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NYPD scraps timed 1.5-mile run to help women join

(Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/TNS)
March 09, 2023

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has once again announced it is lowering physical standards for new recruits by removing the timed 1.5-mile run. The NYPD’s head of training said the change will help more women make the cut.

According to the New York Post, scrapping the physical standard ignited an intra-agency conflict between Training Chief Juanita Holmes and NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, which Mayor Eric Adams had to step in and resolve.  

Commissioner Sewell was not a fan of the change, and a high-ranking police source stated, “The [police commissioner] is in favor of the run. She didn’t agree with this.” 

Holmes said that the run isn’t necessary to be a cop, stating, “No cop on patrol runs a mile and a half.”

“No one’s chasing anyone a mile and a half,” she added. “Not to mention every day in the gym you’re doing a mile and a half [as part of training].” 

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Like Sewell, many rank-and-file police officers were against the decision, including one veteran Brooklyn officer who called the move “embarrassing.”

“You can probably just about walk it,” the officer added. “I mean, a mile-and-a-half in 14 minutes? It’s a brisk walk … Listen, the standards have been lowered for years. Shame on them for not trying to push people.” 

City Councilman Robert Holden also expressed his disagreement with canceling the run, saying, “I don’t get it.”

“I think there’s more women that are fit than men! I’ve seen cops that are not fit and they can’t run more than one block — they are at a distinct disadvantage if they’re not fit,” he added. “If women can’t do it in 14 minutes, make it 15. You can change it. You’re gonna get the B-team if you start lowering standards.” 

The change comes after the NYPD relaxed physical standards for new recruits in July last year amidst a record wave of retirements from the force, the Post reported.