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Pa. Top Cop Calls Federal Lawsuit Against State Police Department An ‘Insult’

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(State police cadets work out at the State Police Academy, in Hershey, Pa., on Wednesday afternoon.  Photo by Tony Romeo)

(State police cadets work out at the State Police Academy, in Hershey, Pa., on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A defiant Pennsylvania state police commissioner is calling on the US Department of Justice to withdraw its lawsuit alleging that the department’s physical fitness test requirement discriminates against women.

The Department of Justice says Pennsylvania state police are judging applicants to the state police academy based on physical skills not needed for the job.

Today, state police commissioner Frank Noonan said that lowering the fitness standards would be an “insult” to those men and women have already met the requirements.  And, he says, it would endanger the public.

“We will not be bullied into changing or lowering our standards by the Department of Justice or anyone else,” he said.  “They seem to think that every day you’re not using these particular skills when you would need strength or fitness.  But you never know.”

Noonan says, for example, a trooper may be out on patrol alone and have to pull someone out of a burning vehicle.  He says every applicant must be physically prepared to perform the duties of a trooper.

 

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