Police Departments Obliterate Fitness Requirements In Order To Recruit More Women

kali9. Getty Images. A policewoman wearing a reflective vest, standing in front of police cars with emergency lights flashing, holding a flashlight. She is a mature woman in her 40s.
kali9. Getty Images.

Four years ago, the city of Memphis decided to double down on a strategy of affirmative action policing that they had been practicing for decades. 

Officially, the city’s theory was that black police officers are less likely to mistreat suspects, and more likely to do a better job, as compared to white officers. There was never any data to support that theory. If anything, there was a lot of data to suggest the exact opposite. Indeed, Memphis had long been one of the most dangerous cities in the country, despite all the diverse hiring they were doing. But in 2020, Memphis went for it. They reduced their hiring standards even further to attract more black police recruits. And it worked. As expected, more black people did sign up to become Memphis police officers.

The result of this grand experiment, as you might remember, wasn’t exactly what was advertised. Instead of racial harmony, and a utopia where civil liberties were sacrosanct, the residents of Memphis were treated to one of the most brutal police beatings ever recorded on camera. Several black police officers — including officers hired after Memphis implemented its new affirmative action program — took turns pummeling a black man by the name of Tyre Nichols. He died, and the officers were charged with murder. Their “specialized policing unit” called SCORPION was disbanded immediately.

After this debacle, the idea of “diversifying” the police force by lowering standards should have ended forever. It was always a terrible idea, but now everyone could see it. Getting rid of merit in police academies is a lot like introducing DEI to medicine, or the aviation industry. It doesn’t just lead to inefficiency. It results in deaths — very preventable ones.

But somehow this lesson has not been learned. Even in the state of Tennessee, just a few hundred miles north of where Tyre Nichols was beaten to death, efforts to “diversify” policing by reducing standards are underway.

This time around, the stated goal is not to have more black men join the police force. Instead, the objective is to get more women recruits. Watch what’s happening in the city of Nashville:

Before I even get into the elimination of the testing standards, there’s at least two levels of crazy here. The first is that they want the police force to be 30% female by the year 2030. These are two completely arbitrary numbers that no one ever attempts to explain or justify. Nashville is a majority-female city, so why don’t they shoot for a majority-female police force? Why stop at 30%? And by the way, Nashville isn’t an outlier, in terms of the number of female cops on the force. Nationally, roughly 12% of police officers are women. Nashville is at 13%.

So what’s being proposed here is not an effort to correct some statistical abnormality. It’s an effort to create one. And the timeline makes no sense, either. Why is the deadline 2030? Why not sooner, if this is so urgent? Why not later, if none of this really matters? Who knows.

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

But the bigger issue, of course, is that they’re dropping the physical “ability” requirements in order to get more women on the force. In their place are new “agility” requirements. The news report doesn’t explain exactly what the distinction is between “ability” and “agility.” I would have thought that physical agility falls under the umbrella of physical ability, but apparently not.

In that clip, they suggest that the new “agility” standards will help attract women, because they mirror tasks that these women cops will have to do in the field. Read between the lines, and they’re saying the “agility” test is a lot easier than the old test.

They don’t go into too much detail, however, about how much easier this new test is. So I looked into it.

The old test required recruits to complete sit-ups, a 300-meter sprint and a 1.5 mile run. Even those standards weren’t all that demanding. If anything, in a sane world, we’d be talking about raising the standards. But instead we’re going the opposite way. The new test only requires recruits to run for 500 yards, plus 99 yards around some cones. There’s also a couple of wall-climbing tests — including a “chain-link fence climb” and a “solid-wall climb.”

When you hear all that, to be fair, it might sound somewhat challenging, if you aren’t in very good shape. After all, climbing fences and walls isn’t something most people do on a given day. Unfortunately, the Metro Nashville Police Department has uploaded footage of what these tests look like in practice. So here they are. Here is the chain-link fence test, followed by the solid-wall test, which are a part of these new “agility” standards:

So when you hear “chain link fence climb” and “wall climb” your mind immediately conjures images of a tall fence and large wall. At least one taller than a human being. One that actually has to be climbed. What they don’t tell you is that the wall and fence are like three and a half feet high. You don’t have to climb them so much as hop over them. It’s effectively a test to make sure you’re not in a wheelchair. And then there’s no big chase after you’ve jumped over the fence. There’s no secondary fence you have to scale, that would just be ridiculous. As you saw, the female recruit just has to trot ahead for a few feet, and the test is completed. And just in case she somehow slipped and fell over, and knocked herself unconscious while scaling this miniature fence, there’s good news: She can take the test twice, with a two-minute breather in between attempts.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is a physical fitness test my four-year-old daughter could easily pass. It’s like a parody of a physical fitness test. There’s more to it, too. There’s also a section where the recruits have to jog 99 yards around some cones in a parking lot. It’s grueling stuff. Watch:

What criminals are these people catching? We better hope that the only people committing crimes in Nashville are 600 pounds and have no legs. But even then, they could probably roll away fast enough to escape. I mean, did you see how far apart those cones were? It’s honestly looks like they set up the course for a driving test but didn’t move the cones back before the running test started. What you just saw there looks like an obstacle course set up for third graders at recess. “Pathetic” doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

You have just witnessed the maximum level of difficulty that recruits will now encounter in police academies in Nashville. As recently as 2005, things were very different. As WPLN in Nashville reports, applicants in 2005 had to run up and down a flight of stairs. They had to crawl under obstacles. Then they had to fire a revolver six times after they were exhausted. They also had to climb a 6-foot wall. As one sergeant put it, “People couldn’t get over the wall. So, there are people going home and crying. I will never forget that. Crying and distraught over they couldn’t get over — now they don’t have their chance.”

Well, there won’t be anymore crying with the new wall, we can be sure of that. As WPLN reports, “The extreme stunts that police would rarely encounter in real life are gone — especially the ones that often weeded people out. These days, the exercises are meant to ensure everyone has a fair chance at getting into the academy.” Specifically, the outlet notes, the goal is to maximize the number of “women and people of color” who can pass the training.

Before I get into what an absurd and dangerous idea this is, it’s important to point out that it’s not limited to Nashville. All over the country, police departments are understaffed. And they’re turning to women recruits — and lowering their standards — to fix the problem. This is something called the “30×30 initiative.” The objective is to increase the number of women in recruitment classes by 30% by 2030. Again, it’s all completely arbitrary.

More than 200 law enforcement agencies have signed onto this pledge, however, including the U.S. Marshals Service and the New York City Police Department. According to the 30×30 initiative, women are supposedly better cops because they “use less force and less excessive force,” they’re “named in fewer complaints and lawsuits,” and they’re “perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate.” (Apparently, perception is what’s important here; no word on whether these women cops are actually more honest or compassionate.) 

Of course, those other two statistics are very likely to be true, if only because there are far fewer female police officers than there are male police officers. It’s easy to be named in fewer lawsuits, and use force less, when you make up just 10% of the police department. 

But even if these numbers are adjusted on a per-capita basis, which they don’t appear to be, it really doesn’t tell us much — other than that women police officers simply don’t get involved as much in making arrests. You won’t have a use-of-force complaint if you’re biologically incapable of using a significant amount of force. 

Everyone knows that’s true, even though they get extremely angry whenever it’s pointed out. Female police officers, almost without exception, are much less capable of doing their jobs effectively. That’s why they have to lower the standards. There’s any number of clips I could use to demonstrate this point. Here are three.

In the first one, the woman police officer leaves her car in gear, and it nearly runs her over as she barks orders at the suspect. In the second clip, a female officer is overpowered one-on-one by a male suspect. And in the third clip, the woman police officer sits by and does nothing, as a suspect charges her partner:

You can accuse me of cherry-picking if you want, but really, it’s basic biology and human evolution. Women are not as capable, in general, of handling the requirements of police work as well as men can handle them. That doesn’t mean all female police officers are terrible. It doesn’t mean every male cop is better than every female cop. But in aggregate, it means women aren’t as good at the job.

But police departments are having to pretend otherwise, because they’ve demonized all of the male cops. And in fact they’re still demonizing these cops, even after they’re mostly gone. Here’s how the Washington Post puts it: “Amid new standards of accountability and awakened mistrust in their communities, especially after the reckoning that followed George Floyd’s 2020 death under the knee of a Minneapolis policeman, there has been an exodus of seasoned officers.” In other words, all these cops aren’t leaving because Left-wing governments slashed their budgets, or allowed mobs to torch their police stations, or called them racists every day for four years. No, these cops are fleeing because they don’t want to be held accountable, apparently. That’s why recruiting numbers are down by 90% in some major cities.

Unless that messaging changes — until a major political party and all of the corporate media stop attacking police officers — the problem will continue to get worse. Even if somehow, magically, a bunch of women appear out of nowhere, eager to become cops, the problem still won’t be solved. Sure, there won’t be manpower issues anymore. But law enforcement agencies that go out of their way to recruit women don’t tend to be terribly successful. 

Take the FBI, for example. They’ve had reduced physical fitness standards for women for years. A decade ago, a male special agent failed the fitness test by one pushup. He sued, because women applicants only have to complete half that number of pushups. The result? A federal appeals court upheld the lax standards for women, even though they make no sense whatsoever. What’s been the result, practically speaking? Has the FBI transformed into a highly functional law enforcement agency over the past decade? Of course not. They send SWAT teams after protesters at abortion clinics, and elderly Trump supporters who write mean things on the internet.


Remember the elderly man in Utah who threatened Joe Biden on Facebook? This is the guy the FBI could have arrested at the supermarket, but instead they shot him in front of his home at the crack of dawn. The head of the field office that handled that “arrest” is a woman specializing in “counter-terrorism.” And she has all sorts of news articles written about what a pathbreaking success story she is. The fact her office deliberately chose to provoke and gun down an elderly man is besides the point. She’s a woman.

The point of this is not to demonize women, of course. The point is that it’s always a bad idea to deliberately and artificially feminize any institution. With policing it’s particularly suicidal. If anything, a sane society would be having a conversation about how to decrease the number of women cops. Which is to say, we’d be having a conversation about how to get more physically fit men involved in policing. We wouldn’t be lowering standards and then throwing women into dangerous situations they’re not prepared for. That’s what a society does if it despises women. And despises itself. Unfortunately, as you may have noticed by now, that’s exactly what we have.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Police Departments Obliterate Fitness Requirements In Order To Recruit More Women