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Police officer physical ability testing – Re‐validating a selection criterion

Gregory S. Anderson (Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University College of the Fraser Valley, Mission, British Columbia, Canada)
Darryl Plecas (Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University College of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)
Tim Segger (Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University College of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 March 2001

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the bona fide occupational requirements of general duty police work, and use this information to re‐validate a physical abilities test used in the police recruit selection process. A systematic random sample (n = 267) of general duty police officers completed two questionnaires: one concerning “average” duties, and one concerning the most physically demanding critical incident occurring in the 12 months prior. Of those completing the surveys, observational data were collected on every second officer, resulting in observational data collected for 121 officers, involving the recording of all physical activities and movement patterns observed throughout a ten hour shift. Data collected suggest there is a core of bona fide occupational requirements for general duty police work – walking, climbing stairs, manipulating objects, twisting/turning, pulling/pushing, running, bending, squatting and kneeling, and lifting and carrying. Many of these are involved in physical control of suspects, and can be tested using a well designed physical abilities test that simulates getting to the problem, controlling the problem, and removing the problem.

Keywords

Citation

Anderson, G.S., Plecas, D. and Segger, T. (2001), "Police officer physical ability testing – Re‐validating a selection criterion", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 8-31. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510110382232

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited