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Worcester T&G Wednesday Oct 1, 2008

Sheriff ushers in promotion testing

Correction officers must pass to move up

WEST BOYLSTON- Correction officers looking to advance their careers at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction will first have to pass a written exam beginning in January, officials said.

The new promotional exam, the first written test to be required for advancement in the department's history, will be designed and graded by a private firm based in Lakeland, Fla., said Deputy Superintendent Jeffrey R. Turco.

"It removes that sort of whisper campaign of, 'Is this a fair process?' Everybody who passes the test is minimally qualified," Mr. Turco said. "There's going to be a couple of hard months of studying if people want to pass this test."

Sheriff Guy W. Glodis said in a press release that the move is a major step in professionalizing his office, but the new system also will leave him broad personal leeway in picking who gets promoted to higher-paying jobs as sergeants, lieutenants and captains.

Those passing the exam, which will be scored as a simple pass or fail, would then go before a promotion board made up of two managers and one union official, all three selected by the sheriff, Mr. Turco said.

The addition of a union representative to the board also is new under the updated promotion system, he said.

The board members will score each candidate based on an oral interview in front of the board and the three scores will be averaged, but, under the old system and the new one, Mr. Glodis isn't required to select the highest scorers for advancement, Mr. Turco said.

Even if only half the candidates pass the new test, there would still be about twice as many eligible candidates for promotion to sergeant as there are openings, based on the number of correction officers who applied this past January. In that case, roughly 80 officers applied for 19 open sergeant slots, Mr. Turco said.

It will be up to Mr. Glodis to decide who gets promoted among those passing the test - a situation union officials have charged engenders favoritism and specifically favors those who contribute money to the sheriff's campaign account.

"Ultimately the sheriff is the person that the people have entrusted to run the facility in a safe and efficient manner," Mr. Turco said, later adding, "As a general rule, we think this is going to improve the professionalism."

By contrast, the state Department of Correction's promotion exam is scored and advancement decisions are based strictly on the applicant's ranking on the resulting list of scores, DOC spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said.

Mr. Glodis campaigned against cronyism and nepotism at the jail in his successful 2004 race against longtime former Sheriff John M. Flynn.

During that campaign, Mr. Glodis promised to institute a promotion exam requirement if elected.

After he took office in January 2005, the new sheriff took steps to form a committee together with union officials to move in that direction, Mr. Turco said yesterday.

"For a whole variety of reasons that committee never took off," Mr. Turco said. "We finally made the decision that, you know what, we're not going to wait for the union to come to the table on it."

Local union officials at the jail and at the parent labor organization, the New England Police Benevolent Association based in Lowell, didn't return calls yesterday seeking comment on the new promotion requirement.

The new exams will cost the sheriff's office $50 per test. The private firm Law Enforcement Testing Services Inc. will develop three tests - for sergeant, lieutenant and captain - based on criteria set by the sheriff's office, Mr. Turco said. The company also will grade the exams.

The exams are intended to test the applicant's knowledge of sheriff's office procedures and policy, training booklets produced by the American Correctional Association and general aptitude, Mr. Turco said.
 
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Sheriff Guy W. Glodis said in a press release that the move is a major step in professionalizing his office, but the new system also will leave him broad personal leeway in picking who gets promoted to higher-paying jobs as sergeants, lieutenants and captains.
Translation = Politics as usual.
 

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We had a test too at Bristol. It was an open promotional test which was the same for Officers and Lieutenants alike. But it didn't mean anything, I saw Officers take the test and go right to Capt.....what a joke!
 

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The Sheriffs will probably be consolidated with the DOC, so rumor has it, once Deval lays out his consolidation plans. The sheriffs category can finally go silent and less work for Harry!
 

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008 A little test for officers in correction

Dianne Williamson
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T&G STAFF

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Sheriff Guy W. Glodis recently announced that correction officers seeking promotions at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction will have to pass a written test, for the first time in the department's history. While the exam has not yet been made public, I managed to obtain an advance copy. (Note to Jordan Levy: I'M ONLY KIDDING).



If Correction Officer A makes $750 a week and donates 2 percent of his pay to the sheriff's campaign, and Officer B makes $675 a week and donates 3.5 percent, which officer should be promoted?

A group of employees are headed to a training seminar and decide to unwind at a strip club. Choose which of the following is the proper protocol for parking:

a. Next to a hydrant

b. In the handicapped space

c. On the sidewalk

d. On a stripper



Explain, in one paragraph or less, why red-haired men possess extraordinary leadership ability.



An infamous pedophile is placed in a cell with a homophobic murderer (Hey, this isn't the Match Game). Which object would the murderer most likely use to jam the cell door while he beats his cellmate to death?

a. Cable remote

b. Bible

c. Toothbrush and nail clipper



If you became a supervisor, how would you determine which employees receive gas-guzzling company cars?

a. Based on their responsibilities

b. Based on their travel time

c. Based on their blondness



Would you be available on weekends to hold campaign signs for the sheriff's chosen political candidate? If no, why the hell not?



Say, in a hypothetical situation, you happen to mistakenly win a free golf club at a tournament and the rightful winner shows up at the jail to claim it. What do you do?

a. Slap him on the back, immediately turn over the club and share a good-natured chuckle about the mistake

b. Slap him on the back, immediately pretend you don't know him and slam the door in his face



Wouldn't it be a swell idea to bury Muslim terrorists with pig entrails to keep them out of heaven? How about bacon?

•.

You're headed to a Cape Cod beach with your family when a clueless parking attendant inexplicably demands you pay the $15 parking fee like all the other riffraff. What do you do?

a. Accept that your influence does not extend to Barnstable County, and pay the fee.

b. Say you're the town shellfish constable. If that doesn't work, try Supreme Court justice.

c. Fly through the gate while shouting, "Don't you know who I am?"



Which of these are prohibited disciplinary measures?

a. Water boarding

b. Flogging

c. Replaying the sheriff's "jokes" at the St. Patrick's Day breakfast



In a rambling, profanity-laden screed, explain how those stuck-up Boston politicians wouldn't know a funny joke if one fell from the Tobin Bridge.



Are you willing to laugh heartily at crude, tasteless and offensive humor?

a. Yes

b. Not really

c. Depends on salary grade



OK, what if the sheriff compared Boston Mayor Tom Menino to a "fish whose face is stuck against the aquarium looking out at ya." Does that kill, or what?

a. Yeah, OK.

b. Hahahahaha!



How about - get this - if the sheriff held up a poster of a bikini-clad woman superimposed with the face of a 79-year-old retired female legislator?

a. Oh my God

b. You know what? No one needs a promotion this badly.

http://www.telegram.com/article/20081007/COLUMN01/810070583
 

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Essex has had a test for Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain for several years. People always get passed over. Not sure if it's any better now, but they used to pass over people who were at the top of the list, and who were good officers to reach more "supportive" people on the list. Can't prove it, but that's what it always seemed like. I can't imagine it will be much different elsewhere. Take your promotional list and match it up to your Sheriff's yearly campaign contribution list, and see if there are any surprises, that's all you can do.
 

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They should adopt the same promotional standards similar to civvy circus. It's a shame that there is so much hackery in the Sheriff Dept.'s. Donate a few $$$ or several hours for a campaign and become a Lt. It's ridiculous!!!

I can see it now.... "So Lt. Alpha, where did you work before becoming Lt. here?" - "Oh, I was assistant supervisor for Shaw's Deli department. But thankfully Sheriff Bravo is a good friend of mine and gave me a chance".
 

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Essex has had a test for Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain for several years. People always get passed over. Not sure if it's any better now, but they used to pass over people who were at the top of the list, and who were good officers to reach more "supportive" people on the list. Can't prove it, but that's what it always seemed like. I can't imagine it will be much different elsewhere. Take your promotional list and match it up to your Sheriff's yearly campaign contribution list, and see if there are any surprises, that's all you can do.
They should adopt the same promotional standards similar to civvy circus. It's a shame that there is so much hackery in the Sheriff Dept.'s. Donate a few $$$ or several hours for a campaign and become a Lt. It's ridiculous!!!

I can see it now.... "So Lt. Alpha, where did you work before becoming Lt. here?" - "Oh, I was assistant supervisor for Shaw's Deli department. But thankfully Sheriff Bravo is a good friend of mine and gave me a chance".
That is exactly what happens!
 
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