Academy graduation and the physical fitness of police recruits

Erika Hernandez, Joe Dulla, J. Jay Dawes, Rob Marc Orr, Robert G. Lockie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch

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INTRODUCTION: Success of recruit graduation from police academies is vital in order to reduce administrative costs from those who separate from academies due to either self-termination or injury. Since law enforcement academies can be physically demanding on recruits, the physical fitness of recruits may influence whether they graduate academy.

PURPOSE:To determine whether physical fitness levels of recruits prior to starting academy affect graduation success.

METHODS: Retrospective fitness data for 311(M=260,F=51) recruits (age: 27.50 ± 6.08 yrs.,ht:1.73±0.09 m,wt:79.75 ± 13.75 kg) from four training academies were analyzed. The fitness tests included: grip strength (left and right hands, and sum of both hands); vertical jump (VJ); 75-yard pursuit run;2-kg medicine ball throw; push-ups, sit-ups, and arm ergometer revolutions performed in 60 seconds; multi stage fitness test (MSFT) shuttles; and estimated VO2 Max from the MSFT. Recruits were categorized into graduated (n=269) and separated (did not graduate; n=42) groups. Independent samples t-tests were performed to evaluate any differences in mean scores between groups. Independent sample t-tests were also performed on the same variables to evaluate any between-group differences based on sex. Significance was set at p≤0.05.

RESULTS: Separated recruits were significantly older, and performed poorer in every fitness test (p≤0.02) except for right-hand and combined grip strength. Females who separated scored significantly lower in the arm ergometer and estimated VO2 Max (p≤0.02). Males who separated were older and scored significantly (p≤0.03) lower in all fitness tests except right-hand and combined grip strength and the VJ.

CONCLUSIONS: Future recruits, both male and female, preparing to participate in academy training should focus on improving multiple aspects of fitness, including their muscular endurance, lower-body power, and cardiorespiratory endurance, in order to better their chances of graduating from academy. Coaches and physical training instructors responsible for conditioning recruits should also emphasize improving these physical fitness levels as well.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2019
Event39th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine - Newport Beach, United States
Duration: 25 Oct 201926 Oct 2019
Conference number: 39th (American College of Sports Medicine Southwest Chapter)


Conference39th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
Abbreviated titleSWACSM
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNewport Beach
Internet address


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