Fit for Duty, Fit for Life




Ellis, David

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


It is an unfortunate paradigm in law enforcement that some officers exit their basic police academy training in top physical condition, only to move through their respective careers while allowing their level of physical fitness to degrade over time. Police officers that are physically fit are healthier. Physically fit officers present a positive image to the public. Physically fit officers present a positive for various reasons. Officers that maintain a healthy level of physical fitness have both greater career and post-career life longevity. The amount and types of stress experienced by police officers present potential additional issues for police officers that are not physically fit. The public has a vested interest in ensuring that its officers are in reasonable, physically fit condition, not just at the time of hiring but also throughout the duration of their professional career (Petersen, 2017). Law enforcement agencies should implement mandatory, ongoing, non-punitive physical fitness standards. Police officers that can maintain a healthy level of physical fitness are more likely to experience longer life longevity, both during their careers and post-retirement. During their career, physically fit officers are more complete officers. Officers that are more complete can better serve their community. Additionally, these officers are a more positive image to the communities that they serve. All police officers have reasons that they need to be healthy and physically fit. Most, if not all these reasons involve people; immediate family, extended family, friends, and co-workers.



Police--Health and Hygiene, Physical Fitness