examiner is NOT a doctor, he is a psychologist, not psychiatrist. Don't be afraid to ask him what his credentials are, how often he administers this test under these circumstances, and how consistent his outcome is. (Be polite).
10. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES LET THE EXAMINER CONVINCE YOU THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM. He is not in a position to tell you how to feel in police circumstances when he has never been in that position.
11. BE polite, efficient, confident, and get out of there. Thank the doctor for his time and remind him that you have only authorized him to release his "conclusion", which is that you either are or are not fit for duty.
12. Immediately write down everything that occurred while you were in there while it is fresh in your mind.
1. Go into the meeting with the officer who is being ordered to the Fitness for Duty Exam. Clarify with the Supervisor that the officer is being ordered to attend the exam and that he cannot refuse to do so without being charged with insubordination. If the officer is not being ordered to comply, respectfully decline and leave immediately.
2. Contact the officer's attorney. If the officer does not have a personal attorney, contact the union attorney and establish that you are working as an agent for him thereby creating an attorney/client privilege. (If you believe the officer is physically ill and in need of medical attention, take him to the hospital).
3. Get instructions on how to handle the Release/Authorization that the examiner will ask the officer to sign prior to the examination. Escort the officer to the examination and stay with him until the form/release is filled out. You should have a Release/Authorization prepared, obtain same and substitute it for the Examining Agency's Release. Just have the officer write "see attached" where he is to sign the release and attach your release. Hopefully these details have been worked out previously through contract negotiations, but, if they have not, and the examining agency refuses to accept your release, fax a copy of the examining agency's release to your/officer's attorney and explain that the officer cannot sign the release without the approval of his attorney. If you do not have an Authorization Form you can download one here.
If you cannot reach an attorney, wait until you can, there is no time limit in which to comply with the exam. If using the form on this page, put an "X" across the testing agencies form and write "see attached" where you are to sign their form. Then attach the signed form you have downloaded.
4. Stall the examination as long as you can and use this time to put the officer together. Assure the officer that you will contact an independent forensic psychologist while he is being examined and will schedule an exam for him within 24 hours. If you believe the officer is physically ill and in need of medical attention, take him to the hospital.
5. Get the name of the officer's medical physician and also schedule an appointment ASAP, preferably right after he concludes this examination. Ask the officer if he is suffering from any medical condition that could manifest itself with the symptoms that he is exhibiting. Diabetes and thyroid disease typically present symptoms of mental illness, depression, etc.
6. Assure the officer that you will make all the contacts that are necessary, contact his wife, pick up his children, and handle everything that needs to be done. The only thing the officer has to concentrate on now is this test.
7. Remind the officer of his accomplishments, make him confident in his abilities, instruct him to rely on his training and experience when answering questions and to keep his head together. His family is counting on him.
8. Remind him that the examiner is not a real doctor and does not have police experience or a reference with which to communicate with the officer, this is important in that he is talking to a civilian who can misconstrue what is being represented. Remind the officer that the examiner is paid by the Department and is not there to help the officer.
9. The test is designed to find inconsistencies, it is a series of the same questions asked in different ways, the officer needs to be consistent with his/her answers.
10. After you leave the officer make an appointment with another forensic psychologist within 24 hours and make an effort to find out what tests are being administered to the officer. If you explain to the testing agency that you need a list of the test that are being administered because the officer is going to be tested within 24 hours by an independent forensic psychologist you are putting them on notice that they will be scrutinized.
11. Generate a report to be given to the officer's attorney detailing the events that occurred and the reasons that the supervisors gave for the order and any conversations surrounding the signing of the Release/Authorization form.
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