BALTIMORE (AP) -- Baltimore is close to picking a new firm to evaluate its police officers' mental health.

The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday that two companies are finalists. The city ended a contract with another firm last year after it was accused of providing shoddy exams.

The winning bidder will conduct psychological evaluations of recruits as well as current officers on an as-needed basis. Such exams check for "mental or physical instability or incapacity."

The city parted ways with Psychology Consultants Associated of Lutherville last year. Nearly three-quarters of officers and trainees told the city's inspector general that screenings lasted 30 minutes or less. The firm's contract required at least an hour-long evaluation.

Kenneth Sachs, the firm's president, has defended the company. He had told investigators that evaluations "typically last about 45 minutes."


Information from: The Baltimore Sun,