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

Compression Tactical Bra - Cheata Tactical
Patented technology is designed to provide the stability of 2-3 sports bras,...

Top News

Justice Department Sues Pennsylvania State Police Over Fitness Test

July 31, 2014  | 

The Pennsylvania State Police, one of the nation's largest forces, is faced with ending the physical fitness tests it gives to applicants for state trooper positions or defending in court a practice that the federal government says illegally discriminates against women, the Associated Press reports.

The Justice Department's 10-page lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Harrisburg. A spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania State Police said Tuesday evening that the agency's lawyers had not seen the lawsuit yet and could not comment on it.

The lawsuit said the use of the tests to screen and select the applicants for the entry-level positions amounted to a pattern of employment discrimination. Much greater percentages of male applicants than female applicants passed the physical fitness tests going back to 2003, it said.

Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

EODK9Trainer @ 8/1/2014 7:14 AM

Yep. Let's scale down the requirements so someone out of shape can get hired. Makes sense to me.

Steve Rothstein @ 8/1/2014 5:54 PM

What will make or break the case for the PSP is the research and development of the test. One agency I worked for was required by law to start a fitness test and hire a contractor to develop it. I was lucky enough to work with the contractor as part of the team doing the development. We examined the duties of the officers and then came up with simulations of the actual duties (like weight lifted, fighting, dragging a person from danger, etc.). We then picked a random sample of officers (stratified to match the age and gender makeup of the agency) and tested them for the simulations. We graded the officers and then gave them standard fitness tests. The consultant then could use the fitness scores to predict performance on the job duties.

We developed a test that showed exactly what was required for a police officer to do their job. The testing of the agency then had a truly job related scoring to it. That makes the test defensible in court, even if it has a disparate impact. Bona fide job qualifications are the legal exception to discrimination claims for disparate impact.

I recommend FitForce as a consultant that can make a valid test and have it stand up in court. They did a great job working with us.

Ivan the terrible @ 8/2/2014 9:54 AM

Typical Fed operation. Like my old Dept. don

Daniel Simes @ 8/2/2014 10:11 AM

The test is already pathetically low. For example, "run" 1.5 mile at a snails pace of 12 minutes/mile. Standing vertical jump of only 13". The standards have already been lowered to the point of ridiculous. For that matter, it is impossible to have an honest test where men will not do better than women; women simply lack the upper body strength for even a few pushups or other simple things. Or for that matter, to subdue a combative male in real life.

CaptMidnight @ 8/2/2014 2:42 PM

~EEOC suits are not to be discarded lightly.
You cant have two sets of standards for both Male & Female Officers.
As people age so do their physical ablities.
We shouldnt be looking to hire "Captain America" with every recruit.
Otherwise good people will go elsewhere.
In 40 yrs as a LEO I have yet to have to run aroud the block to shoot a perp.
Humping it around the track proves nothing.
Its what's between the ears that counts.
You have radio, for backup, and a partner, if you are not solo.
Dont sell the Females short, some will kick your ass for trying.

TheRookie @ 8/2/2014 2:47 PM

I look at the average street officer today, see what they have to do to qualify, and how they are (at times) given the position.
When I was trying to get into the business I had to take a very hard written test, a physical agility test of 1 1/2 to 3 mile run within a strict time limit, had to do certain number of pushups, sit ups, & pull ups. Some tests one had to hold the gun in the ring pulling the trigger, crawl through a corrugated steel pipe, run 50 yards & jump over a 6ft. wall , run 25 yards & jump through a simulated house window, drag the 165lb dummy for 15 feet, run another 50 yards to complete. That's just what I can remember. You had better be able to depend on yourself at times. In my starting years we had our Duty Weapon, Mace, Handcuffs, Baton, & Flashlight. Only later did I get Pepperspray or a Stun Gun. At the end of my career all the new toys came into play. It was a tougher job in them days & you had better be in, 'knuckle dragging shape.'

KevCopAz @ 8/3/2014 7:00 AM

There has to be a standard, problem is the Feds have already messed things up. We in Az have a male standard and a female standard(already females required to do less), then when they can't pass that, we lower it again?. Why not just take the 1st 50% who are female, give them a badge and then pick the best 50% males and after training them give them a badge since the males will have to CARRY the females the remainder of their careers anyway! Cover them in fights (that they start with loud mouths), cover them when they take off sick twice as much as males and cover them when they get promoted over a more qualified male to meet other quotas since they are not qualified to lead. Lets face it when the Feds got into it we "lost" nearly every position given to a female. In 32 years I did see incompetent males and females but by far more females were not able to do (and do for 20 years) this job. The competent females would be the first to tell you that!.

Bob @ VA @ 8/4/2014 8:32 AM

You are seeing the same thing across the board from liberals - lower standards in LEO physical, aptitude, and promotion testing as well as in the military where physical standards are being lowered so that we can sacrifice women, and the men they are supposed to support, in combat. Better hope that you have quick, male backup or that a legally armed citizen is handy when the SHTF. Yes, CaptMidnight, our brain is our primary asset, but a 130# woman's best affirmative action brain won't subdue a 270# aggressive male w/o resorting to deadly force - assuming that they ever get the chance.

wildhorse7 @ 8/4/2014 10:36 AM

Why have any standards at all? Criminal records? Expunge them. Overweight? Lose the scale. Can't pass a written test? Don't have one. Can't read? Have it orally read to you. Can't do sit-ups? Don't worry, we'll have an active state trooper do it for you.

Andy Casavant @ 8/19/2014 7:23 AM

What you really need is a functionality test not a fitness test. Functionality has candidates do those things that any officer has to do on the streets and is solely job related. Examples are climb a fight of stairs, drag a dummy a certain distance, climb through a window, go over different walls or fences of different heights. In Florida we have this PAT test that has 16 different stations that must be completed within a certain time. Please feel free to contact me for the exact course. The real issue here is not fitness but is can the candidate carry out the normal physical functions of a cop.

John Monroe @ 9/2/2014 5:59 PM

For all you do*ches who are saying that "what we really need to do is _____," stuff it. What we really need to do is recognize that liberalism is as destructive as Nazism and turn liberals into pariahs. No sane civilization should even be discussing this. A police officer if supposed to command respect, and women simply will not -- especially when they're pathetic physical specimens that can't even pass a dumbed-down physical test.

Get real, some of you sound like pathetic capons.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.
Police Magazine