FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Lynne Doucette

Lynne Doucette

Lt. Lynne D. Doucette is a patrol supervisor and defensive tactics trainer with the Brunswick (Maine) PD. Prior to being the first female promoted at BPD, she worked as an undercover detective assigned to the state narcotics task force.

Patricia Teinert

Patricia Teinert

Patricia A. Teinert has been a Texas peace officer since 1984. She has served as a patrol officer, investigator, and member of a juvenile gang and narcotics task force. She is currently a patrol officer with Katy ISD Police Department.

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Women in Law Enforcement

Are Physical Tests Fair to Females?

Physical ability tests often rule out qualified female applicants for entry level police jobs.

July 13, 2012  |  by Cassi Fields

CC_Flickr: mikebaird
CC_Flickr: mikebaird

The U.S. Justice Department, in a July 3 lawsuit, accused the Corpus Christi (Texas) Police Department of discriminating against women with its hiring practices.

Between 2005 and 2011, female physical ability test pass rates were 80% lower than those of their male counterparts, according to the Justice Department. These tests allegedly violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which was amended in 1991. Unfortunately, these types of tests tend to eliminate females from consideration at a higher rate than males.

There are two major inconsistencies when using physical ability tests as hiring criteria. I've studied these inconsistencies, and believe we're addressing them as members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Diversity Council.

There's a pattern across police departments in this country where the physical ability hiring standard is higher than the physical ability post-hiring standard. A major problem with using physical ability tests as hiring criteria is that an applicant must be fit when hired, but in many police departments, they can deteriorate significantly once they obtain seniority.

Another inconsistency in these tests is that many departments still utilize physical ability tests that don't relate to the job. I know of at least one physical ability test in which a person must bench press the equivalent of his or her body weight. The testing community knows how to address these problems. The police community knows how to address these problems. Why hasn't the issue been addressed?

If a female becomes interested in pursuing a career as a police officer, she should perform a self-assessment. Here's a checklist of questions prospective female police officers should ask when applying for the job or a promotion:

  • What are the specific skills, knowledge, and personality characteristics required of police?
  • Is the organizational structure friendly and open to women and diversity? Many are!
  • What is the promotion potential?
  • What is the selection process?
  • How do I prepare for that process?

Applicants who come prepared with this information should land the job!

Cassi Fields is the CEO of LeT Corp. and Fields Consulting Group, which offer products and services to clients to advance their careers and promote diversity in the workplace.

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Zip Code:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine