Federal Government Suing State Police For Discrimination

GIBSON — The Pennsylvania State Police are firing back at the federal government the day after the U.S. Department of Justice sued the state, claiming discrimination against women who want to be troopers here.

The feds claim the physical fitness requirements for cadets at the state police academy are too tough for women.

The head of the Pennsylvania State Police said on Wednesday that the test is fair and necessary.

The U.S. Department of Justice says graduating classes from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy should have more women and the feds blame physical standards for cadets for keeping more of those women from becoming troopers.

Now, the U.S. government is suing the state police to get the physical requirements dropped.

“We will not be bullied by the Department of Justice or anyone else into changing our standards,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan.

These are the five standards all state police cadets must pass:

  • 300-meter run in 77 seconds,
  • 13 pushups,
  • 14-inch vertical jump,
  • 1.5 mile run in 17 minutes 48 seconds,
  • agility run in 23.5 seconds

 

“98 percent of the men who take the test pass the physical readiness test to become a trooper. 72 percent of the women pass the test to become a PA state trooper. Those numbers prove this is not an impossible task. We’re not looking for Olympic athletes,” Commissioner Noonan said.

Much of Susquehanna County is covered by the state police out of their Gibson barracks. We talked to women in the county about the lawsuit and what they think of the same standards for male and female troopers.

“I don’t think they should have different standards. I think a woman can do just as much as a man can,” said Doreen Wood of Great Bend. “If they can’t, I shouldn’t say this, but they’re SOL.”

Some of the women said people relying on state police protection count on their physical abilities, and so do fellow troopers.

“So if there is a physical requirement that is part of the job, being able to do a certain task, then I don’t know that making it easier for one person or another person makes everyone safe,” said Sandy Raub of New Milford.

“If I could go in, I’d go in, but I don’t think I’d pass the test because I’m a little up there in age,” said Joanne Harvey of Susquehanna.

But she doesn’t think the state police standards should change.

“It should be the same, everything should be equal.”

The U.S. Department of Justice wants the physical readiness test to be stopped and the lawsuit asks that the state offer employment with seniority and provide back pay with interest for women who failed the test and could be troopers.

 

55 comments

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    “We will not be bullied by the Department of Justice or anyone else into changing our standards,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan.

    What an excellent response!!

  • JP

    “98 percent of the men who take the test pass the physical readiness test to become a trooper. 72 percent of the women pass the test to become a PA state trooper. Those numbers prove this is not an impossible task. We’re not looking for Olympic athletes,” Commissioner Noonan said.

    How is this discriminatory if 72% percent of women pass test? If it was only 5% then maybe, but I wouldn’t want someone that can’t do the job required of them protecting my family. Most of the cops I know take the job seriously, and do things such as running, walking, and strength training. I would suspect alot of cops do this and for the main reason it may save their own life, not to mention yours. Doing all that extensive training requires a high calorie intake, might explain the donut eating. Just teasing, my hat off to all those who put themselves in harms way to protect our familes!!

  • monster_k9

    The next thing the federal government will be doing is suing PSP for requiring the same firearm and academic requirements for minorities and women. The standards are already ridiculously low to allow people to get in. They are all doing the same job when they get out of the academy, they should have the same requirements.

  • mdog

    Posted on June 26, 2014
    Our troops must adhere to the sharia during the Islamic month of Ramadan in Bahrain and other Muslim countries. Subjected to dawah (proselytizing) by an a base Islamic cultural adviser at the Naval Support Activity, soldiers are forced to sit through lessons on Islam. No eating, drinking, alcohol, smoking during the month of Ramadan.
    This is what the Obama administration and the US military are obsessed with as armies of jihad tear through the Middle East.

    Military newspaper Stars and Stripes reports:
    “It actually made me want to do a lot more research into the religion,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Ramirez.
    Really? How about equal time for the Jewish faith? The Christian faith? The Hindu faith?
    US military are encouraged “to experience Iftar in a Ramadan tent.”
    Why anyone who is not a Muslim must stop eating (except in secret) during Ramadan is another example of how Islamic supremacism. Sharia asserts it’s totalitarian authority over non-Muslims.
    During the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Jews fast from sun up to sundown. Nowhere and at no time has the idea of no one else eating been considered. Nor should it.
    The idea that our service men and women can’t have a coffee on their drive to work is outrageous and indicative of how far the West has gone in the norming of the sharia. Muslims eat a giant meal before sun-up but our boys and girls can’t have a coffee while we defend these countries in many cases? Supremacism and submission.
    And it doesn’t stop there. Our soldiers (men and women) must wear long sleeve shirts. No alcohol or smoking is permitted and if all this wasn’t pathetic enough, soldiers are instructed to say “Ramadan Kareem.”
    Stay on top of what’s really happening. Follow me on Twitter here. Like me on Facebook here.
    US personnel in Bahrain prepare for Ramadan
    By Hendrick Simoes
    Stars and Stripes
    Published: June 26, 2014 (thanks to witness)
    Ali Hassan, a base cultural adviser at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, briefs about 150 U.S. personnel about Islam, the Islamic lunar calender, and about customs and traditions during Ramadan, Tuesday.
    MANAMA, Bahrain — U.S. personnel accustomed to drinking their coffee on the drive to work will have to put that habit on hold for about a month. It’s one of a few lifestyle changes Americans will have to make during the holy month of Ramadan.
    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Officials expect Ramadan to begin at sunrise on Saturday, depending on when the new moon is sighted. The holy month lasts for approximately 30 days — until about July 28. For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a month of fasting and devotion to God. Most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, when families gather for Iftar — the meal that breaks the fast.
    For the 8,200 U.S. personnel living here, and those serving throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility — including service members, civilian personnel, contractors and family members — the month may require changing some daily routines.
    Businesses and government offices will reduce hours and most restaurants will be closed during daylight hours.
    While not required to fast during Ramadan, in Bahrain, Americans can be fined or detained by local authorities for eating, drinking or smoking in public when off-base during daylight hours.
    Navy officials are requiring U.S. personnel to dress more conservatively off-base during Ramadan. Although not a requirement by Bahraini authorities, the Navy is demanding that men wear long-sleeved shirts and women wear sleeved blouses that cover their elbows. Also, men must wear long trousers, and women should wear pants or skirts that cover the knees.
    Base cultural advisers have spent the last few weeks conducting Ramadan briefs to educate Americans about the holy month. Ali Hassan briefed about 150 personnel Tuesday about Islam, the lunar calendar and customs and traditions during Ramadan.
    “It actually made me want to do a lot more research into the religion,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Ramirez. He said the additional requirements during the month aren’t a big deal to him. “For such a small period of time, it’s a small sacrifice,” he said.
    Other service members echoed that sentiment.
    Hassan encouraged personnel to experience Iftar in a Ramadan tent, many of which are set up at various locations around Bahrain during the holy month and welcome non-Muslims.
    “Make it a point to visit these tents while you’re here. You don’t know if you’ll ever come back to Bahrain in the future,” Hassan said during the brief.
    While the tents offer a more traditional atmosphere, many restaurants put aside their regular menus during the month and serve special Iftar dinners.
    Things to Know During Ramadan:
    Eating, drinking, chewing and smoking in public are civil offenses in some Islamic countries.
    Men should wear long sleeves and pants. Women’s sleeves should extend below the elbow and pants or skirts should cover the knees.
    Avoid critical remarks about fasting or any religious practice.
    Most restaurants will be closed except those in 4- and 5-star hotels.
    Businesses alter and reduce hours during the day; some open at night until early morning hours.
    Arabs are good hosts and may offer you food or refreshments during daylight hours. Such offers should be declined.
    All consumption of alcohol by U.S. military personnel is prohibited at any off base public venue in the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility during Ramadan.
    It’s customary to say ‘Ramadan Kareem’ during Ramadan.

      • mdog

        Isn’t this forcing religious classes on our troops? What’s next? I would not recommend this new military harassment to any one considering joining the military….US military personnel forced to submit to the sharia during Ramadan

  • Josh

    The Fed govt has harder standards for both male and female paper pushers in the Military, which requires mandatory retesting every 6 months. But, they want the PSP to drop their already weak physical standards for Troopers? Riight..

  • charlene

    PSP stand your ground and keep your standards. If they can’t pass for PSP hopefully they don’t try and join the military.

  • K

    This is the stupidest thing ever. Or fed gov’t is actually gonna sue our police force for hiring people who can do the job vs people who can’t. They have nothing better to do up on capitol hill? This administration has got sht for brains.

  • Zack Forester

    Men and women are not the same. Forcing women to adhere to the same physical standards as men is discrimination because it means that the women have to be in better shape than their male counterparts to pass the test. Anyone with half a brain should be able to understand that.

    • Josh

      Anyone with half a brain would know that they aren’t making woman meet “male standards”. They are making woman (and men) meet job standards.

      • Zack Forester

        If the job standards are numerically equivalent for both men and women, then the physical requirements are higher for women than they are for men. It’s extremely simple to understand.

    • Elizabeth

      Well Zack if you are concerned about the women trying out for the PSP then let’s do it this way. Let’s put a healthy woman up against a State Police officer who has been on the force for ehhhh 5 or 10 years and has gained about 200 pounds since he has been a State Police Officer…. let’s let her compete against him. Whoever wins, gets the job and if he can’t pass, he goes home…for good!

  • liz

    I was in police academy for act 120 when I was 51 years old and we had to run a 1.5 mile in 18 mins.it was not a problem.women can do as well as men! Just saying…thanks for listening

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    It’s nice to see natives getting defensive when the absurdity strikes close to home.

  • Kodaly

    Give me a break! PT standards are too tough for graduation? As a musician, I would’ve like those standards for week 2-3 of Army basic. LMAO

  • Mad In Hazleton

    This is totally totally stupid..The Obama admin has nothing better to do for it’s justice department to do..We have the IRS scandal why not investigate that? we have hundreds of thousands of Illegal Aliens flooding the USA. what does holder do look the other way…the obama admin is despicable…..you the American tax payers are footing the bill for these Illegal Aliens….Now we have an election for Gov here in our state the unions are putting up false ads about Corbett…Corbet did not cut funding to k12 and down education Corbett actually increased it this year…but I suppose you foolish people will vote for the Wolfe in sheep’s clothing…..
    Their is nothing wrong with these physical fitness requirements for both men and women, god forbid a women state cop has to carry a victim…gee we ran 1.5 miles in 15 minutes for our test…I can see women doing the girly type push ups, but for the obama admin to call it blatant discrimination is ludicrous.

  • Marsha

    The US government has no room to talk. The are the worst at discrimination. Can you join the military if you are over a certain age, over or under a certain weight or too short. You can’t work in a Federal Prison if you are over a certain age, but you can a PA state prison. They need to look at themselves before saying anything about discrimation!

    • rocco

      well all anybody has to do is look at the marine corps physical fitness test.It’ s way more harder on woman then the psp! They are going after the state police unreal that is a requirement they have .There is a reason for it . Sounds like to me someone couldn’t pass the requirements now there complaining.Do you really want someone who can’t pass the requirement have to fight someone who maybe trying to hurt you and they disarm the state trooper and it is just them fighting it happens all the time.You have to be mentally strong as well as physicaly strong to handle these type of situations.Our society is becoming increasingly more violent!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    If you can’t meet the minimum requirements of the Physical Readiness Testing, you shouldn’t even consider stepping foot inside the PSP Academy, regardless of your gender. Period. The entry-level standards are a joke compared to what you’ll face at Hershey.

  • shosts

    marine corps standard is 3 mile run in 28 minutes higher score for less time and this is for ages17 to 26 women 31 minutes …… no push up but pull ups minimum of 3 and the more you do the higher score situps min 50 but more you do higher score. most guys did the run in less then 20 minutes 6 pull ups minuimum of 80 situps… no wonder the state police want inactive marines to join the PSP

  • Kyle Kraemer

    Their fitness requirements are laughable to begin with. You can almost walk an 18 minute 1.5 mile. Let’s make it easier though. The country we live in…. It’s a sad joke anymore.

    • Todd Reeder

      Walk a mile a mile and a half in 18 minutes? The average walking speed is 3.1 mph. That’s .775 miles in 15 minutes walking. It would take about 15 minutes to jog a mile.

  • Anonymous

    our justice department cant even protect our own military and here they are worried about the PSP!! this is ridiculous.i don’t want any wussy cops protecting me.If you cant handle the physical part of being a trooper,then you shouldn’t be one.goes for both men and women.its just like the military.The PSP better not back down to this lying,corrupt government we have.You got more important problems like the Benghazi scandal that you should be dealing with and not our cops!!

    • Todd Reeder

      I say they should take the test yearly. And not just state police. Local police should be able to pass a test. There are many very over weight state and local officers.

  • Dorene Tomchick

    The requirements should be the same. If I need a trooper at my house then I need someone that can physically do the job, if they can’t pass the test then they should not be a trooper!!

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