Don’t drag me down: Investigating the body or victim drag in graduated and incoming deputy sheriff recruits

Robert G. Lockie, Matthew R. Moreno, Karly A. Cesario , Katherine Balfany, Joe Dulla, Rob Marc Orr, Jay Dawes

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INTRODUCTION: An essential job task for law enforcement officers is a body drag (BD), where they must drag a civilian or officer from a hazardousenvironment. In California, a BD with a 75-kg dummy is a test within the Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB). Recruits must drag the dummy 9.75 m inunder 28 s to attain points for the WSTB. Maximal strength should contribute to this task, although this quality is not often a focus of traditional lawenforcement academy training. This is notable considering current US population data; the average adult male weighs ~89 kg, while the average adultfemale weighs ~77 kg. This suggests the dummy mass should increase to match the mass of people an officer may encounter, especially if the officermay need to drag a fellow officer who is wearing their daily duty loads. However, further investigations of the BD are required before adjustments todummy mass are made. 
PURPOSE: To compare the BD between graduated (GRAD) and incoming (INC) male and female Deputy Sheriff recruits,determine percentile rankings for the BD in GRAD recruits, and detail how INC recruits compare to this standard. 
METHODS: Retrospective analysis onnine GRAD classes (males = 542; females = 101), and two INC (males = 145; females = 46) from one agency was conducted. The GRAD classescompleted the BD in the final weeks of their 22-week academy; the INC completed the BD in the week prior to their academy. The BD required therecruit to lift the dummy to standing and drag it 9.75 m as quickly as possible. Timing commenced once the dummy began to move during the dragfrom the standing position. To compare differences between the GRAD and INC recruits by sex, a one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc wasutilized. GRAD and INC recruits were ranked according to BD, and allocated into percentile ranks, based on GRAD data, with the number of males andfemales in each rank indicated. 
RESULTS: The GRAD males (4.76 ± 0.84 s) completed the BD faster than all groups. The INC males (6.23 ± 2.23 s) werefaster than the two female groups, and the GRAD females (6.95 ± 1.89 s) were faster than the INC females (10.60 ± 3.49 s; p < 0.01 for all comparisons).The percentile ranking data is shown in Table 1. There was a disproportionate number of females in the lower percentiles for both the GRAD (69% offemales in the bottom 20%) and INC (98% of females in the bottom 20%) groups. 
CONCLUSIONS: GRAD recruits generally completed the BD fasterthan INC recruits, which was expected as they have had specific training. Nonetheless, most INC recruits completed the BD within acceptable WSTBstandards. What is notable, however, is the performance of females in the BD. Although males tend to be stronger and heavier, appropriate absolutestrength training can still improve this quality in females, which could be life-saving if they need to complete the BD when on shift. PRACTICALAPPLICATIONS: LEA staff should place a greater emphasis on developing absolute strength in their recruits, especially in female recruits, who onaverage, have lower strength values than their male counterparts. If there are changes made to the dummy mass due to population increases in bodymass, absolute strength training should be a greater focus of academy. INC recruits should be encouraged to develop their absolute strength prior toacademy, as this would be an important quality for tasks such as the BD.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019
Event42nd National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) National Conference and Exhibition - Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Washington DC, United States
Duration: 10 Jul 201913 Jul 2019


Conference42nd National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) National Conference and Exhibition
Abbreviated titleNSCA
CountryUnited States
CityWashington DC
OtherNational Strength and Conditioning Association National Conference National Strength and Conditioning Association National Conference. The NSCA advances the profession by supporting strength and conditioning professionals devoted to helping others discover and maximize their strengths. We disseminate research-based knowledge and its practical application by offering industry-leading certifications, research journals, career development services, and continuing education opportunities.


Cite this

Lockie, R. G., Moreno, M. R., Cesario , K. A., Balfany, K., Dulla, J., Orr, R. M., & Dawes, J. (2019). Don’t drag me down: Investigating the body or victim drag in graduated and incoming deputy sheriff recruits. Poster session presented at 42nd National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) National Conference and Exhibition, Washington DC, United States.