Mandating Biannual Physical Readiness Testing in Law Enforcement Agencies




Harral, James

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


The mortality rate for law enforcement officers increases annually, whether it is at the hands of a violent attack or being struck by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop or crash investigation. However, there are ways that law enforcement agencies can assist in the prevention of an untimely death of an officer, and that is to implement a mandated physical readiness program throughout the agency. Since the decade spanning years 2009 through 2019, it has become more common that officers are having fatal cardiovascular events on duty, and those events could have been prevented with regular exercise, better eating habits, and better food choices. Physical readiness testing for law enforcement officers should be mandated by the agency. Requirements of this nature would produce a more physically fit-for-duty law enforcement officer. When responding to calls for service, being physically fit would assist the officers’ capability of carrying out the strenuous activities that are connected with the profession. With many variations of physical fitness testing for law enforcement recruits, law enforcement agencies could explore more ways of conducting a more effective way of testing; possibly following the lead of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Along with Texas D.P.S. and other smaller agencies throughout the state of Texas, a rowing test, which is conducted on the Concept 2 rower, has emerged. This testing can be done in a controlled environment, and is timed based upon the age, sex, and weight of the person being tested.



Physical Fitness Testing