Fitness percentile rank data for female law enforcement recruits in the USA

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

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Female law enforcement personnel make up a small percentage of the population compared to males. However, female officers and recruits tend to be under-analyzed relative to their male counterparts. Female recruits also tend to be less physically fit when compared to their male peers, but the distinction of physical fitness levels within females as a specific population group has yet to be documented. This study aimed to create fitness percentile ranks for female recruits from several law enforcement agencies. Retrospective analysis on 200 females from 14 law enforcement recruit classes from agencies in three American states was conducted. Physical fitness tests were conducted prior to academy. The tests included: maximal push-ups and sit-ups in 60 s, and the 20-m multistage fitness test (assessed by number of completed shuttles and estimated maximal aerobic capacity). For all tests, if a female was below the 40th percentile specific to recruits, they were near the 50th percentile for general population norms. Female recruits should aim to be in the 50th percentile or higher of the presented percentile rankings to better their preparedness for academy. Training staff could also use the percentile rank data to profile their female recruits and highlight their strengths in muscular endurance and aerobic fitness, and areas for needed improvement. By doing so, and by also developing strength, power, and endurance, females will be more prepared to complete academy training, perform job-specific tasks, and raise the expectations and overall fitness for females as a sex group in the law enforcement community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
JournalFacta Universitatis Series Physical Education and Sport
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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