INTRODUCTION: The job demands of law enforcement may require officers to perform strenuous tasks with little advanced warning. In addition to having to complete generic tasks (pushing, pulling and carrying), on-duty law enforcement officers (LEOs) may have to execute job-specific tasks (defensive tactics, vaulting obstacles, pursuing suspects). These job-specific tasks are the same for all LEOs, regardless of sex. Recruits will complete job-specific tests, such as the Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB) in California, intended to prepare them for these demands. The WSTB was designed to duplicate what a LEO may encounter on duty. PURPOSE: To determine differences between male and female deputy sheriff recruits in the WSTB. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed on 308 deputy sheriff recruits from five academy classes (males = 259, females = 49). The WSTB is comprised of five tests completed for time: a 99-yard obstacle course (99OC), 165-pound body drag (BD), 6-foot chain link fence climb (CLF), 6-foot solid wall climb (SW), and a 500-yard run (500R). These tests must be completed to a state-mandated minimum standard in order for recruits to graduate, and were typically performed in the last weeks of academy. Independent samples t-tests (p < 0.05) and effect sizes (d) were calculated to document any differences between the sexes. Effect size ranges were set as follows: trivial effect = < 0.2; small effect = 0.2 - 0.6; moderate effect = 0.6 -1.2; large effect = 1.2 - 2.0; very large effect = 2.0 - 4.0; and an extremely large effect = 4.0+. RESULTS: Females were significantly (p < 0.001) slower on all items of the WSTB when compared to males. Specifically, females were slower on the 99OC (males = 18.78 ± 1.39 s; females = 20.76 ± 1.71 s), BD (males = 4.86 ± 2.49 s; females = 6.71 ± 1.78 s), CLF (males = 7.69± 1.29 s; females = 9.48 ± 1.55 s), SW (males = 7.39 ± 1.17 s; females = 9.92 ± 6.28 s) and 500R (males = 88.25 ± 9.20 s; females = 100.41 ± 6.28 s). The effects ranged from small-to-large (d = 0.56 – 1.54). CONCLUSIONS: Females scored lower on all WSTB items. Slower performance in job-specific tests could translate to slower performance in the tasks required in line of duty for many female LEOs while working alongside their counterparts. This may pose a liability to not only to themselves, but to their colleagues. Training staff should consider developing the physical qualities important for WSTB performance in females to enhance future job performance.
|Publication status||Published - 25 Oct 2019|
|Event||39th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine - Newport Beach, United States|
Duration: 25 Oct 2019 → 26 Oct 2019
Conference number: 39th
http://www.acsm.org/acsm-membership/regional-chapters/acsm-chapters/southwest (American College of Sports Medicine Southwest Chapter)
|Conference||39th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine|
|Period||25/10/19 → 26/10/19|