City leaders consider re-working sexual questions in police applicant questionnaire

City leaders consider re-working sexual questions in police applicant questionnaire
City leaders are reconsidering a questionnaire that asks about officers' sexual history

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Some Cincinnati city leaders would like to re-work or re-word sexual questions that are currently part of a Cincinnati Police applicant questionnaire.

Becoming a Cincinnati Police officer requires a list of qualifications, from a written exam, to a home interview, to a personal history questionnaire known as a PHQ.

Within the 35 pages of the PHQ, there are a number of sections that include questions about educational history, previous jobs, drug use, and criminal history. There is also a section called “sexual conduct.”

“It’s very much in line for the department to want to screen anybody that has participated in any type of illegal behavior,” said Sgt. Dan Hils, the president of CPD’s Fraternal Order of Police.

The questions in the sexual conduct section range from “have you ever participated in a sexual act in a public place?” to “have you ever deliberately inflicted pain on an unwilling partner in a sex act?”

To Sgt. Hils, some of the questions are critical to keep criminals out of a uniform.

“We don’t want somebody on our agency that is attracted to underage persons,” said Sgt. Hils. “We wouldn’t want anybody that is participating in public sex acts.”

Other questions, Sgt. Hils said, seem unnecessarily intimate, such as question two that asks “what was your most unusual sex act?”

“What you do in your own personal and private life is something I don’t think has a whole lot of bearing unless discussing something illegal in nature,” said Sgt. Hils.

Sgt. Hils said that he has not heard any complaints about the questions from police recruits or officers, but he believes it might be time to re-work some of them.

“Cincinnati could probably refine their questions a bit to still get what they need without offending anybody,” said Sgt. Hils.

City leaders, like Mayor John Cranley, are on the same page. Mayor Cranley said Thursday: “I don’t think they are appropriate. I am asking they be dropped.”

FOX19 NOW’s media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer found that Cincinnati fire recruits are asked the same questions as Cincinnati Police recruits.

They also discovered that other local agencies ask applicants similar sexual questions, whether in a document or during a polygraph test.

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