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WILK News Radio>Audio & Video on Demand>>Peter Horne, Ph.D., author & Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice and Corbett

Peter Horne, Ph.D., author & Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice and Corbett

Jul 31, 2014|

Peter Horne Ph.D., author & Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice and former Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at Mercer County Community College talks to Corbett about the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against the PA State Police claiming physical fitness tests discriminate against women.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Peter Warren Ph.D. who is an emeritus professor of criminal justice and former coordinator of the criminal justice program. Mercer county community college near Trenton. He has an extensive horizon may. Got a BA in history from Queens College city university of new York and -- -- police science and administration and California State University. How Los Angeles and his Ph.D. criminal justice. From John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. He was a visiting fellow at Princeton University. Early in his career served as a patrol officer. What did the police department in Compton. California he has. A number of books under his belt a number of articles one of which I read today -- believe police chief magazine and it might even be their current issue. Doctor Peter -- thanks so much for talker -- right. Yes I have the most serious. How are you I'm real good now how do you have any opportunity to give any thought to this issue since we talked briefly this afternoon and if so. What so what Shura was your impressions here. Well again I want online I was able to look Pope a nautical. -- -- concerns over the years the Justice Department. I don't know you take one thing you want to say yeah I think initially is that what they're certainly is a physical side to police saying. And we had -- -- fairly test for candidates of both sexes to see if they do not necessary if physical ability to do the job but. The question is is is that a fair test there's about it and so wants. And if -- these tests are deemed unfair. It's not going to be the first time in the United States that such tests for police and firefighters have been deemed unfair to women. No not at all right -- firefighters are certainly that -- -- all of that can of worms -- -- The police saying I almost wish so long term answer would be. That says Justice Department would -- creep little. An exam full police departments at least state police department utilized. And then maybe one for county police departments and the local police departments and steadily each DePaul and having to look. They're trying to guess what would be non discriminatory. Would -- -- would that be something you believe that law enforcement might embrace. Well I mean may have they would be input from you know -- -- IAC -- International Association of Chiefs of Police. And the practitioners on the ground -- -- they're troopers and officers themselves. To come up with a ballot examiner can be used across the board. I think it could should be a brace I don't know it would be embraced him. In in reading a number of cases across the country with police and fire with regard to women. This is sure -- other tests are required to do the job seems to be. Common. Issue. The fact that tests for physical agility. Are are are required -- -- those specific test and not necessarily required. To do the job does a police officer -- a firefighter what's your take on -- Well yeah I know what she's saying is certainly used to be that. There there was some crazy physical test to become an office. Offices have a broad jump a certain distance. That had a climate six foot -- You know I know this would be Pennsylvania state police say they have something called the vertical jump. Fourteen inches. I don't know I guess consistency of person can jump -- Somewhat but we're not making basketball players have this so. I don't know if that's a valid. -- -- yeah. -- when it comes to police officers and what's required of a good officer in your experience. What are the what are the traits that are most valuable most important. Among those traits. Well I think communication skills and communication abilities are quite important. And then some knowledge of the human behavior and you know positive outlook about Europe's problem man behind I think all of those things are. -- quite important. So do you believe that just based on what you've seen that this is the kind of case that will going to court do you believe that the Pennsylvania state police should it. Acknowledged that maybe there's something else they can do to be more fair or do you believe that they should fight this. Well all right guys so my comments the what is -- superintendent or commissioner of the state police. Commissioner OK and you know if there's navy federal authorities are saying that certainly 2% of the women are only 72% up passing. Be it physical -- -- examine whereas you know in my mid ninety's -- surpassing. But. You know we have to look at are they even being adequately prepared some diplomacy around the country have pre employment preparation programs. That's the application cannot. Practicing exam. Through 121 so prior to taking the exam. And that may has certainly -- up via the -- and the success rate. Well it's it's a serious issue even even the number of women who work. Do police work. -- is still relatively low despite all the advances have been made for example if you look at the Pennsylvania state police I got the numbers today. The current numbers for a state police cadet in Pennsylvania. Among men there are 82 state police cadets right now. Men nine women state police troopers 2847. Men 176. Women. Corporal 777. Man 31 women. Yeah margin 205 men sergeant six female sergeant and then -- the upper levels. There are fourteen male majors and one state police female majors so. Yeah that's ceilings still seems like is there. Well you know it's certainly the upper levels. You have that so called. Glass ceiling and it's -- plays a tough job pro woman that many women sort of primary go home makers. That raising a family and -- on. You move up and you know the command ranks. You've got you know many depression -- soon to work and so on. If officer can get a steady -- They'll likely be a little bit easier in terms of Stanley management that kind of thing. But look at this maybe I don't think we're gonna receive 50% of our offices female. 5050 it's just not gonna happen I don't think women who want this sort of career. Is -- -- that men want this Korea. But there I think we can make give a more level playing field go to some degrees. I think that's what this is all about doctor Peter -- thanks so much for your courtesy in your expertise. Okay actually told my mind there's.