AUSTIN, Texas — A controversial policy is requiring some Texas state troopers to either slim down or lose out.
More than 200 state troopers are now being told that by Dec. 1 they must either slim down their waistline or face disciplinary action by the Texas Department of Public Safety, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.
The policy states that men with waists sizes over 40 inches and women over 35 inches will be required to start a weight loss program.
Tracking and sharing their efforts, one officer wrote, "I will drink no more than one diet soda each day,” according to records received by the Dallas Morning News.
As of April, a reported 213 officers failed the waistline requirement - of about 4,000 tested total.
Only two would later go on to fail the physical fitness test.
During this test, officers can choose between a combat fitness evaluation, rowing tests or a standard assessment of push-ups, sit-ups and a 1.5-mile run.
Officers that fail to trim down by December - even if they pass all other health requirements - face being denied promotions, overtime or even complete removal from enforcement duties.
“DPS is continuing in its plan to harass, discipline, and even discharge outstanding officers for not meeting its physical fitness testing standards and appearance standards,” the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association said in a statement.
In 2019, the Texas troopers’ union filed a lawsuit to stop the waistline policy from being implemented.
However, the lawsuit was later dismissed by a judge as no troopers had been penalized.
Despite the controversy, Texas DPS has publicly defended its stance, stating a slim waistline is needed to present a "commanding" presence.
The department plans on revisiting this topic at their August Public Safety Commission meeting.