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  • Comp or Pay for Required PT

    Discussion came up the other day so thought I'd throw it out here. If an agency requires officers on a special team to pass a required PT exam, is the agency required to provide paid or comp time for the members of the team to work out? Our department has no physical standards for most officers but for members of certain teams, like K9 or Bike or SERT, officers must pass a yearly test. Should the officers be compensated since they are required to pass those tests to be on the team. How does it work at your places? Are there any Federal Laws or Case Laws that address the situation? BTW, we do not get any pay or comp time, workouts are strictly on our own time except for the time to actually take the test.
    "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
    John Adams, April 15, 1814

  • #2
    Were I just got hired, they do PT testing every 6 months for everyone. You have up to I think 3 hours a week of paid PT time (I can find and send the wording on the policy if you want). That is "if" there is time, if your busy or theres not enough coverage, than though for you.
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    • #3
      IMHO these are specialized "voluntary" positions. If you don't have the commitment to keep your self if shape to run a dog or function as an Operator, you shouldn't be there.

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      • #4
        Yeah I would agree with ERT11. You give up the right to be out of shape when you become a police officer. You give up your right to be in peak physical position when you take a specialty position within your department.

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        • #5
          I agree with you 100% and spend my own time keeping in shape. It really bugs some of the younger guys that somebody old enough to be their dad can keep up with them and sometimes beat them. Even if I weren't on special teams, I'd still be working out as my life or my buddy's life might depend on it some night.

          Some of the guys were wondering if there was any law or precedent for getting paid time or comp time to workout if the department requires you to pass a yearly physical assessment test.
          Last edited by biggesto; 04-08-2011, 11:05 AM.
          "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
          John Adams, April 15, 1814

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          • #6
            No, you shouldn't be paid to work out, however you should have X amount of hours of duty time per week to work out. IMO, it's crap like this that gets programs shut down.

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            • #7
              I believe in Michigan, my agency is the only state or local agency with an annual physical fitness requirement. If that is not the case, please PM me.

              If we fail the annual test, there is a retest program but ultimately we will lose our job if we fail to meet the requirements. We do not get any paid time to stay in shape other than paid time to take the PT test.

              I know at least some federal agencies are allowed a few hours of paid time every week to work out; NCIS and USFS come to mind as agencies that pay their agents/officers to workout.

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              • #8
                I know there are several departments in Ohio that have required fitness standards that are based on the cooper standards.

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                • #9
                  Here is our policy:
                  Managers and supervisors may provide up to 3 hours per week of official duty time, in reasonable blocks of time, for mandatory-participation program employees to perform physical exercise. Pursuant to Director’s Order 18, those wildland firefighters whose full-time duties are 100 percent arduous duty-related (such as helitack, hotshot, engine, prescribed fire, smokejumper crews) will normally be provided 1 hour per day for fitness training. This Government contribution of paid time for physical exercise is to assist the employee in meeting the fitness requirements of the position. Fitness time may be scheduled on various workdays throughout the workweek, as recommended by the park health and fitness coordinator. A single long-duration activity conducted on 1 day, such as a ski or hiking patrol, may generally count for no more than 1 hour (of the 3 hours) of fitness time that week. A good physical conditioning regime requires various types of physical exercise to be performed.

                  The Service views physical exercise time as a major investment in park operations and in employee health. Local supervisors should expect to get a reasonable return on that investment in terms of employee productivity. Employees must not view fitness time as “free time” and supervisors must not view fitness time as “wasted time.”

                  When feasible, mandatory fitness program time should be officially scheduled, but it is recognized that there is also a need to maintain flexibility so exercise time does not interfere with either employee or service responsibilities. Because emergency-services employees must be available to respond whenever an emergency occurs, the use of portable radios, pagers, or other means to alert exercising employees to emergencies should be considered. Exercise programs should not be scheduled or performed during those times when the employee's absence from regular work
                  assignments would interfere with the performance of duties of co workers. Overtime is not authorized for fitness training, and overtime cannot be granted for work unfinished because of fitness training. "Unused" fitness time may not carry forward to the next week for any reason.

                  It is the responsibility of the employed to ensure that all physical activities are performed in a satisfactory manner on duty, e.g., proper use of equipment, environmental stressors.

                  Reasonable use of the designated exercise time toward achieving the goals of the program should be the objective of both supervisors and employees. Everyone should keep in mind that fitness time is regular duty time, fully under the control of supervisors and managers, who may direct the activities to be performed during such time. Each participant in a mandatory participation program must specify those types of physical training he or she will engage in while on Government time and, if required document the use of fitness time to the satisfaction of supervisors.
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                  • #10
                    Yearly we have an entire two weeks of training and a fitness test is on one of those days. Its a 9a to 5p schedule. Its basically like going to a mini police academy once a year. I usually miss a lot of it due to court and make it up later. I get to comp it out when that happens.

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                    • #11
                      Our agency does not pay for PT time, and yet requires annual Cooper testing. I was trained by our academy as a PT evaluator for in-state LE testing.

                      By state law, officers hired after 1999 must pass Cooper every 3 years or they can lose their LE certification. For us older guys, in our shop we are not required to pass the test but we are required to participate.

                      Our agency policy was adopted in 2004 and we had the discussion then about 'if you're going to mandate fitness, are you going to pay?' The answer then was that 'if you like the job & paycheck, you have a personal interest to stay fit...on your own time'.

                      I am not aware of a federal law - and there is no similar state statute here in NH - that requires the agency to compensate us for our time spent exercising.
                      The opinions expressed here are from the individual only and do not represent the view of any agency that the poster may be affiliated with

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                      • #12
                        There are tons of things that FLSA will cover, but you really want to choose your battles wisely. Trying to stick it to your department because you want to be paid for every little work-related thing can backfire on you.
                        NRA Life Member

                        The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                        Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

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                        • #13
                          Don't you owe it to yourself to stay in shape? You'd be working out anyway, even if you weren't an officer or on SWAT, right?
                          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                          • #14
                            Sometimes the Best of Intentions.........

                            In my state, workers comp and disability retirement claims for law enforcement ortho injuries, heart and hypertension alone have cost a fortune. In order to reduce these costs, about 20 years back the agency I retired from instituted mandatory, annual fitness testing.

                            Anyone hired after a certain date had to pass an annual test. If they did, they got an extra $130 per month in their paycheck and got to keep their job. If they failed, they were given a chance to remediate, but if they continued to fail to meet the standard, they lost their job.

                            Personnel hired before either date in question had the option to test. If they passed, they got the extra monthly cash. But if they failed or declined to test, nothing happened because they were grandfathered in.

                            The theory here was that this would provide an incentive for officers to maintain physical fitness year round. In turn, weight would be kept down, reducing heart and hypertension claims. Increased fitness would also minimize injuries resulting from lifting, altercations, foot chases, etc. The savings in reduced workers comp claims were anticipated to more than cover the cost of the fitness pay.

                            Unfortunately, things didn't work as planned. Few officers maintained year round physical fitness. Instead, most waited until a month or two before the test and then tried to quickly get back in shape, which as we all know is an unsafe practice. As a result, many officers injured themselves during last minute workouts, some seriously enough to warrant retirement.

                            Because those injuries occurred in connection with an employer mandated program, workers compensation and disability retirement claims were filed, upheld and the department paid through the nose. The cost of fitness maintenance injuries and retirements to the department turned out to be greater than the cost of regular injuries and retirements when we had no fitness program, so the mandatory fitness program was eventually abandoned.
                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by just joe View Post
                              No, you shouldn't be paid to work out, however you should have X amount of hours of duty time per week to work out. IMO, it's crap like this that gets programs shut down.
                              Personally, I don't think time should be allotted on duty to workout either. You're getting paid to be a cop, not exercise. But that's just me.
                              Why are there so many babies on O.com? Creole, you and your buddy JPSO Recruit help me out on this one....

                              * "Preach always, if necessary, use words!" St Francis of Assisi

                              * Luke Chapter 6, Verses 27-36

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