NYPD blasted for lowering standards to try to recruit more women: ‘Policing is gender neutral’
From Fox News Digital:
…The department, grappling with fallout from its largest staff exodus since 9/11, will no longer require recruits to run 1½ miles in 14 minutes and 21 seconds, and will instead rely on a multistep physical course test that needs to be completed in nearly 4½ minutes.
Jillian Snider, a former NYPD officer and current professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told Fox News Digital nixing the requirement because it may hold some women back from joining the force is “insane.”
“I think that the fact that they tried to blame it on women being incapable of passing this is insane because, when I went through the police academy, we had to do the mile-and-a-half run in the same time as the men,” Snider said…
The latest change comes after the department lowered a requirement in the job standard test. The NYPD replaced the 6-foot barrier wall recruits have to launch themselves over with a chain-link fence that is easier to climb, the New York Post exclusively reported in July of last year.
Snider noted that the JST has historically been more of a challenge to women than the timed run, pointing specifically to the barrier surmount requirement.
“Mounting and jumping over a solid 6-foot wall, that is much harder for women just due to not as much upper body strength as men,” Snider said.
“But guess what? Women did it, and that would have been the only component of that test that was a little more troublesome for women.”
Snider said while she was on the force she held herself to a higher standard as a woman, explaining that most of the suspects she encountered were male.
“I was always the underdog in those situations, knowing that I’m at greater risk as a woman. I’m not as strong,” Snider said. “I’m not as tall. I’m not as big as a man. But my whole issue with this is that they’re trying to make it OK by saying, ‘We’re doing this so we get more women cops.'”
Snider said “policing is gender neutral,” and suspects don’t care if an officer is a man or a woman. Cops are all doing the same work.
“You should have to have the same physical requirements because you’re doing the same exact job,” Snider said…
“Cops are demonized in the media right now. And, honestly, why would you voluntarily sign up for a job where you feel like every decision you make is going to be under the microscope and anything that you do is going to be negatively construed?” said Snider, who also serves as R Street Institute’s policy director of Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties…
Lowering standards for recruits can leave not only citizens more vulnerable to crime but the officers themselves, law enforcement officials said.
“There has never been an instance that an officer will chase a suspect for on foot for 1½ miles,” Snider said. “You need to have some level of endurance because that endurance that you get from running in a timed capacity. When you are fighting or trying to subdue a suspect, you need to be in decent enough physical conditioning to be able to do that.
“You lose your breath when you are wrestling with a suspect on the ground. So that is the point of that run,” she added. “They’re not training you to chase people a mile and a half, but you have to have stamina and endurance and maintain some level of physical fitness.”
Snider also cited studies that show officers with just “medium levels of physical fitness” use less force when subduing criminals, meaning they are able to arrest someone without turning to their baton, Taser or firearm…
The scrapped requirement could also have a “domino effect” on other departments across the country, according to Snider.
“I do see this may be having a domino effect in other agencies deciding, ‘Hey, we’re also suffering from recruitment and retention issues. We also want to inspire more women to join the force,'” Snider said. “‘So maybe if the NYPD is doing this, maybe we should do it as well.’”
Instead, the NYPD should work to incentivize people to join the force, including by the police union securing a contract that has been in limbo since 2017 and providing financial incentives for those striving to attain master’s degrees, which often come with burdensome debt, according to Snider.