A US police force has been accused of lowering its fitness standards to recruit more women after footage of its revamped “agility test” went viral online.

Tennessee’s Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) joined in 2021 30X30 Initiativewhich sets the goal for US police departments to increase the proportion of women to 30 percent by 2030.

A report from Local last week news channel WSMV 4 outlined steps the department took to reach that goal after the number of female officers increased from 11 percent last year to 13 percent in February of this year.

“I think we’re definitely growing. “So if we can keep that momentum going, I think it’s definitely achievable,” said Commander Tiffany Gibson, the MNPD’s first female training director the drain.

“We still have some time and we’re just going to keep working hard to make sure we get to that goal, at least very close to it.”

Ms Gibson said one of the biggest changes the department had made to attract recruits, particularly women, was replacing physical “skills tests” with “agility tests” designed to reflect field tasks.

MNPD has also added nursing rooms for nursing mothers and more flexible schedules to attract more recruits. This is in addition to the existing paid maternity and sick leave.

“We’re trying to get started and potentially sponsor our own child care facility. I think that would be really helpful for women,” Ms. Gibson added.

MNPD trainee Kaitlyn Dalena told the station: “It’s a male-dominated profession. So women are afraid to take this step, maybe because they think they are not capable of it, but you can do it if you have the right attitude.”

But the footage from MNPD’s new physical test has been criticized Daily Wire host Matt Walsh.

A video from the department showed a woman demonstrating various elements of the test, including “climbing a chain-link fence,” “climbing a solid wall,” “99-yard agility run” and “rescue simulation.”

“It looks like an obstacle course set up for third graders at recess,” the conservative commentator wrote on X.

“My four-year-old daughter was able to pass this test. As a resident of Nashville, I can only hope that the only people who commit crimes in this city weigh 600 pounds and have no legs. But even then, they could probably roll away fast enough to escape.”

He added: “Do you think this woman would be able to ambush and incapacitate any male suspect who was remotely in good physical condition?”

Tesla and X owners Elon Musk also spoke up. “Physical fitness tests have also been lowered for the military,” he wrote.

I’ll keep talking his podcastWalsh said the old “skills test” required police recruits to complete sit-ups, a 300-meter sprint and a 1.5-mile run.

“Even those standards weren’t too demanding,” he said.

“If anything, in a healthy world we would be talking about raising those standards. But instead we go in the opposite direction.”

Walsh said that while some people might hear “climbing a chain-link fence” and “climbing a solid wall” and think it sounds “a little challenging,” “what they don’t tell you is that the wall and the fence are like three and a half.” are “half a foot high”.

“You don’t have to climb them, so much as jump over them,” he said.

“It’s basically a test to make sure you’re not in a wheelchair. It’s like a parody of a fitness test.”

Walsh argued that “30 percent by 2030” were “two completely arbitrary numbers that no one ever tries to explain or justify,” even though more than 200 U.S. law enforcement agencies had signed the pledge.

“According to the 30X30 Initiative, women are said to be better police officers because they ‘use less force and less excessive force, are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits, and are perceived by communities as more honest and compassionate,'” he said.

However, Walsh claimed that “female officers, almost without exception, are much less able to do their jobs effectively,” before playing several video clips of officers attempting to arrest suspects.

“The point here is not, of course, to demonize women, but rather that it has always been a bad idea to deliberately and artificially feminize institutions – in police work it is particularly suicidal,” he said.

He suggested that “if anything, a sensible society would talk about how to reduce the number of female police officers, that is, we would talk about how to get more physically fit men into policing.”

“We wouldn’t lower standards and then put women in dangerous situations for which they are unprepared,” he said.

“That’s what a society does when it despises women.”

Not everyone agreed with Walsh’s comments.

“As a police officer, I never did 1.5-mile runs in car chases, or did pull-ups, or took breaks to do push-ups,” one X user wrote.

“I did agility moves like they do here. Climbing fences, finding cover, engaging in foot chases, etc. I’m actually in favor of making these changes to create a more practical testing process for who can do these things. Some people can run five miles, but they can’t drag a body if they have to.”

Another agreed: “Exactly. Most police agility/strength tests are useless and outdated. I’ve been on the job for over 20 years and I don’t know anyone who would chase someone a mile and a half on foot.”

A third woman said: “At least she is there and will do the work. Police forces are searching for bodies across the United States. So where are all the men who could do it better?”

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