Profiling the Occupational Tasks and Physical Conditioning of Specialist Police

Shane Irving, Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope

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Abstract

Specialist police are required to perform high risk and dangerous tasks that are physically demanding. The aims of this study were to establish the natures and contexts of tasks performed by specialist police officers and to explore the physical fitness regimes they undertake to maintain their operational fitness for these tasks. A survey approach was employed and members of operational units of the Australian and New Zealand Police Tactical Groups (PTG) participated in the survey. A total of nine (100%) PTG units cooperated, with 132 respondents (31% of the PTG operational members) from these
units completing the online survey. The occupational task most commonly recently undertaken by PTG was a high risk warrant execution (62% of respondents) followed by rural operations (11% of respondents). The nature and environment of operations varied, and external load was carried in all operational circumstances, with loads typically 21-25 kg. All officers undertook regular physical training, with 73% focusing the physical training on occupation-specific training. Whether the training was actually occupation-specific was difficult to determine, given the current lack of research identifying the physical fitness requirements of key occupational tasks undertaken by specialist police.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Exercise Science
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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