New York, NY – The grossly-understaffed New York Police Department (NYPD) has dramatically relaxed its fitness test requirements in order to push more recruits through the process of becoming sworn officers.
Changes to the six-obstacle “Job Standard Test” include replacing a six-foot wall climb with a chain-link fence and bumping up the testing time limit by nearly a full minute, the New York Post reported.
Sources said that NYPD administrators are even considering nixing its 1.5-mile run requirement altogether.
That task – which was required to be completed in 14 minutes, 21 seconds or less – has long been mandated for recruits to graduate from the law enforcement academy, the New York Post reported.
More than 2,100 NYPD officers have quit or retired from the department so far this year as of July 3, according to the news outlet.
A staggering 5,838 officers have left the agency since 2020, News 12 reported.
The NYPD was hoping to hire 1,009 new officers in the near future, but just 561 graduated from the most recent academy class on July 1, according to the New York Post.
The department had little to say about the dwindling physical requirements for new recruits.
“Our physical fitness requirements in the Police Academy have been reviewed and approved by [the] New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service and the NYPD will continue to abide by any guidelines issued by the state,” the NYPD said in a statement on Tuesday.
One current veteran NYPD officer told the New York Post that “it’s really not hard” to pass the department’s fitness standards test.
“If you can’t pass the basic requirements for being a police officer, you shouldn’t be one,” the disgusted officer said.
Another officer noted that the department was left with few options for filling the openings left by the mass exodus of veteran officers.
“So many people are retiring in droves and they have to fill these positions,” the officer told the New York Post.
But lowering expectations with regards to officers’ physical fitness isn’t the answer, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told News 12.
“There is one clear solution to the NYPD’s staffing crisis, and it is not watering down hiring standards,” Lynch said. “The city needs to pay police officers a competitive market wage in order to recruit and retain the Finest.”