For anyone living in Los Angeles, this is a call to action for you to stand up and speak out to your fellow citizens and to your city administration. The mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, is introducing changes to police recruitment that will allow less competent people to fill the role of an officer. Mayor Bass is looking to remove obstacles for new police recruits who fail in the qualifying process of training because there simply are not enough new enrollees. One of the basic training qualifications that she would like to investigate and potentially alter include physical fitness standards; the move comes at a time when she says she is looking to “diversify” police recruits…whatever that ends up meaning. Anytime you hear someone promote the idea of “diversity and inclusion” you can almost always find a more practical as well as cynical true cause.
Here's the scoop. During the summer of 2020, the United States allowed its cities to be completely sacked and overrun by leftist agitators. Whole communities turned on their police forces despite the fact that police were behaving properly throughout the United States overall according to the data. Riots became the norm as an expression of adolescent angst during lockdowns where young men had nothing else to do. District Attorneys and politicians allowed this and spat on their men in uniform. Police looked around and said….no thanks. They began early retirement in record numbers and the precinct enrollment plummeted by 60% following 2020. Los Angeles is still losing 50 officers per week! Crime is absolutely stunning in the City of Angels, and in recent summers the police commissioners of Los Angeles warned travelers not to drive nice cars into the city like something from Mad Max. There was a period of time where package transits were literally being sacked on a daily basis like an old west train robbery on steroids. Amazon had to rework some logistics to figure out how to avoid routing through these war-torn regions of Los Angeles. The police in many US regions and in L.A. are now self-defunded. As mentioned, they took early retirement, and qualified individuals stopped signing up to protect the public. You would have to be insane or extremely noble to sign up to be a police officer at present. Mayor Bass and other progressive leaders around the country are now adding a third category for new recruits…those who have few other options for employment.
There are factions in the United States in multiple left-wing cities who would like to make individual police officers culpable in civil courts for wrongdoing rather than protected public servants. Ladies and gentlemen, if we hold police officers liable in civil court for their mistakes in public service, the United States will descend into martial law. Mark my words. I predicted the police enrollment catastrophe in 2020 in some of my previous episodes dating back to around that time, and now everything that I predicted is happening. We have demoralized our police, we have ignited a self-defunding process, and there are increasingly unfit people left joining the force; even by the Mayor’s own admission in a roundabout way.
The physical fitness test for police officers is on a score of 0 to 100, with 50 being acceptable historically. Going to the Police Protective League spokesperson, Tom Saggau, the standard has already been lowered to 30. The people Mayor Bass is looking to admit into the force are scoring below 10. This means that the Los Angelas left-wing politicians would like to find a way to admit people who cannot perform the following minimum fitness requirements.
- 19 Push-Ups (1 minute)
- 25 Sit-Ups (1 minute)
- 300 Meter run (70 seconds)
- 1.5 Mile run (15 minutes
Folks, a 10-minute mile can be accomplished with a moderate jog and perhaps time to stop off for In-N-Out in the middle. For a man, 19 pushups in one minute is mildly in shape. The threshold for heart health is at least 40 pushups continuously in a minute for men (40 Pushups men Harvard). Here we have a requirement that is already half of the normal health standard for a fit male.
And, L.A. is about to begin welcoming people who score at a level 10. So, if the minimum scores above equate to a 50, then what are the numbers that equate to a level 10, which is the score that the Police Protective League says the Mayor's office is looking to recruit? We could be looking at a recruit who cannot muster 4 pushups in a minute, or run 1.5 miles even in 30 minutes.
Grab a pad of paper and pen and try to draw that person in your mind. Joining the police force should not be that person’s concern…he or she should be worried about simply staying alive and avoiding the use of an obesity scooter. That person may someday arrive at your house.. to…protect you. Do you think a weak or morbidly obese person who has such little upper body strength that she cannot perform more than 3 pushups is more or less likely to draw her firearm? How ironic such a recruitment strategy is at a time when we are all trying to minimize police use of lethal force.
One positive direction toward which Bass may have pointed is the increased usage of the mental evaluation unit. The problem psychometrically is that 1). The usage of assessment techniques in the field of psychology does not predict violence very accurately 2). How do you predict inappropriate usage of violence in a person whose exclusive purpose is to properly monopolize violence itself? 3). The very attributes that make someone appropriate to be a police officer include a willingness to be involved with violence, so how do you delineate personality factors that predispose someone to inappropriate usages of violence and where are the cutoff markers on relevant personality instruments? I am a forensic and clinical psychologist and a recognized expert in psychological testing. I am qualified to present these questions.
Los Angeles is already down around 230 officers and is predicted to lose more on pace than previous years. And now the city and its citizens are prepared to reduce the number of qualified candidates entering the police force. The result will be that these unqualified candidates who are physically unfit are going to resort to deadly force more often because they do not have the physical stamina to properly do the job. Their errors and increased rates of deadly engagement will then be used by anti-police factions of our society as evidence of how terrible the police are. And round and round the lunacy of the modern left goes.
Moreover, nobody seems to be asking the obvious question about mental health and intelligence involved in these changes. Since physical fitness amplifies mental health bidirectionally, and generally correlates with it, why on earth would we want to admit people who are likely lower in scores of intelligence and emotional fitness to the police force? This is the same question as whether it is wise to admit generally frail people into battle units for the military.
Perhaps the most loony-prone aspect of Bass’s plan is the intention to root out officers with ties to right-wing domestic terrorist groups. This is nothing but a political stunt in a left-wing state that the mayor’s office likely hopes will score her points with a suburban voting base. The urban voting base knows that this is nonsense because they know the most common source of corruption in the police is ties with gangs and organized crime, especially in Los Angeles. Is she trying to make the case that Los Angeles gangs and organized crimes are somehow synonymous with right-wing groups? I haven’t seen too many camouflage hats and NASCAR jackets on L.A. streets recently. If she wanted to truly reduce the effect of corruption on the police force in Los Angeles all she needs to do is look out her back door onto the streets and identify the people who bribe and infiltrate the ranks. I am betting that those people would not be right-wing domestic terrorist groups but urban narcotics rings. But no, that would be too reality-based for the likes of a California city administration to recognize.
I would suggest that we start marketing support for the police nationally and community-wide in geographic regions. The Marines did much better in recruiting when they had the old strength and honor commercials where extremely fit and competent-looking men marched in full dress with sword maneuvers. The commercial slogan was "the few, the proud.” Now we have cartoon (literally) military commercials that include diversity equity and inclusion initiatives, and which make the Marines and military seem like places to casually earn credit for college, and fight for social justice. That is not why historically people would join the Marines who have always been a hardened fighting force of extremely brave and aggressive men. You have to leave gender out of this discussion or you are not going to understand this most vital point for society. To mess with the Marine formula in any way is a social experiment that imperils the entire country and the Western Hemisphere. The reduction in the police force recruits is almost identical to the reduction in our military ranks…60%. We are no longer presenting these roles as honorable places for the appropriate type of man to occupy and we literally now have a paucity of good men willing to serve and protect, which means that we are entering into a period of American chaos that has barely begun to display its carnage. This goes for a very large city.
I have been a correctional psychologist in California prisons. I have sat face-to-face for hours on end with the most violent and vile men on the face of the planet. We have lost our minds with respect to public safety to think that just anyone can confront them on the streets effectively. This insanity began around 2014 when radical leftism became highly measurable in the mindset of the average citizen, and we have been deteriorating ever since in terms of our ability to remain rational regarding public administrative matters. Two thousand twenty was a flashpoint in that deterioration and now instead of suturing up the wound, we are hemorrhaging our sanity. If you live in Los Angeles or another large city, I implore you to consider your own safety and that of your family during this extreme experimentation with police competence. You may be a data point in the experiment if you are not careful.
The Real Clear Podcast with Dr Lucas Klein is the in-depth analysis and commentary on current political events through a psychological lens. The Real Clear podcast covers a wide range of topics, from the latest election results to policy debates, to exploring the impact of current events on the political landscape.