Gokhale further points out that technology has altered the way that LE performs. Years ago, there were many walking beats and fewer cops, which meant less help, and therefore, more battles. Increased technology also means tools like scooters, the Segway and Tasers; things that reduce the amount of physical work required to do the job.
The general attitude concerning health and fitness in LE has changed, for the better. There's an emphasis on being in shape, and cost analyses bear out the advantages of a force that is healthy and fit, in terms of tangibles, i.e., fewer work days lost to illness and injury. Many agencies/departments have also implemented incentives for those employees who pass yearly PT tests.
One thing that can't be measured is the loss of experience when older workers are let out to pasture. A street-smart cop who's been on the job for 25 years is a walking reference book for the newbie. A seasoned veteran who can pass on to rookies street survival tips that can't be found in any text book is a priceless commodity. Furthermore, an investigator who's handled complex cases over the years, cases he's taken from incident to arrest, to indictment, and eventually through trial, has institutional knowledge that takes years for someone to accumulate. To allow these jewels to be put on the shelf is unconscionable.
My hope is that the tide of resentment toward forced retirement will rise in favor of relaxing the standards. Old-timers, and that includes guys and gals, are an asset to LE, not a liability. If your department is still mired in the muck of archaic retirement policies, raise your voice and make some noise to get them changed. We've already lost too many good cops because of ill-informed legislators passing laws that make no sense, and, who by the way, haven't seen any reason to make their own jobs subject to mandatory retirement.
So do we get rid of the old guys? Heck no, we embrace them, warmly, and revere them for leadership and contributions. Stay Safe, brothers and sisters!