With Rank Comes Privilege: With Privilege, Power. Part 7


Word around the office was that they were going to pick us off one-by-one using Fitness For Duty Evaluations. The act of Patricia and I filing this federal Case effectively prevented the City from doing the same to the other plaintiffs in the State Case.   They did not want all the Plaintiffs in Federal court too.

I sure would have liked to hear their explanation for the apparently contagious nature of personality disorders.  Funny, I haven’t heard of anyone else catching it since.

These are not isolated events

Patricia and I are not the first women this has happened to.  It was well known that being sent to the department Psychologist was a punishment.  With the guys there would be some sort of incident, or “precipitating event” they would be sent to the psychologist get two weeks off then be allowed to return to work.  I can’t think of a single instance of a male officer at my department being sent for no reason.  The guys didn’t usually lose their jobs. All the women did.  This has happened at other police departments across the country and other types of organizations.

Back to our psych evaluations:

Our initial appointments involved taking fill-in-the-bubble tests.  We were not going to be passive/reactive, sheep led to slaughter.  We decided to fight.  We knew that they had gotten rid of other women the same way, so we came up with a plan of action.

When I went to my initial appointment with the city psychologist, Dr. Pete, I went in wired with a tape recorder.  In fact, I taped all my appointments with Dr. Pete.  The first day, he had me come in and gestured toward some tables so I went over and sat down.  He then told me to sit on the other side of the table in a different chair.  I obliged.  There was a comic hanging on the wall that I could now see from this position.  It had a picture of a woman in a skirt with her hands over her head and two male officers with their guns drawn.  The caption read something like, “We just got the results of your Psychological exam.”  I laughed sarcastically and asked him, Oh, is this for my benefit?  He quickly took it down after smirking, “Oh, does this offend you? I thought it was humorous.”  I told him it was probably inappropriate to have posted in an office that does Fitness For Duty Evaluations.

He gave me 5 tests to take.  One was a pre-employment test, a personality test, another was an intelligence test and with a couple others.  He went into another room.  I quietly read out loud the titles and versions of each test so I would get it on my tape recorder.  Each time we were scheduled with the Dr. Pete, we would make a second appointment with two others, for the same day, a Psychiatrist and a Forensic Psychologist.  We would then take exactly the same tests again.

I went back to “Dr. Pete” another day for the interview portion of the evaluation.  He would ask me questions. and I would answer them.  He would then stare at me in silence expecting, what?  Most of the time he would shake his head disapprovingly while looking at the papers on his desk the city had given him, but I wasn’t allowed to see them.

I told him about my shooting incident, about Lt. Woody, and about my Captain throwing away my commendation letter (requesting a combat medal).  Dr. Pete said, “Well if this all really happened I’m sure it would have been investigated.”  What he didn’t know was that the saying around the department was “With Rank Comes Privilege.” Commanders were rarely held accountable for their actions. 

When he produced his report, he completely mis-characterized things I told him, outright turned things and left  important things out (Remember! I taped them all).  He interjected comments about what  I was thinking, how I perceived his comments as if he could read my mind!

He called me apathetic and pessimistic, and dependent.

My family members and friends outright laughed at this assessment saying, well he certainly wasn’t around you much now was he.

“Dr. Pete” told GRPD it appears that Renee’ has some sort of personality disorder, most likely some sort of paranoid personality disorder.  Not taking into account organizational culture, differences in men and women’s psychological responses or even how I navigated the world outside the police department.  He even ignores the fact that Personality Disorders show up in adolescence, not after years of being an adult without one, unless there is a head injury of some sort.  I had sustained no such injury.

“Dr Pete”, not certified in PTSD evaluation, goes on to comment on the possibility of PTSD. He attempts to outline the diagnostic criteria and remarks that he is sure it is not present in my case.  He goes on to suggest that my condition is not treatable, but that medication might be helpful (take note:  Psychologists can not prescribe medication.  Psychiatrists can because they are actually Medically Licensed).

“Dr. Pete” then then goes on to criticizes the report from the Psychiatrist I had sought treatment from more than a year earlier.  I went to take care of early emerging PTSD symptoms related to my on-duty shooting.  I sought my own treatment, paid cash, and it was resolved without any performance issues or intervention needed from my employer.

“Dr. Pete” did not use or reveal results of all the tests we took, but Patricia and I were not surprised when we were both found unfit for duty with the same un-treatable “diagnosis” even though we have very different personalities.

We received copies of other FFDE’s in discovery that were done on female officers at GRPD before ours. It was interesting to find that ours were cookie cutter to theirs.  It was almost like he had a template and he just inserted the names.


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