The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to seek the first contract bids for the psychological screening of applicants for positions as Orange County sheriff’s deputy, sheriff’s reserve officer, deputy coroner, deputy marshal and district attorney’s investigator.
Sheriff-Coroner Brad Gates has long opposed psychological testing of deputies, arguing that such evaluations are unnecessary. However, a new state law requires such screening.
As an interim measure, Dr. Elizabeth Young of the county’s own medical staff has been evaluating applicants, but county officials said she is overburdened and they want to comply with the full intent of the new state statute.
About $250,000 of the cost of the annual contract may be reimbursed to the county from the state’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program, which has set entry-level guidelines for psychological suitability.