Nashville Diversifying Its Police Department, Lowering Standards

Despite crime increasing in Tennessee, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department recently removed its physical ability test and implemented lactation rooms to recruit more female officers.

In a viral video shared by WSMV4, one police trainee explained that the police department is “dominated” by men and that prior requirements disincentivized women from joining the police force.

“It’s a male-dominated profession, so women are afraid to take that step, maybe thinking that they’re not able to do it, but you can do it if you have the right mindset,” the trainee told the outlet.

The department’s goal is to reportedly hire a 30% female police force. The commander of the department, Tiffany Gibson, said she believes the figure is attainable because of changes made to recruit more females.

Nashville’s police department no longer requires a physical ability test and instead grades a trainee’s agility in a test designed to simulate tasks they could potentially encounter.

“We’re trying to get going … possibly help sponsor our own child facility,” Gibson said. “I think that would be really helpful for females.”

A female officer currently serving in the department said she hopes the new changes will attract more women to the force.

“More qualified and strong women to be in this police department and be leaders in this police department. I mean, I think it would be a great thing to see,” the officer said.

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh reacted to the development, saying that despite the killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols by five police officers in 2023, police departments in Tennessee are prioritizing the diversification of their troops instead of adequately training them.

“But somehow this lesson has not been learned. Even in the state of Tennessee, just a few hundred miles north of where Tyre Nichols was beaten to death, efforts to ‘diversify’ policing by reducing standards are underway,” Walsh wrote.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Walsh denounced the Nashville police department’s move to downgrade requirements, saying his four-year-old daughter could pass the new test, which he described as “an obstacle course set up for third graders at recess.”

The efforts to increase female recruitment in the department comes after officials in Memphis, Tennessee, decided to reduce their hiring standards in 2020 to attract more Black recruits.

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