An Analysis of the Body Drag Test in Law Enforcement Recruits with Consideration to Current Population Demographics

Robert G. Lockie*, Matthew R. Moreno, J. Jay Dawes, Robin M. Orr, Karly A. Rodas, Joseph M. Dulla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

An essential job task for law enforcement officers is a body drag, where they must drag a person from a hazardous environment. In California, a 9.75-m body drag with a 74.84-kg dummy must be completed within 28 s to graduate academy. This mass is less than the average US adult, which may suggest it should be increased. This has not happened due to concerns regarding a potential increase in recruit injuries and failure rates. However, if recruits can complete the drag without formal training, this could leave scope for increasing the mass. This study analyzed the body drag in incoming recruits, compared their results to graduated recruits, and detailed how many achieved current standards without training. A retrospective analysis of two incoming (n = 191) and nine graduated (n = 643) recruit classes from one agency was conducted. Incoming recruits completed the drag in the week prior to their 22-week academy; the graduated recruits in their final weeks. The drag required the recruit to lift the dummy and drag them 9.75 m. Independent samples t-tests compared the groups, and recruits were compared to the 28-s standard. Graduated recruits performed the drag faster than incoming recruits (~5.11 vs. ~7.28 s; p < 0.01). All but one incoming recruit completed the drag within 28 s. Incoming recruits had sufficient strength and technical ability to drag a 74.84-kg dummy fast enough to achieve state standards before training. Further analysis should determine whether the current California body drag is appropriate for policing job demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Volume15
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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