I was training chief for NYPD — we all lose if cop standards are lowered
Wilbur Chapman had a storied, 35-year career with the NYPD, serving as Chief of Patrol and later Deputy Commissioner of Training. It was in that latter job that he saw the importance of the physical fitness tests that new recruits must pass. Now current training chief Juanita Holmes is eliminating one of the requirements: a 1.5-mile run that prospective officers must complete in less than 14 minutes and 21 seconds, a move opposed by NYPD Commissioner Keith Sewell. . Chapman explains to the Post why this is a mistake:
The challenge for the NYPD is to provide public safety to a complex and fragmented city. To accomplish that mission, operational efficiency is essential.
The training offered by the Police Academy is the most comprehensive in the state. It turns entry-level recruits into city guards.
It is a privilege and an honor – not a civil right. The training is rigorous and requires dedication.
The people of New York City deserve nothing less than the best the department has to offer.
Part of that training is physical fitness. Graduates of the NYPD Police Academy must be in the best physical shape of their lives, and be able to handle a variety of assignments.
Removing eligible races from academy curricula, however well-intentioned, is wrong and dangerous to both the public and police officers.
Officers who are not in good physical condition are more likely to be injured and unable to protect the public, use excessive amounts of sick days, and retire early due to the physical demands of police work. There is a possibility.
The Commissioner of Police is quite right in his position not to compromise with civil standards. You don’t get diversity with lower standards, you get people who can be a liability.
Academy recruits were traditionally offered tuition if they were falling behind academically or in physical training school.
Those who would not qualify even with additional dedicated resources should not be allowed to graduate.
Previous recruitment campaigns have shown that diversity can be achieved by raising standards rather than compromising them.
The NYPD, as well as other departments, must do a better job of identifying qualified applicants and ensuring they go through the process while maintaining high standards.
The idea that relaxing standards will allow more women into the department is a very problematic theory.
Women have come a long way since the days of separate policewomen’s bureaus in the 1960s and we certainly don’t want to revert to that practice.
But this is not the way to improve diversity.
Not everyone is made a member of the NYPD. If you want it and study hard and train properly, you will become a member of the best law enforcement agency in the country.
The department’s tradition, and the people of the city, deserve nothing less than New York’s Finest.