There's no polite way to say this, but Texas believes too many state troopers are too big to serve.
Hundreds of them are being ordered to lose weight by December, or face discipline, according to a report from Chron.
Documents first obtained by the Dallas Morning News revealed that troopers must hit end-of-year weight loss goals in order to remain eligible for promotion, raises and overtime.
Men are supposed to have waistlines below 40 inches, and women are supposed to have waistlines below 35 inches as part of a "Command Presence" rule built into the department's overall fitness and appearance stipulations.
More than 200 troopers have reportedly failed the requirement.
According to the documents, state troopers must pass their Personal Fitness Test and Command Presence Test by December 1.
Troopers who do not pass will be placed on a Fitness Improvement Plan, with suggestions for improving their physical wellbeing.
The fitness test requirements vary from department to department. Troopers are judged on a percentile scale tied to their performance in a number of physical tests.
They can choose between a rowing test, standard test including running or a combat fitness evaluation.
Troopers must perform in the 70th percentile or higher for their age group in order to pass.
For example, according to Chron, a 30-year-old male officer must be able to run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes 42 seconds in order to hit the 70th percentile needed to pass his PFT. A 30-year-old female officer must be able to run the same distance in 15 minutes, 21 seconds to meet the requisite percentile.
In 2019, the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association sued the DPS over the waistline requirement, calling it discriminatory and unfair toward healthy officers with "large builds."
According to reports, 213 troopers out of the roughly 4,000 employed by the state had failed the department's waistline requirement as of April. Only two of those officers also failed to pass their physical fitness tests.