Problem Sensitivity and Mathematics Study Guide for McGraw-Hill's Police Officer Exam (page 2)
This ability area is designed to assess your skill at recognizing when a problem exists. Although questions in this ability area do not require you to solve the problem, they are aimed at determining if you can sort through the information to find clues that suggest a problem exists. Clues may include flawed written information, a faulty eyewitness description, or an error in a procedure. Two types of questions—questions about following a procedure or directions and questions about eyewitness descriptions—are used to assess this ability. Both involve the presentation of a large amount of information.
Following a Procedure or Directions
In this question format you are given a list of procedures, rules, directions, or policies. Then you read a scenario and answer questions determining where there is an error in applying the procedures or policies.
The detention facility has the following procedures that all law enforcement officers must follow when booking a suspect into custody.
- Drive your vehicle into the rear garage unit. Wait for the garage door to close completely before leaving your vehicle.
- Remove your suspect from the vehicle and walk together to the entry doors.
- State your name and agency into the intercom unit. After visual verification, you and your suspect(s) will be buzzed into the secure holding area.
- Wait for the interior guard to permit you and your suspect(s) out of the holding area. No other suspects or officers will be allowed into the holding unit until you have been released to enter the detention facility.
Officer Smith was transporting two suspects from the scene of their arrest to the detention facility. He drove his vehicle into the rear garage unit, parked, got out, and went to the intercom. He said his name, badge number, and agency name. Then he walked away from the door to retrieve his suspects from his vehicle. Which of the following procedures did Officer Smith violate?
(A) Drive your vehicle into the rear garage unit.
(B) Remove your suspect from the vehicle and walk together to the entry doors.
(C) State your name and agency into the intercom unit.
(D) Upon visual verification, you and your suspect(s) will be buzzed into the secure holding area.
The correct answer is B. There is no information about whether or not Officer Smith violated D. He did perform the requirements set forth in answers A and C.
This type of question requires you to read a list of eyewitness descriptions and then determine which description is most likely the most correct.
Police Officer Huang interviews four witnesses to a murder that occurred outside of a carwash. Each of the witnesses was present at the time of the shooting. They described the perpetrator as follows:
Based on the descriptions provided, which of the four witness statements is most likely to be correct?
(A) Witness No. 1's statement
(B) Witness No. 2's statement
(C) Witness No. 3's statement
(D) Witness No. 4's statement
Answer C is most likely correct, because when all the details from each of the witness's descriptions are compared, witness No. 3 had no details that directly conflicted with those observed by the other witnesses. Witness No. 1 saw a barefoot person, witness No. 2 saw a male, and witness No. 4 saw hair pulled back in a bun and a bruise instead of a tattoo.
Mathematics may be included on an exam as its own section, or it may be part of the deductive reasoning section of the exam. Regardless of where it is placed within the exam, law enforcement exams that test your ability to perform mathematical processes generally limit the questions to problems involving basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These questions will be in numerical format and presented as word problems involving mathematical situations that a law enforcement officer is likely to encounter.
The members of the traffic control unit issued the following citations during a recent seven-day period.
Officer Maxim issued 36 citations.
Officer Mendosa issued 107 citations.
Officer Carosa issued 39 citations.
Officer Hussein issued 27 citations.
How many citations were issued by the two traffic control officers writing the most citations for this time period?
The answer is D. 107 + 39 = 146.
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