Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow is neutral on an idea that would make the maximum age of new patrol officers 45. But he cautions that patrol work is often a “young man’s game.”
“I think you can reasonably say that as somebody ages, they’re not quite physically as capable as they were when they were younger,” said Winslow. “It brings up questions, you know, what do we want to do? Do we want 65, 70 year old policemen out there responding?”
Aldermen are considering a measure that would raise the maximum age for new officers to 45, regardless of military service. The rules now state the maximum age to get on patrol is 35, unless there’s military service involved, then it can be amended up to 45.
Winslow says he’s worked in departments with and without age limits on new officers, and he knows many officers who started out older and were “very successful.”
He says there should be a mandatory retirement age put in place if this is passed, and aldermen are expected to tack that onto the ordinance this week — it’ll likely be 60.