Texas Public Safety Commission Approves Fitness Standards, Setting Stage For Court Fight

Chris Fox
October 11, 2019 - 11:12 am
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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - On Thursday, the three-member panel of the Texas Public Safety Commission unanimously approved the new fitness standards for DPS troopers.

This includes the new requirement that troopers must have waist measurements of no more than 40 inches for male officers and 35 inches for female officers.

The Commission concluded that the new waistline requirements were in line with scientific standards and federal law.

This sets the stage for the DPS Officers Association to move forward with their suit to block the waistline standards from going into place.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association (DPSOA) Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) challenging the department’s new “Command Presence policy” which requires waist measurements of no more than 40 inches for male officers and 35 inches for female officers.

The lawsuit comes after DPS instituted the policy without the aid of a consultant in developing these waistline standards, as state law requires. DPS Troopers who do not meet the new standards for belly size face serious repercussions, including termination, even if they pass all other required parts of the Department’s physical fitness testing and despite their proficiency to do the job.

“Not only is this policy demeaning, it is damaging to our troopers and to our citizens,”says DPSOA President Richard Jankovsky.“Not all physically fit troopers are of the same body type, the same height or the same genetic makeup. Troopers have been subject to fitness standards for more than a decade. The new standards have moved beyond testing for fitness needed to perform one’s duty as an officer into an appearance policy that has little bearing on an officer’s ability to keep Texans safe.”

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by DPSOA in a Travis County District Court, asks the Court to put the policy on hold until its legality can be determined.