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  • Yearly Fitness Test

    I have a simple question for all law enforcement officers. Do you think there should be some kind of yearly fitness test in order to help keep officers in shape? All officers have to pass a fitness test in order to go to the academy, but not a lot of agencies have fitness standards after that. My thoughts is like with firearm training if you are required to pass something to obtain the job shouldn't you have to continually be able to pass it to keep the job?

  • #2
    I personally believe they should. I'm sure there will be many who object, but it is not only in ones best interest health and safety wise, but you owe it to your fellow officers whom you are backing up

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    • #3
      And who will pay for the gym time to keep said officer (s) in shape? Whose responsible for the insurance if an officer get hurts during said exercises?
      I don't answer recruitment messages....

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      • #4
        Some places do this already

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        • #5
          FWIW, my agency tried that about 30 years ago. Here’s what happened.

          Fitness standards were established and varied depending upon age and sex. If you passed, you got to keep your job. You also got an extra $130 per month in your paycheck. If you failed, you were given a chance to remediate (get back in shape) and after a certain window were tested again. If you failed a second time, you were terminated. Officers who were hired prior to the implementation of these standards (and already had permanent civil service status) were grandfathered, not required to comply and did not have to test. However, if they did and passed, they got the $130 per month, but nothing happened to them if they failed.

          The thought here was by implementing this program, fitness would be maintained on a year-round basis. In turn, increased fitness would minimize workers comp claims and disability retirement costs due to heart, hypertension and ortho injuries, which were the biggest of our industrial injury costs. It was envisioned that such a program would create a tremendous saving for the department in workers compensation and disability retirement costs.

          The reality was, the majority of officers made little effort to stay in shape except for the few months prior to when they were scheduled to test. Then, they would scramble to try and get back in shape, in order to meet the testing standards. It was then that we would get a spike in costly, disabling physical fitness maintenance injuries. Because maintaining physical fitness was a mandated work requirement, these injuries were deemed to be work related and compensable under workers compensation and disability retirement laws. The resulting workers comp and disability retirement costs far exceeded any dollar amount the department envisioned saving under the mandatory fitness program and it was abandoned.

          Again, this was a lesson in be careful what you wish for.

          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

          Comment


          • L-1
            L-1 commented
            Editing a comment
            You have to factor in the costs associated with testing. Each Division creates a team of testers and sets up testing somewhere within that Division. California is a huge state and Officers may travel hundreds of miles round trip to be tested, taking them out of service for the entire day. There are 250 working days per year in state service and we had 6,000 sworn at the time. Testing 6,000 people just one time is like losing 24 personnel years of service. Do it four times a year and you are losing 96 personnel years of service to testing. Two times a year loses you 48 personnel years of service for testing.

            Stop and consider how much it costs to fund a single position annually. I am talking not only about pay and visible benefits, but invisible benefits as well, such as employer's contribution to retirement, sick leave, vacation, military leave, worker's comp insurance and non-industrial disability leave just to name a few. Back then and for us, it was 50% off the officer's salary. Now, multiply that times 96, 48, or how ever many times you want to hold testing and convince the Legislature or whoever holds your purse strings to add it to your budget. You've got to be slicker than greased goose sh*t to pull that one off.

            Testing multiple times a year just isn't practical operationally or financially.

          • COMoparfan392
            COMoparfan392 commented
            Editing a comment
            Sounds about right.

          • L-1
            L-1 commented
            Editing a comment
            . .

          • COMoparfan392
            COMoparfan392 commented
            Editing a comment
            "What may seem like a good idea in theory may be torn to shreds practicality and her older brother logistics"...

        • #6
          KevinJ,

          There’s something I forgot to mention in my original post that complicates periodic fitness testing.

          You can’t just dream up tests such as sit ups, pull ups and run times. A Federal law called the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) comes into play. Because you are threatening employees with the loss of their jobs if they cannot pass your fitness test, you must first do a number of things. You must create a list of critical physical tasks someone must be capable of performing in order to perform the job in question. You must also demonstrate that these task have a valid relationship to the job. Finally, you must demonstrate that the periodic physical performance tests your administer truly measure an employee’s ability to perform these critical tasks.

          This is not easy to do and is not something that comes off the top of you head. It requires scientific and medical study of the position, identifying on average, what percentage of time is spent doing certain physical acts and the amount and type of physical demand that is involved. It is an expensive process that requires the expertise of outside agencies familiar with medical and employment law issues.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

          Comment


          • #7
            Fitness standards probably should be enforced, but it’s difficult to show that it’s an essential function of the job. Cops have been doing the job for decades without fitness standards so it’s tough to prove they are necessary.

            Also, if you are going to make it a requirement then you have to give each officer time on the clock to train... we’re already working massive overtime as it is.

            The most successful programs I’ve seen give an incentive for certain levels of fitness but aren’t mandatory.
            "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

            "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
              Fitness standards probably should be enforced, but it’s difficult to show that it’s an essential function of the job. Cops have been doing the job for decades without fitness standards so it’s tough to prove they are necessary.
              .

              I know a number of agencies in my area that have yearly fitness standards with yearly testing. It is written into their job rules and is an expectation for continued employment

              My state uses a Modified Cooper test as the standard for entrance to the state academy and those agencies that have yearly testing have the officers perform to their minimum age standard. Officers hired before the rule was enacted by those agencies are not exempt from meeting those standards but most of the agencies don't terminate if the standard is not met (other sanctions are used)

              Since the "fitness" standard used is already in code to get hired as a cop there is no legal challenge for the officers hired under the rule.

              I know of 3 or 4 agencies that allow ON DUTY exercise in agency owned workout rooms where the officer would be 'available" on short notice if needed to perform regular duties (and I often hear them on the radio as stating they are "just getting dressed" and will be responding shortly)

              Other agencies encourage off duty exercise with agency purchased fitness club membership and / or agency provided fitness rooms.

              A friend of mine chose to retire when his agency went to a fitness standard with termination as a sanction, as he knew he could not continue making the standard..................of course he was old enough to retire, had the required number of years of service AND there was a state retirement incentive (that I missed by 6 months )
              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

              Comment


              • #9
                In theory, I feel some form of fitness standard for officers makes sense. And not just for the raw physical aspects of the job (running, lifting, etc.), but also for the documented long-term health benefits of being more fit. For example, regular exercise reduces stress, and less stress could ultimately have an impact on the terrible suicide rates within our ranks.

                But in reality, I recognize the incredible challenges -- financially, legally, and behaviorally -- to successfully implement such a program. If something like that did come to fruition in my agency, I would like to see adjustments for age/gender, and also modified standards for those whose job functions require less physical activity. So, say you're a sworn administrator whose full job is HR/recruiting, you'd have to meet a standard, but not something as stringent as a patrol officer.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Since the "fitness" standard used is already in code to get hired as a cop there is no legal challenge for the officers hired under the rule.]
                  the problem lies in imposing one where there hasn’t been one before

                  know of 3 or 4 agencies that allow ON DUTY exercise in agency owned workout rooms where the officer would be 'available" on short notice if needed to perform regular duties (and I often hear them on the radio as stating they are "just getting dressed" and will be responding s
                  .

                  if you’re going to make it a condition of employment you’d have to give paid time to train.
                  Last edited by tanksoldier; 09-24-2019, 09:14 PM.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post

                    the problem lies in imposing one where there hasn’t been one before.
                    The policy was enacted with union approval.
                    No problems

                    .
                    Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                    if you’re going to make it a condition of employment you’d have to give paid time to train.
                    Or make some type of arraignments. read my above post for details as to how it WAS DONE
                    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                      The policy was enacted with union approval.
                      No problems

                      Or make some type of arraignments. read my above post for details as to how it WAS DONE
                      Different states have different rules.

                      In any state, proving that a certain level of physical fitness is an essential function of the job requiring termination of employees unable to meet the standard is difficult if those same employees were doing the job yesterday without that being an essential function... but now today it is.

                      as for unions, we know they always have their members’ best interests at heart... which is why I have separate legal defense plan coverage,

                      Last edited by tanksoldier; 09-28-2019, 07:44 PM.
                      "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                      "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I can't think of any CA agency that would implement this, nor ever would.

                        Comment

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