The police now have a list of cops to promote to detectives—and begin filling many of the force’s 29 vacancies.
That’s because the Civil Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to certify the results of a promotional exam.
Eighteen of 21 officers who took the test passed it.
The list now goes to the police chief, who will recommend which of those officers to promote to the Board of Police Commissioners. That is scheduled to happen over the next two weeks. The detectives chosen are scheduled to be sown in on Friday, March 15.
The department has 29 detective vacancies. Assistant Chief Archie Generoso said another 11 or so positions may become vacant because of other recent promotions.
Officer Martin Podsiad was the top scorer on the detective test. A list of those who passed appears at the bottom of this story.
In all, 10 of 11 white males passed the tests; three of four Hispanic males passed. All five women who took the test—two white, one black, one Hispanic, one Asian-American—passed. The only black male who took the test failed it.
Those racial results were the topic of discussion before the vote at Tuesday afternoon’s commission meeting at the 200 Orange St. government office building.
The results for black test-takers technically fell below the threshold that triggers potential complaints about racial disparities in promotional testing. That threshold is calculated by comparing the passing percentage of the top-scoring racial group with the percentage of the bottom-performing group. The lowest result is supposed to be at least 80 percent of the top result for the test to be considered fair.
The outside group hired to conduct the test, Colorado-based Booth Research Group, recommended that the commissioners exercise “caution” before concluding that these results showed a racial bias. That’s because too few people took the test to produce a meaningful group comparison, Booth argued; with only two black test-takers, just one person’s failure can skew the results.
The five commissioners, two of whom are black, followed the advice and voted yes to certify the list. The list remains certified for a year. The department can draw from that list any time during that year to make promotions.
Despite the excess vacancies, it is not a given that all the cops who passed the test will get promoted. One officer who passed, Juan Monzon, was recently arrested for alleged assault and placed on administrative duty; he said he plans to plead not guilty. Another officer who passed the detective exam, Dennis O’Connell, has been the subject of nine complaints of excessive force and the target of protests from the Latino community; the department’s internal affairs division cleared him of the complaints, thought the city paid out a settlement in one instance.
Applicants took the test over two days in January. They took a written exam testing their “job knowledge,” covering the department’s general orders and a detective text book, among other sources. That portion counted 25 percent toward the final score. Three oral exams counted for the other 75 percent. Those exams—administered by six panels with a total of 18 evaluators, members of out-of-state law-enforcement agencies—tested applicants on how they’d handle “realistic” situations faced by detectives.
Two of the top 10 scorers, Manmeet Colon and Mary Helland, used to patrol the Hill together.
Here’s who passed, along with their scores:
Martin Podsiad 88.68
Paul D’Andrea Jr. 87.30
Mark DeCarvalho 85.89
Mary Helland 84.20
Jessica Stone 80.62
Justin Marshall 79.75
Jonathan Pleckaitis 78.21
Joseph Aurora 77.92
Jose Miranda 77.67
Manmeet Colon 77.46
Lucille Roach 77.19
Betsy Segui 76.39
Gary Hammill 75.34
James Bottigliero Jr. 73.95
Dennis O’Connell 73.20
Juan Monzon 73.04
Orlando Crespo 72.37
Ryan McFarland 72.36