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Fitness for Duty - Law Enforcement

To assist in determining the continuing emotional and mental fitness of (Department) officers to carry out their essential duties as armed peace officers, and other employees whose duties affect the public safety, all supervisory employees should be alert to any indication that an employee may not be emotionally or mentally fit.   Such indications may include but are not limited to the following factors.  The mere presence of anyone factor or combination of factors may not be sufficient to order the evaluation.  However, such presence should not be ignored and may lead to the ordering of evaluation.   While there is a great variety and range of acceptable behavior among employee's, dramatic or sudden changes in any particular employee's customary behavior may increase concern. 

Requirements for the Evaluator. The evaluator will be designated by the department and must meet the requirements of 1031 (f) of the Government Code, which requires the mental and emotional condition of officers "shall be evaluated by a licensed physician and surgeon or a licensed psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology and at least five years of postgraduate experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders."  The evaluator shall be instructed by the department to only release that information as allowed under this policy or as otherwise required by law.   

Limited Scope of Report. The department has a right to information that is necessary to achieve a legitimate purpose. The evaluation is ordered by and conducted for the department.  It is not for the purpose of treatment but to determine fitness for duty.  The limited verbal and/or written results of the evaluation will be provided to the Department as a confidential personnel record. The report and information received by the department shall be limited to: 

• a conclusion regarding the determination of fitness for duty, 

• a description of the functional limitations of the employee, 

• whether the condition that leads to the functional limitations is industrial or non-industrial in nature, 

• other information to the extent authorized by law, necessary to achieve the legitimate purpose of the employer. 

• no statement of medical cause shall be included.  

Disposition of Report. The department shall establish appropriate procedures to protect the information from unauthorized use or disclosure.  The report will be placed in a sealed envelope and retained in the employee's separate secure medical file.  The report may only be used or disclosed in a legitimate and appropriate proceeding to the extent authorized or compelled by law or agreement. 

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