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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78677 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Physical Fitness of Police Officers and Their Relationship to the Accomplishment of the Primary Police Mission
Author(s): N Cleaver
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 74
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on data from questionnaires and quarterly physical fitness tests administered to officers in the Brea (Calif.) Police Department, this study examined the impact of physical fitness testing on physical condition and job performance.
Abstract: Although law enforcement often involves strenuous physical activity, studies in the mid-1970's indicated that many officers were in poor physical shape. The Brea Police Department was chosen for this research project because it is representative of small to medium size police agencies and initiated a quarterly physical fitness test for all sworn personnel in July 1977. In that month, the Brea police completed questionnaires to establish their current fitness level and reported physical tasks they had performed during the past 3 years. Pulse and blood pressure were taken by a medical technician. Physical fitness tests based on aerobic capacity were given in March 1978 and again the following June. Of the 41 sworn police officers, 35 completed both tests, although all answered the questionnaires. The fitness tests included a run, sit-ups, push-ups, and wall climb. Scoring methods and data processing techniques are detailed, as are the participants' physical characteristics and task results. Questionnaire responses showed that police officers performed major physical activities on a regular basis, notably restraining suspects, climbing fences, and foot pursuits. Consequently, good cardiovascular health is important and could reduce the likelihood of injury. The periodic physical fitness tests produced improvements in all test categories, particularly the cardiovascular variables, which could be linked to an increase in offduty physical activities performed by officers. Recommendations regarding the physical fitness program, a literature review, and 10 references are provided. The appendixes contain the physical task questionnaire, the fitness inventory, and materials used in the fitness tests.
Index Term(s): Occupational safety and health; Physical fitness; Police effectiveness; Police personnel
Note: Research project submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for degree of Master of Public Administration for Pepperdine University.
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