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.