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NYPD relaxes fitness requirements for new recruits, again — drops 1.5-mile timed run

  The New York Police Department's head of training revealed that the department has again relaxed its fitness requirements for recruits...

 The New York Police Department's head of training revealed that the department has again relaxed its fitness requirements for recruits by doing away with the 1.5-mile timed run.

Training Chief Juanita Holmes told the New York Post that scrapping the timed run will help qualify more female applicants.

Holmes claimed the timed run is unnecessary to be a police officer, only holding women back from qualifying for the job.

"No cop on patrol runs a mile and a half," she told the Post. "No one's chasing anyone a mile and a half. Not to mention every day in the gym you're doing a mile and a half [as part of training]."

While Holmes supported lowering the fitness standards, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell did not, igniting a battle within the agency.

According to a police source, Sewell was "in favor of the run" and disagreed with the decision to remove it, which was approved by the state.

With the timed run scrapped, the only physical fitness recruitment for recruits is the Job Standard Test, which is a multi-step course involving several stations, including the barrier surmount, stair climb, physical restraint, pursuit run, victim rescue, and trigger pull, according to a recruiting video posted on the department's YouTube channel.

In summer 2022, the department dropped the recruits' fitness requirement by replacing the 6-foot wall used during the barrier surmount with a chain-link fence, which is easier to climb.

To increase the number of eligible recruits, the NYPD extended the time limit of the Job Standard Test last year from three minutes and 28 seconds to four minutes and 28 seconds.

The NYPD has struggled to hire new recruits to replace a record wave of retirements last year.

"To date, the NYPD is in compliance with the physical fitness standards set by the [state's Municipal Police Training Council]," the department said. "The requirements to complete the daily physical training and tactics of our Police Academy, including running nearly every day, remains unchanged."

A veteran Brooklyn officer called the lowered standards "embarrassing," considering most NYPD hopefuls are in their early 20s.

"You can probably just about walk it," the officer told the Post. "I mean, a mile-and-a-half in 14 minutes? It's a brisk walk … Listen, the standards have been lowered for years. Shame on them for not trying to push people."

Eugene O'Donnell, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD cop, pointed blame at the defund police movement.

"They're the ones that did this, and they're the ones who are going to have to live with the consequences of a department where the utterly unfit are all that's left in the pool," O'Donnell said.

He stated that the decision to lower the requirements was "driven by sheer desperation" that will negatively impact public safety.

According to Holmes, on Monday, the NYPD graduated 42 recruits who had previously failed the timed run.

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