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Police applicant eliminated for being too smart files federal lawsuit

May 30, 1997 GMT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A city that doesn’t want police officers with ``too high an IQ″ has been sued by an applicant who was refused a job because of his high score on an intelligence test.

In a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Robert Jordan claims the city of New London discriminated against him based on his intelligence and violated his constitutional rights.

Jordan says Assistant City Manager Keith Harrigan, who oversees hiring for the city, told him: ``We don’t like to hire people that have too high an IQ to be cops in this city.″


The lawsuit describes Jordan’s elimination as an applicant as ``irrational, arbitrary and capricious.″

The city’s attorney, Ralph J. Monaco, declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the lawsuit. Harrigan, a defendant in the lawsuit, also declined to comment.

Jordan, 46, seeks injunctions against the city that would stop the alleged discrimination and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Monaco and the city’s deputy police chief, William C. Gavitt, have said in the past that candidates who score too high could tire of police work and leave not long after undergoing costly academy training. The city spends an estimated $25,000 to train a police officer.

Jordan scored a 33 on the intelligence exam, described as a short-form IQ test that measures a person’s ability to learn and solve problems. Following a policy in place for at least five years, New London police only interviewed candidates who scored from 20 to 27.

The average score nationally for police officers, as well as general office workers, bank tellers and salespeople, is 21 to 22.