The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has brought down a somewhat controversial, but sensible, policy for all of its troopers. Its something we should be doing everyday anyway in regards to our health, myself included. Troopers are being asked to slim down or could face the possibility of discipline, removal from patrols or even denied promotions.

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Being a DPS trooper is in no way an easy task. They patrol our state highways having to deal with individuals who could easily cause bodily harm or even death. To do a job like this, being in some form of (for lack of a better term) shape would need to be essential. But spending many hours sitting in a vehicle, swinging through a drive thru for lunch or quenching a thirst with a multitude of sodas every day will eventually take its toll. I don't know any of this first hand but the above scenarios are certainly plausible.

Taking all of that in mind, Texas Department of Public Safety has enacted a policy requiring both male and female troopers to slim down or there could be consequences. Male troopers with a waistline that measures more than 40 inches and female troopers with a waistline more than 35 inches must now lose the weight and inches and record their progress with their higher ups.

If any officer doesn't show any results by the end of 2022, they could face discipline including not getting a promotion, denied overtime or removed from "enforcement duties." This is even if the trooper passes all of their required physical fitness tests. As of April, its reported that 213 troopers had failed the waistline requirement.

The Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association did file a lawsuit three years ago in regards to this policy. It was later dismissed because no trooper had been punished through the policy. The pandemic slowed down enforcing of this policy, too. Its very possible that a new lawsuit could be filed.

It certainly can be disheartening when your employer comes in and says you have to meet certain weight and health standards. In this case, it would make it easier to carry out your duties if in better shape. Some officers are doing what they can to get into better shape with this policy. One trooper told the Dallas Morning News, "I will drink no more than one diet soda each day." That will for sure help.

We can all agree that our state troopers have a job that is difficult and only a few can do. Let's hope this policy doesn't discourage existing troopers or those who want to become a trooper. We pray for you everyday as you carry out your duties and know the good you are doing on our highways.

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