The Importance Of Physical Fitness Test On Women

1817 Words 8 Pages
Physical fitness tests. Most law enforcement agencies require applicants to complete a physical fitness test as part of the application process. In a study conducted by Lonsway (2003), 67% to 80% of city police departments and 84% to 91% of state police agencies utilize a physical fitness test for applicants. In the same study conducted by Lonsway (2003), a survey from 62 agencies revealed that the most common exercises used in the testing process were running, a dummy drag, solid wall climb, sit-ups, push-ups, and a flexibility test. The use of physical fitness tests disproportionately affects women compared to men based on failure rates (Lonsway, 2003; Schuck, 2014). This leads to a smaller proportion of women being qualified for the open …show more content…
Women have the ability to calm a potentially violent or hostile situation due to feminine traits (Norvell et al., 1993; Rabe-Hemp, 2008, Rabe-Hemp & Schuck, 2007). Female officers utilize different skills than their male counterparts, such as, empathy, communication, and a nurturing or helping point of view to their job (Garcia, 2003; Rabe-Hemp, 2008; Seklecki & Paynich, 2007). It is believed that women have superior communication skills compared to men (Rabe-Hemp, 2008). These skills lead to women being better suited to comfort victims, especially juveniles, and women. Female officers are focused on a service-oriented style of policing which they achieve through their communication skills and helping behaviors to citizens (Rabe-Hemp, 2008). Women in law enforcement have a preference for community-oriented policing, and are more forgiving in their view of citizens (Garcia, 2003; Lonsway, 2003; Schuck, 2014). Being committed to this type of policing creates a demand for more female officers in order to match the demographics of the community the department serves in order to promote equality, and reduce the chance of sexual discrimination, and harassment (Garcia, 2003; Schuck, 2014). Women usually have a less threatening demeanor and for this reason are less likely to be exposed to violence, and citizen complaints (Norvell et al., 1993, Rabe-Hemp & Schuck, …show more content…
The departments that had the highest levels of female representation; focus on community-oriented policing, have more incentives, no physical fitness tests, are more diverse, have higher education requirements, belong to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and those who serve large and diverse areas (Schuck, 2014). Garcia (2003) states that current, official police work was characterized as being women’s work before 1970, such as domestic violence. One secret kept by the law enforcement community is the 80-20. This shows that 80% of officer’s time on duty is spent responding to domestic violence and traffic calls, which are considered to be social work type calls. The other 20% of their time is actually spent fighting crime, for example narcotics cases, or kidnapping. Agencies often keep this secret and teach prospective employees the opposite to make law enforcement sound more exciting (Garcia, 2003). Many different studies have shown that women are as capable as male officers regarding the performance in law enforcement (Garcia, 2003; Lonsway, 2003; Norvell et al., 1993). It is also found that the calls for backup do not differ significantly between males and females (Norvell et al., 1993). In a study administered to female officers regarding their abilities compared to male officers, women felt they exceeded in applying reason and using interpersonal skills (Seklecki & Paynich, 2007). The majority of women

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