A profile of two different applicant test batteries with regards to sex and age in successful law enforcement applicants

Joseph Dulla*, Robert G. Lockie, Rob Marc Orr, Ben Schram, Elisa Fontenelle Dumans Canetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Law enforcement (LE) applicant assessments and initial academy training vary greatly across the United States of America (USA), with 820+ academies operating across 50 different states. Rising obesity and declining physical fitness underscore the need for benchmarks of applicant physical performance.

Create a “point-in-time” descriptive profile of the performance of LE applicants and determine any differences between males, females, and age using two applicant test batteries (ATBs).

Archival data from one large USA LE academy were analysed. Applicants completed one of two ATBs; ATB1 (n = 1674): 68.8-meter agility run (AR), 60-s push-ups, 60-s sit-ups, 60-s arm ergometer revolutions, and 2.4 km run; ATB2 (n = 355): AR, 60-s push-ups, 60-s sit-ups, and a multistage fitness test. Data were coded for sex and age. Independent samples t-tests compared the sexes. A one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc analysis compared age groups (18–24, 25–29, 30–34, 35–39, 40 + years).
RESULTS: Males outperformed females in all fitness assessments across both ATBs (p ≤ 0.02). The 18–24 age group demonstrated faster run times in the AR and 2.4 km for ATB1 compared to all groups. (p ≤ 0.03). In ATB2, the 18–24 age group was faster in the AR compared to all other groups except the 25–29 age group (p ≤ 0.026).

Regardless of ATB used, females and older applicants generally would benefit from specific fitness training to better prepare for academy. Older applicants may experience greater challenges in running tasks, especially those involving sprinting, which could also be impacted by qualities important for running/sprinting (i.e., maximal strength and power).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1359-1368
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2024


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