Texas troopers must slim down or face discipline, directive says

If troopers fail this waistline requirement, they could be denied promotions, assignments or overtime

By Suzie Ziegler 

AUSTIN, Texas — New physique guidelines from the Texas Department of Public safety has sparked controversy in the Lone Star state. Under the policy, troopers must start a weight loss program if their waist size is over 40 inches for men or over 35 inches for women, reported KHOU 11

Troopers who fail to meet the waistline requirements by December could be denied promotions, overtime and be pulled from certain duties, according to the report. Even troopers who pass all their physical fitness tests, but who haven’t slimmed down, could face discipline. 

Texas Dept. of Public Safety recruits complete a physical fitness test at the police academy.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety recruits complete a physical fitness test at the police academy. (Texas Dept. of Public Safety)

According to KXXV, troopers who don’t keep trim will be required to track and share their weight loss efforts.  

One officer wrote, "I will drink no more than one diet soda each day,” according to records received by the Dallas Morning News

As of April, 213 officers tested failed the waistline limit, but only two out of 4,000 officers tested would go on to fail the physical fitness test, KXXV reported. Texas state troopers can choose between a combat fitness test, rowing tests or a trio of push-ups, sit-ups and a 1.5-mile run. 

One police union condemned the new policy. 

“DPS is continuing in its plan to harass, discipline and even discharge outstanding officers for not meeting its physical fitness testing standards and appearance standards,” the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association said in a statement. 

The union filed a lawsuit in 2019 to bar the waistline policy, but the suit was later dismissed because no troopers had been penalized, according to KXXV.

NEXT: How to implement a department-wide health, fitness program

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