Perceived vs. Actual Reported Peace Officer Physical Job Demands: What Three Points in Time Tell Us

Joseph Dulla, James Dawes, Joseph Horrigan, Rob Marc Orr, Robert G. Lockie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch

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Abstract

A common perception among incumbents and some trainers is that muscular endurance
and aerobic capacity are the most prevalent and important components of occupational
fitness as they relate to the regular tasks of California Peace Officers assigned to daily
patrol duties. The purpose of this study was to review job demand studies, and present
the most recent data from a job task analysis for peace officers in California. In 1983, the
California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training conducted a statewide
physical job task-demands study. The data of 1,625 officers showed that the underlying
fitness components of agility, anaerobic capacity, anaerobic power, and strength were
more predominant in daily peace officer tasks than muscular endurance and aerobic
capacity. As a result, a five event Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB) was developed and
validated. With the exception of a 500-yard run, the other four WSTB events (99-yard
obstacle course, chain link fence climb, solid wall climb, dummy drag) assessed
components of agility, strength, power, and anaerobic capacity. In a 2008-2010 survey of
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to patrol duties, components of fitness
reported as important by Deputies (n=162) were: 15% strength; 15% muscular
endurance; 13% power; 13% anaerobic power; 12% trunk strength; 11% equilibrium; 11%
flexibility; and 10% aerobic capacity. An even larger 2018 statewide survey of California
peace officers assigned to patrol duties (question responders = 2,874-3,937) provided the
following data pertaining to components of fitness required for patrol officer tasks: 17.9%
stability; 14.4% flexibility; 13.3% power; 13.3% agility; 12.3% anaerobic capacity; 10.3%
muscular strength; 8.25% muscular endurance; 5.6% balance; and 4.6% aerobic capacity.
Taken together, the results from these large-scale job demand studies indicate the
reported importance by those assigned to patrol duties of anaerobic qualities (e.g.
strength and power). Training programs used to develop future peace officers that are
weighted toward muscular endurance and aerobic capacity may limit the adaptive
responses actually required officers. To increase effectiveness and optimize job-relevant
in the day-to-day physical tasks of patrol performance, physical training programming
should more closely target and reflect the actual components of fitness of stability,
power, agility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, balance, and aerobic capacity
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
EventThe 38th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine - Costa Mesa Hilton, Costa Mesa, United States
Duration: 26 Oct 201827 Oct 2018
Conference number: 38th
https://www.acsm.org/acsm-membership/regional-chapters/acsm-chapters/southwest/southwest-l2

Conference

ConferenceThe 38th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
Abbreviated titleSWACSM
CountryUnited States
CityCosta Mesa
Period26/10/1827/10/18
Internet address

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    Dulla, J., Dawes, J., Horrigan, J., Orr, R. M., & Lockie, R. G. (2018). Perceived vs. Actual Reported Peace Officer Physical Job Demands: What Three Points in Time Tell Us. Poster session presented at The 38th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, Costa Mesa, United States.