Smart Cops and Ridgebacks

Only the dumb need apply! « Kelly Case Law Firm

One of my closest friends is a police officer in New York. During the horror of 9/11, he was trapped on the island and worked for the next 5 days from his station less than 2 blocks from the World Trade Center. I could not reach him for over a week and was greatly relieved when he was finally able to call me back. He is a hero and inspiration as a police officer. That’s because he is a fine person and does his best to really help people. He has trained officers at the Academy and is one of the few people, who if you threw him in the middle of a deserted island, when you came back to pick him up, he would have built a nice hut, lounge area and already have a few friends over. Resourceful and intelligent would sum him up nicely.

But if he were to apply for a job just down the road in New London, Connecticut, he probably wouldn’t qualify.


Because he is too smart.

At first, I thought, that’s terrible. We want smart cops. But on reflection, I’m not so sure how I feel about maximum IQ requirements for cops.

My mentor, Jim Skelton, used to have an Afghan Hound. Afghan Hounds are apparently not very smart. Jim would say, “You don’t get a dog to talk about physics with.” I have a couple of Rhodesian Ridgebacks—not as dim as Afghan Hounds, perhaps, but not Border Collies either. And that’s okay. I’m entirely on board with dogs not being terribly bright, because if I’m going to invite a hundred-pound omnivore to live in my house, I don’t want him any smarter than he has to be: sometimes smarter is more dangerous.

5 responses to “Smart Cops and Ridgebacks”

  1. Now, for the over-generalization:

    Dumb cops – good cross examination for the Defense.

    Smart cops – bad cross examination for the Defense.

    Yes, there are exceptions, but . . . .

  2. While I wouldn’t insist on cops all being brainiacs, I do like the policy the city of Berkeley has: to get into the police academy, you must have a four year degree from a real college. They couldn’t give a rip what your major was, but to be a Berkeley cop, you have to have demonstrated the basic self-discipline, intelligence, and critical thinking skills necessary to receive a BA. Surprise, surprise: an entire force (nearly) devoid of knuckleheads.

  3. I wish someone had a test to weed out people who genuinely *believe* they are smart without the actual abilities to back it up.

  4. My 22 pound Basenji mix is quite smart, Mark.
    However I don’t fear her, as long as I continue feeding her premium dog food. She is smart enough to know that gravy train will continue as long as she exhibits certain endearing behaviors from time to time.

    It’s all very calculated on her part. I’m certain that if I die alone in the house, she’ll eat me. I can tell because there’s a certain *look* she has when she licks my face…and it’s not all adoration.

    She’s a “prepper”. The family is her emergency food source. Until the SHTF, we’re good.

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