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NYPD Lowers the Bar for Recruits, Implements Easier Fitness Test Following Exodus of Officers

Published: July 6, 2022
Recruits walk in the gym at the New York City Police Academy April 6, 2006 in New York City. Facing an exodus of officers the NYPD has relaxed its fitness test requirements in an attempt to boost passing rates. (Image: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Per a report, published by the NY Post on June 5, the New York Police Department (NYPD) will be making the fitness test for new recruits easier in an effort to boost passing rates as the department grapples with a record number of officers leaving the department.

In June, a record 523 police officers announced they would be leaving with 123 of those officers resigning. The June numbers brings the total number of police officers who have left the department in 2022 up to a staggering 2,119 of which 1,472 retired, the New York Post reported. 

The NYPD has reportedly replaced a faux 6-foot wall inside the Police Academy gym with an easier scalable chain-link fence, according to official recruiting videos posted online. 

The move follows a video that made the rounds on social media last year of recruits struggling and failing to scale the wall.

Recruits are required to successfully complete six tasks in order to pass the physical exam known as the “Job Standard Test.” The tasks include a stair climb, barrier surmount, a physical restraint simulation, pursuit run, victim rescue and a “trigger pull.”

In order to boost passing rates, the NYPD has extended its time limit to complete the test by a full minute, up from three minutes and 28 seconds to four minutes 28 seconds. 

One veteran NYPD officer told the NY Post that it’s “really not hard” to pass the fitness test and that “If you can’t pass the basic requirements for being a police officer, you shouldn’t be one.”

The NYPD also appears to have scrapped a rule that required recruits to run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes and 21 seconds in order to graduate from the academy. 

While sources familiar with the matter told the NY Post that the run hasn’t been officially eliminated, NYPD leadership was considering scrapping it with one saying, “So many people are retiring in droves and they have to fill these positions.”

On July 1, just 561 new NYPD officers graduated from the academy, less than half of the 1,009 officers the department says it needs. 

New York City began taking applications for the NYPD written exam on June 8 with a deadline to sign up by July 15. Testing is scheduled to start on Aug. 12. 

Via a prepared statement on Tuesday an NYPD spokesperson said, “Our physical fitness requirements in the Police Academy have been reviewed and approved by [the] New York State Criminal Justice Service and the NYPD will continue to abide by any guidelines issued by the state.”