Are There Differences in the Physical Fitness Characteristics of Recruits from Smaller and Larger Law Enforcement Agencies at the Start of Academy?

Erika Hernandez, Jay Dawes, Rob Marc Orr, Joseph Dulla, Robert Lockie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Law enforcements agencies (LEAs) around the world typically have their recruits complete academy training in order to prepare them for law enforcement duties. LEA academy training classes can include recruits hired by the hosting large agency (HA), as well as recruits hired by smaller agencies (referred to as participating agencies; PA). Ideally, recruits should have adequate levels of physical fitness before starting academy, since higher levels of fitness increases their likelihood of academy training completion. However, HA that need to fill more positions may have recruits with a wider range of fitness levels. Smaller PA may be more selective in their hiring as they do not have as many available positions.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the physical characteristics and fitness of incoming law enforcement recruits from a HA and PA prior to academy.

Methods: Retrospective analyses were conducted on ­­­­11 academy classes, with a total of 841 recruits (684 males, 157 females). This included a total of 742 recruits from the HA (602 males, 140 females) and 99 recruits from PA (82 males, 17 females). Recruit characteristics were recorded, including age, height, and body mass. A series of physical fitness tests were administered in the week preceding academy training. The fitness tests included: push-ups and sit-ups completed in 60 s; vertical jump; medicine ball throw with a 2-kg ball (2MBT); 75-yard pursuit run (75PR), and the multi-stage fitness test (MSFT). A univariate analysis of variance (p < 0.05), with sex as the covariate, was conducted to determine the difference between recruits.

Results: There was a significant difference in push-ups (p = 0.034) and sit-ups (p < 0.001) between HA and PA, with recruits from the PA performing significantly more repetitions in the push-up (42.18 ± 15.33 vs. 45.40 ± 13.22 repetitions) and sit-up (35.70 ± 9.80 vs. 39.82 ± 8.04 repetitions) tests. There were no significant differences between HA and PA recruits in age, height, body mass, or any of the other fitness tests.

Conclusions: The differences in the muscular endurance tests may provide some indication of the larger variation within the hiring pool to fill vacant positions for the HA in this study, which leads to a greater range of fitness levels in their recruits. PA could also be more selective in their hiring if there are more applicants than positions, although this cannot be confirmed from this study. Nonetheless, due to select fitness differences between HA and PA recruits, LEA staff should recognize that differences that may exist in recruits from different agencies prior to training. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This analysis revealed the possibility of PA being more selective in their hiring process, as their recruits demonstrated superior muscular endurance. Due to select fitness differences between the HA and PA recruits, LEA staff should recognize that differences may exist in recruits from different agencies prior to training. Proper programming considerations should be taken for those considering applying and joining a smaller PA versus a HA. Future analysis is needed to determine where any fitness differences, that may exist between agencies prior to academy, is influenced by training advice provided by the agency, or more selective hiring practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2020
Event2020 NSCA Abstract Gallery - Online
Duration: 8 Jul 2020 → …
https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/NSCA/posterspeakers.asp?pfp=PosterPresenter

Other

Other2020 NSCA Abstract Gallery
Abbreviated titleNSCA
Period8/07/20 → …
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