Home » Opinion » Editorials
Officer fitness: Adopt one high standard
Part-time Barnstead Police Officer Dave Scott is suing the state over what he says are discriminatory physical fitness standards for police officers. He has a point. Unfortunately, his lawsuit could make the standards fairer while endangering the public.
As the Concord Monitor reported, Scott, 54, ran 1.5 miles in 14 minutes and 44 seconds, a mere 11 seconds short of the required time for a man in his 50s. That failure was entirely his own fault, Scott confided to the Monitor.
"I'm ashamed to admit it. But I think it was like 10 chances. My fault. Shame on me. I didn't maintain the regimen. (But) every time I took that test, if I were using the female standards, I would have passed."
Indeed, women in their 50s can pass by completing the run in 17 minutes, 59 seconds. On every test (running, push-ups, sit-ups, bench press), women can pass with lower scores than men. And the standards drop as a would-be officer's age rises. An 18-29-year-old male has to do 33 push-ups (a paltry number), 40 sit-ups and bench press 106 percent of his body weight. A woman of the same age has to do 18 push-ups, 30 sit-ups and bench press 65 percent of her body weight. A man in his 40s has to do only 21 push-ups, 31 sit-ups and bench press 85 percent of his body weight.
These are standards designed to put diversity above public safety. That should never happen.
The whole point of having phyiscal fitness standards for police officers (and firefighters) is to ensure that they can meet the strenuous physical demands of the job. Lowering those standards based on sex and age is a disservice to the public - and to the officers.
If Scott's suit results in a single standard for all officers, what are the odds that the standard will be high? The current ones are hardly tough to begin with. Most likely, the state would come up with a single, lower standard. That would be worse. But public officials often do unwise things in the name of diversity.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Religion calendar for NH, beginning Aug. 21 - 0
- St. Luke parish in Plaistow to hold yard sale - 0
- Manchester educator explores history of anti-semitism and the Holocaust - 0
- Hope Chapel Nashua plans a little fun on Saturday - 0
- Haitian choir sings in Hollis on Sunday - 0
- Religion Calender for the Weeks of Aug. 3 and 10 - 0
- St. James church celebrates Jonathan Daniels’ 75th birthday - 0
- Fox interview with Ibrahim delayed - 0
- Meriam Ibrahim welcomed to NH; family says U.S. is offering asylum - 11
READER COMMENTS: 1
- NH Fisher Cats slam way to win over Trenton - 0
- Officials hire principal for Golden Brook school - 0
- Seniors help students start year on the right foot, with the write stuff - 0
- Derry councilors select semi-finalists for town admin job - 0
- Plaistow begins search for new police chief - 0
- Without an exemption, Goffstown resident must pay high taxes on solar energy panels - 1
- Upcoming selectmen's meeting stirring controversy among Bow's firefighters - 1
- Manchester police to hold ‘Coffee with a Cop’ event - 0
- Manchester police officer finds gun in cyclist’s backpack - 2
Derry to NH: Take Exit 4A
Editorial: Garcia gains Lambert lies
ISIS beheads NH journalist