Halt! PoliceOne.com (CNN for cops) just blew my mind. A judge decided police physical fitness tests are GENDER BIASED. This must stop! Social Justice Warriors ASSEMBLE!
Per the article, some insane Colorado Police Department instituted a mandatory physical fitness test and lady cops failed out in a disproportionate number to the men. The department promptly started firing some of them. Personally, some departments should spend more time worrying about the risk management dangers presented by bad leadership, but lets use this to talk about the reigning absurdity of policing: police physical fitness. It’s controversial because we don’t need it.
I’m no Jim Donahue, but here’s what I’m bringing to the table. Combat Veteran & I’ve been a cop for almost a decade. Here is a sad truth about policing. The vast majority of the time, no physical fitness is required. Can you get into and out of a car swiftly? Can you stand for two hours while making notes? Can you sit and type for hours on end? You too can be a cop, MOST of the time.
Here’s the crux of the matter: are you willing to die when that 1% event happens to you? If you are willing to sacrifice your body and that of your partner on the altar of your lack of athleticism, who are we to say you can’t be cops?
A judge (who doesn’t have physical requirements) found this to be discriminatory since the lady cops were failing.
Instead of railing against his decision, I propose a Police physical fitness test which will not discriminate on gender. It will focus solely on job performance attributes which are likely to occur during a 1% encounter. Unlike simple running times or Feats of Strength, I think it should answer the question of “Should you Cop” or not. (It should also be done in full duty gear).
Jack Catchem’s Police Physical Fitness Test
The test has four events. It is not timed. It begins when an instructor walks up and shoves you starting the:
1) Fall over / get up. Because if you can’t get up off the ground, why are we even here. Pass/Fail.
2) 200 meter chase. That drunk punk just shoved a cop. Chase him. (Why 200 meters? If you didn’t catch him in the first 200 meters are you honestly going to try, or just set up a dam perimeter already?) Pass/Fail.
3) 60 Second Clutch and Scream. (I’m really good at this one) You versus the Red Man suit. You don’t have to win the fight, you just need to still be in it after 60 seconds is up. Because once you catch the suspect, do you really do anything else until backup arrives? Extra points for high pitch.
4) HandCuff and Search Event. Can you perform the signature Finishing Move of policing after this little test or are you going to lose your mind and just swing away?
Congratulations. If you can do this, you can handle 99.5% of policing calls. Conversely, if you couldn’t even do this, why keep pretending. Go inside the station. There’s usually plenty of work there.
I’m not a labor law attorney, so I can’t speak to the legality of such a test. My argument is IF women failed this at a greater rate then men, it is less likely to be discriminatory because it directly relates to job performance instead of an esoteric picture of police physical fitness. If this topic interests you, check copblue.com for an excellent analysis of the unneccessary focus on “running” by a true guru, Jim Donahue.
Readers: is my test less gender biased? Should we even have police physical fitness requirements? Do you have a better test or events to propose? Let me know in the comments!