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LAPD SWAT Admissions Tests Changed to Include Women

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has changed the admissions process for its Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, making membership in the elite team more accessible to women. LAPD removed some physical requirements, like an obstacle course, that were ruled unnecessary. Critics have claimed that SWAT has lowered the standards to include women. Captain Jeffery Geer of the LAPD Metropolitan Division and Lieutenant Mike Albanese of SWAT wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “No one is lowering the standards. In fact we’re raising the bar.” ABC News reports that several recent incidents, including the death of a 19-month-old hostage and the death of a SWAT officer, have added to urgency to revise the SWAT team selection and training procedures. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison. funny pictures funny images funny photos funny animal pictures funny dog pictures funny cat pictures funny gifs In 2005, a panel convened to investigate after the death of the baby hostage found that the old SWAT admissions tests over-emphasized “physical prowess and tactical acumen’ and under-emphasized “negotiating skills, patience, empathy, and flexibility.’ The National Center for Women and Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation, had published reports documenting the fact that women police officers are less likely to engage in excessive force (see PDF about the advantages of women in law enforcement). Margaret Moore, the director of the National Center for Women in Policing told ABC News, “It’s not just about strength. It’s also about intelligence and determination, motivation, analytical skills, judgment and being physically fit. That certainly is a key component, but it is not the component. You’re not lowering your standards, you’re enhancing your standards by incorporating a diverse group of people.”

Sources:

ABC News Law and Justice Unit 04/04/08; Los Angeles Times 04/03/08; The Daily Breeze 04/03/08; National Center for Women and Policing

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