Texas DPS Union Sues After Agency Implements Maximum Waist Size Policy

The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association said that the waistline requirement is discriminatory.

Austin, TX – The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association (DPSOA) has filed a lawsuit alleging that the department has discriminated against troopers by implementing waistline measurements as part of its physical fitness assessments.

The lawsuit was filed in Travis County District Court on Wednesday, The Dallas Morning News reported.

According to the union, troopers who exceed the Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) waistline requirements face potential termination from the force, even if they pass all other aspects of their physical fitness tests, KTVT reported.

The waistline requirements for male troopers has been set at a maximum of 40 inches, while female troopers must measure at 35 inches or less, according to The Dallas Morning News.

In addition to potentially losing their jobs, troopers who fail to come in under the mandatory measurements could face other repercussions instead, including loss of overtime pay, demotion, transfer, or loss of approval to work off-duty jobs.

"Not only is this policy demeaning, it is damaging to our troopers and to our citizens," DPSOA President Richard Jankovsky argued, according to The Dallas Morning News. "Not all physically fit troopers are of the same body type, the same height or the same genetic makeup."

The union called the policy “short-sighted,” and noted that troopers with larger frames who are physically fit could easily exceed the measurement limits because of their body types, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“Everyone is built different,” Jankovsky told the American-Statesman. “A belly measurement is not indicative of one’s health…or ability to do their job.”

The DPSOA also blasted DPS for having implemented the requirement without outside consultation, which the union alleged violates state law.

"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," Jankovsky said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Five hundred ninety-four of the 1,153 troopers who took the department’s fitness test this past spring failed to meet the waistline requirements.

Troopers are required to pass their physical fitness tests twice per year.

In the lawsuit, the union asked the court to block further use of the waistline standard while the matter is pending.

“We are 100 percent supportive of a physical fitness program and a healthy heart program. It is important that we do that,” Jankovsky told the American-Statesman. “We’re merely asking the agency to do what’s spelled out in statute.”

DPS Deputy Director Skylor Hearn said that the waistline requirement was implemented to help identify troopers with potential risk for various medical conditions, so they can “take proactive steps” to lower their “health and officer safety” risks, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Comments (70)
No. 1-16
Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

🤣🤣🤣 "Troopers" are suing for body acceptance at every size?? Do some situps, eat a salad and stop crying. Imagine if someone tried suing a military branch for body-shaming.

merlin9
merlin9

I've seen countless vids showing fat boys trying to pursue a BG. It's would be funny, if it weren't sad. We had requirements in the military, for a reason! You wanna be fat? Find another line of work.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

All that matters is stuff like physical ability, intelligence, and character.

Waist size is irrelevant, like skin color. And obesity may be covered by the ADA.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I agree 100% with the requirement. It really is a no brainer. Those that protect and serve have to be held to a higher standard. It goes beyond being up for the task. The is also public perception at stake. I don't care if the guy who does my taxes looks like Jabba the Hut, but he isn't protecting me and mine. Those measurements are far too lenient and fail to take in height consideration. This article explains how waistline is a more important indicator of fitness.

tfort
tfort

It’s for their own good. Plus when they retire, why should the citizens be held liable for their poor health?

Les_gpt
Les_gpt

This is utterly ridiculous!! The military has similar requirements and you don't see law suits there. The time of the "Boss Hogg" type deputy is long since passed. This is a waste of resources and goes to show that police unions do not care about the cops, citizens or communities!

hoss377
hoss377

I've seen some really FAT L.E.O.'s that their only exercise appears to be the exertion of eating donuts,so a fit Ranger isnt really asking too much,but there will be exceptions.While a M.P. we had a 55 year old E-6 who the board told Top was overweight,and if he didn't get in shape he was out.First Sargent took him in front of the board and made him strip down to his underwear and started posing.The E-6 was a bodybuilder and had taken numerous titles,Top said" i hope you can look like that at 55 "..he got his waiver.

Bailey17
Bailey17

I served over 30 years in the Army and unfortunately I had to help with many PT (physical training) test along with weigh-ins. When you measure the body of both male and females “EVERYONE” is shaped differently!!!!! I completely understand and support the PT test that these LEO’s must take, however the requirement of maintaining a certain waist size is absolutely ludicrous!!!!!!

Marxest
Marxest

Sheer stupidity. They will lose people if that policy is enforced.

BlueProtects
BlueProtects

In other words stay in shape to be able to do their effectively especially in the field. Not being in shape do not only put themselves at risk it also puts there partner and other Officers lives at risk.

61mouse
61mouse

Why not do what NYSP do,if they are not in shape they don't get a raise . Only NYSP you'll see over weight are the head honchos. But alot of the women are overweight and look terrible in the uniform

Janken
Janken

So you want fatsos that cant fit in cars right, run after criminals and have to worry about heart attaches and diabetes for our policemen. NO FATSO,S

fatdaddy50
fatdaddy50

Some people need to re read the article. The Officers Passed their physical fitness test but not their mandatory maximum waist size.

K9 cop
K9 cop

Having served in law enforcement for 26 years w/ 17 of those years in Texas & working alongside w/ the DPS, I have mixed emotions about this requirement. A lot determines the total physical makeup of the individual &someone who is 6"5" & bulked up good, well have a waist size of 40". But then someone who sits in a patrol car all day & doesn't work out & has poor eating habits, presents a poor appearance to the public, should be given notice to shape up

JD Jarette
JD Jarette

What next? Pink tutus?. But it did come out of Austin, so who knows.

USMCgirl
USMCgirl

For all of you saying the military has a waist size requirement no they do not. They have a BMI requirement which is very different. And many weight lifting men FAILED with a 5% body fat percentage! This was the Marines too so I quite well know what is there and not there as far as requirements!