All new law enforcement officers in South Carolina will soon be required to pass a psychological screening.
The Associated Press reports the state Law Enforcement Training Council voted last week to require the tests for all incoming officers at the state Criminal Justice Academy. Proof for the screening is required for training after January 1.
About five dozen agencies in the state already do the screening, which is required for state or national accreditation. But Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said the majority of agencies stopped once the state no longer reimbursed departments for exams following the 2008 recession.
“Many small, rural agencies, which make up quite a large percentage of law enforcement in South Carolina, just didn’t have the money to be able to do that,” Foster told South Carolina Radio Network, although he said Newberry County was able to cobble together their own public money pay for the evaluations.
Legislators set aside more than $550,000 for the tests in this year’s budget. The Associated Press reports the money will reimburse departments up to $300 per screening.