New York City police officers are not required to take physical fitness tests, raising concerns that many on the thin blue line aren’t in the “finest” shape to protect the public.
Observers said fit cops are less likely to fire their guns in a chase. Further, the lack of fitness standards may bloat pension and disability costs, some contend.
City firefighters must undergo almost yearly physical exams, as do police in several other departments nationwide. And many NYPD officers concede that fitness tests are necessary.
NYPD officials would not comment, but law enforcement experts said fiscal constraints, the logistics of testing a 35,000-strong force, and discrimination concerns deter mandatory testing. Other city officials and former cops defended the status quo.