Local 24 News has learned 650 Shelby County employees now have to retake their psychological tests. That’s triple the number first thought, and you’ll pay for it.
Of that 650, 260 work for the Shelby County Sheriff.
It all stems from testing five years ago. The person who gave the tests was not licensed. That means the deputies and county employees must be retested.
The retesting costs $200 a person, so it could cost about $130,000 total.
Local 24 News received this statement Tuesday from the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance:
In December, POST (Peace Officer Standard & Training Commission) officials raised the question of the doctor’s qualification listed on Shelby County Sheriff’s Office paperwork as performing the psychological profiles for SCSO deputies.
In particular, evaluations signed by a “Dr. Charles T. Kenny, supervised by Dr. John T. Johnson” were questioned by POST as Charles Kenny has not been a licensed Tennessee psychologist since 2001. Dr. Johnson is licensed and is located in Greenville, TN.
It is estimated by SCSO officials that Dr. Kenny has been performing the psychological exams since 2014 for Shelby County. SCSO officials have told POST they have identified around 200 applicants who may be at issue because of the doctor’s expired license.
To be eligible for certification in Tennessee, all POST applicants must submit to a psychological evaluation, conducted by a “Tennessee licensed healthcare provider qualified in the psychiatric or psychological field” and must be certified to be “free from any impairment as set forth in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” of the American Psychiatric Association.
Please note: Neither the POST Commission nor the Department of Commerce & Insurance certifies psychologists. POST found the discrepancy during an audit of records. Additionally, Dr. Kenny was working on behalf of Shelby County.
POST accepted the earlier SCSO psychological evaluations as being properly conducted by a qualified mental health professional until we learned otherwise. Shelby County has begun the process to employ a new examiner and implement a new methodology to have the proper examinations performed for the officers.