Why do people hate Civil Service?

Discussion in 'Civil Service' started by DucatiGuy, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. DucatiGuy

    DucatiGuy MassCops Member

    I've been looking at MA and CT jobs, and it looks like every town has their own exam to take. Applying to 4 towns you would need to take 3 different exams (and pay for them). Besides essentially being limited to your town of residence, what are the other negatives?
  2. Goose

    Goose The list is long but distinguished. Staff Member

    An arbitrary test that does nothing to find the best candidate is huge.
  3. DucatiGuy

    DucatiGuy MassCops Member

    I agree. No exam would be perfect.

    But jumping the civil service ship and making your own town exam doesn't sound that great.
  4. woodyd

    woodyd MassCops Member

    Departments are basically told who they will hire, and need to go to an administrative hearing and justify not hiring the first person on the list. So someone with FT academy, a bachelors in CJ and five years campus police experience, who scored a 97 doesn't get hired, but someone who took the test on a whim, has no clear what they're getting into, but gets a 99 does get hired. If you want s bypass someone with an atrocious criminal/driving/209a record, off to the bypass hearing you go. With promotions, it's even worse. Two guys are up for Sgt. The Chief knows both of them, after all they both work for him. Johnny Slackoff keeps a pillow on his cruiser, brings a lawn chair to details and hasn't written a citation for two years, but does well on the test (because he studies in his cruiser while hiding during his shift). Proactive Paul dilligently patrols his sector, is a leader in arrests and investigations, and mentors at risk kids. But he doesn't do as well on the test because he's too busy working. But guess who gets promoted. Yup, better not call for Sgt Slackoff after 0200 because he doesn't like to be woken up
    With non-CS, you hire and promote the best people
    visible25, Edmizer1, wryman and 8 others like this.
  5. Rogergoodwin

    Rogergoodwin MassCops Member

    They're are a lot of positives to CS (like the appeals process, layoffs by seniority,etc) but I agree, hiring based on the list is ridiculous. Especially absolute preference for veterans. Every other state gives 2-5 points to vets, but mass for some reason moves all of them to the top. So you could have a great candidate with an academy, degree, and experience that scores a 98. But he is not hired because a guy in a non-combat position in the Army scored a 70. I respect service, but the system is broken.
    wryman and woodyd like this.
  6. Kojak

    Kojak New Member

    I think even without Civil Service you could still retain a lot of those great benefits through collective bargaining and the current labor laws. As far as new hires it is a joke, they really do make it tough for Police Depts to hire the best candidates and never mind the most physically fit. Civil Service at its inception had great intentions but just like anything else it has turned into a complete shit show.
    j809, Goose and woodyd like this.
  7. Treehouse413

    Treehouse413 MassCops Member

    There's good and bad I totally agree but CS needs some fixing. The only thing that worries me about non CS is politics are huge and no appeal process . I'm a vet and went to the top but I don't agree with going to the top. Give us some points but I think a lot of good non vets get the short end of it.
  8. HuskyH-2

    HuskyH-2 G-Rap made me do it!

    That's a huge leap you just took. With non-CS they get to hire and promote who they want. You hope they're the best, but nepotism has free reign to run wild in non-CS municipalities.
  9. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    I'll take CS warts and all any day over the "secret handshake" crowd.
    And yes I've been bypassed for vets , but still have no problem moving them to the front of the line.
    mpd61 and 40thMPOC#309 like this.
  10. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Most people on this site, dislike Civil Service because they are trying to get hired and are frustrated with the system. However, if you know how to work the system you can get hired. My feeling on CS, is that its better to have it than not. If you were wrongfully bypassed due to nepotism, etc; at least you have some recourse. Now towns are putting everything in their contract, in hopes that will work better than a CS appeal and they can arbitrate with MASSCOP. A lot of towns are getting rid of CS during contract negotiations time as a bargaining chip, for education incentive for new hires or full Quinn.

    Its a slippery slope because we all know that when these towns start having secret squirl tests and no one gets hired or the only ones that do get hired are relatives etc. The bitching will explode on this forum. I know a few towns that aren't CS and some have a test, some don't. Some its simply word of mouth and if they like you, they might hire you PT. The best candidate doesn't necessarily get the job.

    A good example of this is Milford PD, these guys want out of CS so bad, they are asking the town to vote it out! Not even used during contract negotiations times. The chief had some flub article published in the Milford Daily news about how it would be better for everyone. I know a few guys who worked there and I was told flat out, its because they want to hire who they want. The reason is that they will have 15 retirements in the next few years and they want to get their kids on while they can. How is that fair and equitable? How is that the best candidate?
  11. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    Some good points felony.

    A system where your ability to be hired completely hinges on your test score is absurd. That's needed a change for a while.

    Not having CS, well, we all know the route that will take like you had mentioned. I witnessed it first hand during my testing years, like I'm sure many have seen. It is what it is... LE hiring had been troublesome in Mass for quite some time.

    I'm not sure it will ever change to a system that hires the best candidates
  12. Treehouse413

    Treehouse413 MassCops Member

    Like I've posted before I work for a CS dept and I'm a vet. With that being said CT state I feel does a great job. They don't go with the top score and hire. They group a score range and interview from there . At least they did when I went through the process years ago.
    woodyd likes this.
  13. 40thMPOC#309

    40thMPOC#309 MassCops Member

    CS aint perfect but if you have served our country, thank you and please go to the top of the list. Not a fan of the phony baloney "assessment centers" either...
    mpd61 likes this.
  14. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    The Fire Test for CS, has incorporated the PAT into the test score. The CS Police exam should do the same. I feel that would weed out of the fat slugs taking up space.
    pahapoika and Kenny like this.
  15. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    The Fire had a "pre-physical" way back when when they did away with the age limit.
    Think it was like an extra $75. Thought it might weed out the par-10 crowd, but they got a waiver on that too :(

    DOC got a bunch of wide bodies come through couple years ago. A very obviver sign testing has gone downhill !
  16. woodyd

    woodyd MassCops Member

    DOC physical testing switched from an obstacle course to Cooper standards, I believe in 2011. Not sure if there are any "exceptions" to it, but Cooper Standards are no joke.
  17. Patr8726

    Patr8726 MassCops Member

    I agree that it's important to have job protections that CS can provide, otherwise a chief could stack a department with whoever they wanted a lot easier. I think the issue with most is that the test # is such a crucial part of hiring or promoting. Your qualifications are only a consideration AFTER the score hurdle is overcome. Still eliminating it isn't the only option. I've seen more than a few PDs in different states where there's a CS test, but it's only one factor of many in hiring. I'm a federal employee, with CS protections and appeal rights via MSPB, but no test to overcome, just KSAs, which can be their own beast.

    I'm surprised no one has brought up the other major downside to CS in Mass, that appeals are published online with a lot of specific info that can be used against someone forever in the future by defense attorneys or anyone else with access to Google. Some don't even get redacted right. I don't feel bad for those on the losing end of bypass appeals who had no business even applying due to their criminal record. But when all the dirty laundry of internal fighting or faction forming, personal relationship problems, or other uncomfortable subjects that don't rise to the level of a justified termination... I can see a hundred ways that can cause problems for hardworking cops and their entire agencies. There's a difference between FOIA/ MGL 66-10 access to records and totally airing dirty laundry in a public PDF.
    felony likes this.
  18. woodyd

    woodyd MassCops Member

    Even without CS, you can still have the discipline protection that CS provides if you have an arbitration clause in your CBA. In many cases, CS cops will still choose to appeal discipline to arbitration, even with CS benefits, because the CS commission is so pro-management regarding discipline that you're better off going to arbitration.
    Rogergoodwin, samadam78 and pahapoika like this.
  19. Rogergoodwin

    Rogergoodwin MassCops Member

    Great point. I have seen some awful bypass appeals where the embarrassing information regarding the applicants behavior in an interview or psychological assessment were posted. Granted these people clearly shouldn't have been hired, but some of these appeals reveal things no one would want posted online.
  20. control

    control MassCops Member

    I can see both sides of it and I'm not sure which side I land on honestly. I was a victim of Civil Service. I did well on the test with my department, went through the whole recruit process got the green light and was sent to the medical. They DQ'd me because of a known condition. No one at my department had even heard that my condition would have an impact, there's even guys working now with the same thing as me and having no problems. I appealed it through Civil Service and after thousands in lawyer and doctor bills they denied my appeal saying that even though all the experts say my condition wouldn't effect my ability to work and my department wanted to hire me the medical standards are codified into law and only legislature can change them.
    I've also seen departments "creatively" manipulate the system to get people on or off the lists. And I'm sure anyone in a Civil Service department can name a handful of supervisors who take tests well. Even with my frustrations I can see supporting the system, if the manipulations that happen with CS happen I can only imaging what will happen if the mayors are left to their own devices.
    I also think it's completely wrong for a small town to offer a test (and make money off it) to hire one person usually with an academy who they already know. That to me is just as unfair as the CS can be. There's got to be some fair middle ground that balances the bureaucratic BS but still keeps a handle on nepotism.
    HuskyH-2 likes this.
  21. CapeSpecial

    CapeSpecial MassCops Member

    Those of us who live in non-civil service towns and therefore have residency preference nowhere dislike it.
    felony likes this.
  22. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    I don't like it because I was never hired.

    zm88, Kenny, mpd61 and 3 others like this.
  23. visible25

    visible25 MassCops Member

    Reading this thread just made me really depressed
  24. mpd61

    mpd61 Federal Auxiliary Police

    Although I never used it State/Municipal, I think it still has some validity.............
  25. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    Just keep punching that ticket.
    Military service
    Political contacts

    Goose and visible25 like this.

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