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  • I've been a police officer in an urban city

  • for nearly 25 years.

  • That's crazy, right?

  • And in that time, I've served in every rank,

  • from police officer to police chief.

  • A few years ago, I noticed something alarming.

  • Starting in 2014,

  • I started monitoring recruits

  • as they cycled through police academies in the state of New Jersey,

  • and I found that women were failing at rates between 65 and 80 percent,

  • due to varying aspects of the physical fitness test.

  • I learned that a change in policy

  • now required recruits to pass the fitness exam

  • within 10 short workout sessions.

  • This had the greatest impact on women.

  • The change meant that recruits had about three weeks

  • out of a five-month-long academy

  • to pass the fitness exam.

  • This just didn't make sense, though.

  • Police agencies and police recruits

  • had made huge investments to get those recruits into the academy.

  • Police recruits had passed lengthy background checks,

  • they had passed medical and psychological exams,

  • they had quit their jobs.

  • And many had spent more than 2,000 dollars in fees and equipment

  • just to get kicked out within the first three weeks?

  • The dire situation in New Jersey

  • led me to examine the status of women in policing

  • across the United States.

  • I found that women make up less than 13 percent of police officers.

  • A number that hasn't changed much in the past 20 years.

  • And they make up just three percent of police chiefs as of 2013,

  • the last time the data was collected.

  • We know that we can improve those rates.

  • Other countries like Canada, Australia and the UK

  • have nearly twice the amount of policewomen.

  • And New Zealand is steadily marching towards their goal

  • of recruit gender parity by 2021.

  • Other countries are actively working

  • to increase the number of women in policing,

  • because they know of a vast body of research evidence,

  • spanning more than 50 years,

  • detailing the advantages to women in policing.

  • From that research,

  • we know that policewomen are less likely to use force

  • or to be accused of excessive force.

  • We know that policewomen are less likely to be named in a lawsuit

  • or a citizen complaint.

  • We know that the mere presence of a policewoman

  • reduces the use of force among other officers.

  • And we know that policewomen are met with the same rates of force

  • as their male counterparts, and sometimes more,

  • and yet they're more successful

  • in defusing violent or aggressive behavior overall.

  • So there are vast advantages to women in policing,

  • and we're losing them to arbitrary fitness standards.

  • The problem is,

  • the United States has nearly 18,000 police agencies --

  • 18,000 agencies with wildly varying fitness standards.

  • We know that a majority of academies rely on a masculine ideal of policing

  • that works to decrease the number of women in policing.

  • These types of academies overemphasize physical strength,

  • with much less attention spent to subjects like community policing,

  • problem-solving

  • and interpersonal communication skills.

  • This results in training that does not mirror the realities of policing.

  • Physical agility is but a small component of police work.

  • Much of an officer's day is spent mediating interpersonal conflicts.

  • That's the reality of policing.

  • These are my babies.

  • And we can reduce the disparity in policing

  • by changing exams that produce disparate outcomes.

  • The federal courts have stated that men and women

  • simply are not physiologically the same

  • for the purposes of physical fitness programs.

  • And that's based on science.

  • Respected institutions that law enforcement deeply respects,

  • like the FBI, the US Marshals Service,

  • the DEA and even the US military --

  • they rigorously test fitness programs to ensure they measure fitness

  • without gender-disparate outcomes.

  • Why is that?

  • Because recruiting is expensive.

  • They want to recruit and retain qualified candidates.

  • You know what else the research finds?

  • Well-trained women are as capable as their male counterparts

  • in overall fitness,

  • but more importantly, in how they police.

  • The law-enforcement community

  • is admittedly experiencing a recruitment crisis.

  • Yet, if they truly want to increase the number of applicants, they can.

  • We can easily recruit more women

  • and reap all those research benefits

  • by training well-qualified candidates to pass validated, work-related,

  • physiologically-based fitness exams,

  • as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

  • We can increase the number of women,

  • we can reduce that gender disparity,

  • by simply changing exams that produce disparate outcomes.

  • We have the tools.

  • We have the research, we have the science, we have the law.

  • This, my friends, should be a very easy fix.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I've been a police officer in an urban city

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B1 US TED policing fitness police recruit research

【TED】Ivonne Roman: How policewomen make communities safer (How policewomen make communities safer | Ivonne Roman)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/09/09
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