Fitness Test Questioned After Longtime Officer Fired

Andy Berg Headshot

A police department in Wisconsin is preparing for a possible lawsuit after an officer was terminated when he failed to pass the department’s fitness test.

Marshfield Police Department officer Jared Beauchamp was let go by chief Rick Gramza after failing to pass an annual fitness test that was added to MPD employee contracts last year.

Marshfield is going against the grain with its fitness test, as most police departments in Wisconsin do not require their officers to pass a fitness test after they are hired.

Wisconsin has not set statewide fitness requirements for law enforcement, as that would require change at a legislative level, according to DOJ deputy communications director Rebecca Ballweg. The LESB has discussed that in the past,

“The belief is that chiefs and sheriffs should be able to make their own decisions based on their department,” Shelly Sandry with the DOJ’s Training and Standard’s Bureau told the local CBS affiliate. “It is encouraged that every agency has a wellness program.”

Beauchamp, a longtime member of the MPD who had suffered a knee injury during his time with the department, failed the fitness test by about 30 seconds on the quarter-mile run. The Wisconsin Police Professionals Association is now in talks with the MPD to have Beauchamp reinstated. 

The absence of annual physical tests resulting in termination helps municipalities avoid liability from having to enforce standards that may affect different people differently.

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