Pennsylvania Sued by US over Police Fitness Tests

CBS Philadelphia, July 29, 2014

The federal government sued Pennsylvania on Tuesday over physical fitness tests given to applicants for state trooper positions, seeking a stop to a practice that it said illegally discriminates against women.

The Justice Department’s 10-page lawsuit was filed in federal court in Harrisburg. {snip}

The Pennsylvania State Police is one of the nation’s largest police forces. With 4,677 sworn members, it provides protection to much of Pennsylvania.

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.

As a result, the state police had failed to hire dozens of women for entry-level trooper positions on an equal basis with men, it said.

Had female applicants passed the test at the same rate as men between 2003 and 2012, approximately 119 additional women would have merited further consideration for the jobs and approximately 45 more would have been hired as entry-level troopers, the Justice Department said.

The practice violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and does not qualify under the law as a business necessity, it said.


According to state police, the current standards are as follows: 300 meter run: 77 seconds; pushups: 13 (no time limit); vertical jump: 14 inches; 1.5 mile run: 17 minutes, 48 seconds; agility run: 23.5 seconds.

From 2003 to 2008, 94 percent of male applicants passed the fitness test, while 71 percent of female applicants passed. {snip}

The Justice Department sued the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2012, with similar allegations. The city settled the lawsuit last year, approving a $700,000 settlement for female police applicants who had failed the test. {snip}


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  • MekongDelta69

    Women are not passing at the same rate as men.

    Merit, schmerit. Let everybody pass every test for everything. Just show up… *

    * Does NOT apply to straight White male legal American citizens/Vets.

    • MBlanc46

      “Just show up…”! Why, that discriminates against those who sleep all day or don’t have the intelligence to navigate their way there. Give the jobs to everybody. Except white guys who have white/male privilege.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Not only do physical tests cause gender discrimination but also height and age discrimination.

      After all, tall people are more like to pass than dwarves. Twenty five year olds are more likely to pass than seventy-five year olds.

      The p.c. solution? Let everyone become a cop or fireman! Even a 300 lb wheelchair-bound diabetic aged 85 would add blessed diversity to the job.

    • Andy

      Requiring that people show up would have a disparate impact.

  • JackKrak

    Cop-ettes are much more likely to be involved in shootings because they can’t handle many routine situations with physical strength, as a man can. The only strength they need is in their trigger finger.

    What are the many costs and risks of putting women in uniform?

    We’re not allowed to ask.

    • connorhus

      Or as I witnessed in the Army, the Female officers will get the gravy shifts and easy jobs placing more of the burden on the Male officers. It’s gotten so bad I even witnessed the same thing at the warehouse I drove a forklift at for 10 years doing the same thing. They had to dumb down the actual driving and handling test and then the men were assigned the complicated lifts that required three or four story reaches into tight spaces while the Women drivers took over the simple pallet shuffle from one dock to another runs.

      • Kenner

        In any job that has a partly physically demanding aspect, there’s no such thing as equal work for equal pay. Been there.

        • connorhus

          Oh I know. We can point out these facts but then we will get a drive by of someone claiming only a small percentage of Women are like that. Which amounts to the problem never getting the attention and justice it deserves.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    Women should be allowed to do police work, but only if it involves sitting at a desk, answering a phone and typing on a computer.

  • D.B. Cooper

    It’s perfectly fine to lower the standards. I can take care of myself against Trayvon, even unarmed, I would’ve beaten him badly because I’m in better shape than Zimmerman. I say hire 100% women for Philly, let the females of the Keystone State put their faith in Affirmative Action black female cops.

    • APaige

      The strange thing is that if over 90% of men are passing the standards must already be low. 13 push ups? a 1.5 mile run in 17 minutes?

      • IstvanIN

        1.5 miles in 17 minutes? I can walk that.

      • WR_the_realist

        Exactly. I am in my fifties, am a short man who sits on his butt working with computers, and could best be classified as an aging nerd. I have no problem doing 13 push ups, jumping 14 vertical inches, or jogging 1.5 miles in 17 minutes. Yet young women who can’t meet these wimpy criteria are supposed to be capable of confronting 180 pound well muscled criminal thugs, and chasing after them when they’re fleeing a crime. That only works in the movies, where they have talking animals and flying cars.

        • 4321realist

          “That only works in the movies, where they have talking animals and flying cars.”


          Right on.

          I’ll go one further and say I’ve never seen a lady cop in my life who could overpower a 140 pound healthy male, no matter what her size is.

          This is the age of PC where they urinate down your back and try to convince you it’s raining outside.

          And for what reason?

          Who knows. Everything about that PC bunch is a lie.

        • Ella

          A mom who runs after toddlers all day can pass this as long as she’s really doing the work and not overeating! This is a sad test for PT!

  • Puggg

    This is why there’s more and more what I like to call Paul Blart ism in my and our profession, because of these lowering of the standards.

  • LHathaway

    It’s strange that men and women do not have different tests (at the same time women’s advocates lament a double standard). They certainly have different tests in the military, as a beginning.

  • I’m old as dirt and I could pass the current standards with ease.

    Will the black hippopotomus female cops be able to waddle down the street after criminals? Is that the new standard?

    • Tarczan

      Wow, 13 pushups, no time limit ; 1-1/2 miles at about a 12 minute/mile pace. Not much of a test. Anyone who practices just a little could pass this test

      • Dirk_Pitt

        I’m not very fit and have dodgy knees. I could pass that test. 12 minute mile? Fast walking you could do that.

        • Yep. When my vehicle wouldn’t start I walked four miles to home carrying grocery bags in about 45 minutes to an hour. Fast walking, but dodging irregularities in the streets and sidewalks at 11 pm. Could have done better in the daylight.
          These standards are already unbelievably low. Lowering them more is an act of insanity that will endanger the public.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The Communist mayor of NY, Bill De Blasio, recently splashed out $98 million to settle a lawsuit filed by blacks claiming the FDNY didn’t hire enough unqualified blacks.

    Better that innocent people die so politically correct idiots can claim victory.

    Affirmative Action trumps merit and integrity and makes those hired as firefighters, police officers and air traffic controllers a danger to the public, their co-workers and themselves.

    If they don’t perform as expected, they and the PC crowd will blame White oppression and institutional racism. The unqualified will either be quickly promoted out of active duty or claim injury and go out on disability for life.

    I remember a few years ago when some cities waived swimming tests so non-Whites could become lifeguards.

    If non-Whites don’t pass the physical fitness tests, I’m sure there’s an opening for air traffic controller.

    • Kenner

      Lifeguards? Maybe they could just chuck blacks into the pool until the victim can climb out.

    • Paleoconn

      The AA hires in any fire department should all be together at the same firehouse serving a neighborhood full of White liberals…or the ghetto or barrio.

  • Who Me?

    I think that women should be hired as police officers, given the exact same tasks at exactly the same pay. On the other hand, these women only get the job if they pass the exact same height and weight and strength standards as the men, pass the same tests for running, lifting, agility, etc. and then pass the same classroom testing. All at the same standard as men. The Amazons who can do so and keep up with the men on every level then deserve the title of Police Officer.

    • Tarczan

      Women can be very fit, woman (a very few) are now doing the Ironman Triathlon under 9 hours, (the best men do it in 8 hrs.) one lady did it and finished with a sub 3 hour marathon. Simply amazing times, but they just don’t have the upper body strength.

    • IstvanIN

      I disagree. I believe we need female police officers but they should be in jobs that women can or should do such as dealing with children and other women. Even in dealing with other women there should also be fit, male police around because some criminal women are strong like bull. Women can also be dispatchers but most police jobs should be for men. especially in a diverse society with lots of non-White criminals.

      Women and men are not the same, why is that so such an awful concept? I accept diversity, why can’t the courts?

      • Who Me?

        I believe that a large, strong, intelligent woman can still be a woman, compassionate to female victims and children, (who ever said men couldn’t take care of kids, anyway?) There are always times when women have to deal with a woman who is overly strong either from size, intoxication or drugs, or insanity. In these cases, it would be better to have the woman taken down by a female officer, just so the courts can’t say she was brutalized by a male officer. Also there are times when women officers HAVE to interact with male suspects and size helps.
        Dispatchers are not police officers, btw.

        • IstvanIN

          Dispatchers, clerks, emergency operators can all readily be employed by police departments without them being police officers and lowering standards. Yes, men can care for children, I just believe it is a good idea to have women around, old fashioned in that regard I suppose.

          • dcc2379

            Nothing old fashion about putting women in positions they are physically incapable of doing.

  • WR_the_realist

    So physical fitness is not relevant to being a policeman?

    The madness continues.

  • 4321realist

    “According to state police, the current standards are as follows: 300 meter run: 77 seconds; pushups: 13 (no time limit); vertical jump: 14 inches; 1.5 mile run: 17 minutes, 48 seconds; agility run: 23.5 seconds.”
    That’s a physical fitness test? Where did they get it from? The retirement home? Hahahahaha!
    13 push ups and a 14 inch vertical jump? Hahahahaha!

  • De’Marquise Elkins

    Boomquisha deserves an opportunity to be a cop.

  • Rhialto

    Notice that the Fedgov is using the Federal courts to punish a State for its insufficient Liberalism . It makes me wonder as to what form of government exists in America: Federalist, Nationalist, or confused chaos.

    • Paleoconn

      The form of government is Anarcho-tyranny (credit to the late, great Sam Francis). The so-called benefit of the so-called republic is decentralized powers where the states check the fed powers and vice versa. In reality, the feds have power over the neutered states without any reciprocal power from the states. I have no hope in the high nine, but I could dream that this is appealed and a decision opposite Griggs v. Duke Power, 1971 be made. I’d prefer these disgusting women who do not have what it takes to be cops do not cash in on this.

  • dcc2379

    Nothing to see. No biological basis for race or sex. For that matter, IQ isnt genetic either. Move along (dont tell me the human genome says everything else is genetic; white males should give in to statistics that Holder knows should exist in nature).

  • Alexandra1973

    Personally I think law enforcement and military should be men only. And yeah, I’m a woman.

    • Puggg

      There are plenty of roles and plenty of places for women in LEAs.

      How would we be able to do sting takedowns of johns without women LEOs to pretend to be the prostitutes?

      • Alexandra1973

        You have a point there. Female cops would be useful for searching females, and as matrons or something. But they shouldn’t be expected to get into the really rough stuff.

      • Two of my high school friends got nailed by an undercover cop in Denver that way.

  • Gary John 金白龍

    This fitness test must be for one-legged dwarves with motor control impairment, SURELY?!

    Any corpulent, hamburger-loving, beer-boozing schmuck could pass that.

  • Alexandra1973

    I remember that one guy in Police Academy (I think it was Chief Gaines, can’t remember offhand) that had that speech that every candidate was the right height, the right color, etc….and I find myself agreeing with him now.

    (Interesting how at the end of the movie the mob was predominantly White. Hmph.)

  • According to state police, the current standards are as follows: 300 meter run: 77 seconds; pushups: 13 (no time limit); vertical jump: 14 inches; 1.5 mile run: 17 minutes, 48 seconds; agility run: 23.5 seconds.

    Sounds a lot like a prerequisite to play baseball on select traveling teams for the BGCA when I was ten and eleven years old.

  • Ella

    I could have passed this with flying colors during my 20’s-30’s! How big are these women? If they cannot pass this exam, they should never be hired. A criminal will not say, “Oh, you are a woman so I will go easy on the punch and slam dunk during the robbery, maam.”

    • I might fail the agility test, as I am still uncoordinated down my left side after a mild stroke 8 years ago, but I did push-ups every day the last time I was locked up, and added one more, every day.

      The police who were the most nervous around me were the women. The male cops were much better. Here in Colorado Springs, they tend to run about 6’3″ and 225 pounds. They are physically intimidating, which is deliberate.

  • John R

    13 pushups, no time limit? And that is a bad test for women? Please. Give me a break! I agree that the 1.5 mile run seems a little unreasonable. Who needs to run? Just shoot the fleeing perp. What about pullups? Yeah, I know. Not even a part of the test.

    • Puggg

      “Just shoot the fleeing perp”

      What are you, some kind of nut?

      I have a badge and I don’t even support that.

      If the suspect is running away from you the cop and you have the ability to catch up with him on foot and he’s not shooting back at you and that’s all there is to it, then that’s all you should do, is run after him and catch up to him and tackle him. You don’t just willy nilly shoot people and then leave yourself open to unreasonable force prosecutions from the Feds.

      Civilians give us a lot of the benefit of the doubt but it’s not an infinite well.

  • Puggg

    And be my guest if you want, but as it is in just about all places, prostitution is illegal and its open practice not desired.

  • UncleSham

    Your post does not take into account the fact that a large part of the American citizenry is armed. Police are important, armed citizens are more important.

  • UncleSham

    The logical conclusion is that there can be no physical standards what so ever.

  • MBlanc46

    I’m not sure that the burly Irish Chicago cops I remember from my childhood would have responded much better. I suspect that many of them were very out of shape. Of course, in those days, no Negro who hadn’t completely taken leave of his senses would have dreamed of assaulting a cop. They’re so brazen now, there’s nothing they won’t do,

  • mike smith

    I thought gender, like race, had been reduced to a “social construct”?

  • Canadian Friend

    Depending on your beliefs, either God or evolution made women shorter and weaker than men. If women are not happy about this they can try to sue God or mother nature because it is not men or the patriarchy that has made women shorter and weaker.

    Why should white male be sued for things they did not create, cause or did not want???

    I’m sorry but those women only prove one thing by suing, they show us they are dumb.