DAYTON — The city’s Civil Service Board and the U.S. Department of Justice have agreed on a lower passing score for the police recruit exam after it was rejected because not enough blacks passed the exam.
The city lowered both written exams a combined 15 points that resulted in 258 more people passing the exam, according to a statement released Thursday by Civil Service officials. The agreement allows the city to immediately resume its plans to hire police and firefighters.
The original passing scores determined by Civil Service required candidates to answer 57 of 86 (66 percent) questions correctly on one portion and 73 of 102 (72 percent) on the other. The lowered benchmark requires candidates to answer 50 of 86 (58 percent) questions correctly and 64 of 102 (63 percent) of questions on the other.
A total of 748 people passed the exam under the new benchmarks. It is unclear the demographics of those who passed.
The passing candidates will undergo preliminary background checks and, once that hurdle is cleared, will be subject to an oral interview. Those dates have not been determined.
The Justice Department’s rejection of the passing scores last month delayed the city’s firefighter’s exam that was slated for April 2. A makeup date has yet to be set for the exam.
The city said it wants to put new hires on the street in both police and fire departments by next year to replace dozens of retirees that have left public safety forces near all-time lows.