Texas -- Today, the Texas Municipal Police Association announces its
strong support for the lawsuit filed by the Department of Public Safety
Officers Association (DPSOA) against the new "vanity" waistline policy instituted by the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Texas Government Code 614.172 requires that state law enforcement
agencies in Texas adopt a mandatory physical fitness program for its
officers, Texas law also requires the standards of such a program to
"directly related to the officer's job duties" and all standards must be
developed with the "services of a consultant".
If an officer is not in compliance with the fitness standards of their agency they may be punished, including termination.
a time when our state and nation is at a crisis point for recruitment
of new officers and retention of our current officers, it is inexcusable
and unconscionable for the Texas Department of Public Safety to be
instituting a policy that risks further losses of highly-qualified,
well-trained officers and further jeopardizes public safety.
Texas Department of Public Safety's new "waistline" requirements (no
larger than forty inches for men and thirty-five inches for women) are
absolutely specious in their relationship to an officer's physical
fitness for duty and were not created through partnership with officers
or a consultant, as required by law.
it has become clear that, in addition to this new policy, the majority
of current fitness standards utilized by DPS have been instituted
without respect for the requirement in state law that they be done with
the services of a consultant.
2006, DPS hired a consultant--Fitness Intervention Technologies--to
study and develop job-related physical fitness standards for
commissioned officers. Quickly thereafter, beginning in 2007, DPS
began modifying these validated, legal standards without proper outside
consultation. This vanity policy being just the latest example.
enforcement officers, like all people, come in all shapes and sizes. A
"one size fits all" approach by DPS is foolish and short-sighted. This
new policy could end the career of officers who pass all other fitness
requirements that actually relate to their job duties and have
immaculate records of service.
TMPA stands with DPSOA and all law enforcement officers affected.