Police Officer Physical Requirements

Before enrolling in a law enforcement academy, candidates should be aware of the police officer physical requirements necessary to pass the thorough initial screening.

In order to understand why military and law enforcement schools are looking to select only individuals that are able to ace the testing, it is necessary to point out that the nature of the job often implies resolving conflicts in a physical manner.

Consequentially, enrolling candidates with aptitudes that cannot conform to the police officer physical requirements would be a dangerous course of action.

While the particularities of state legislation vary quite a bit, this article will convey the basic general standards that apply for aspiring cadets.

Police Officer Physical Requirements: The Weight and Height of the Candidate

During the medical examination, one of the primary procedures involved implies verifying whether the weight of the candidate matches the police officer physical requirements.

However, the rejection of the application does not refer solely to overweight conditions, but also to weights that are significantly under the accepted minimum.

It is important to point out that the minimum and maximum allowed weight varies in accordance to the height of the cadet.

At the same time, the minimum height for the law enforcement academy is 5’ 7” and the low-end weight for acceptance is 140 pounds, whereas the maximum weight accepted is 180 pounds.

Following, readers can view the police officer physical requirements regarding height and weight ratios:

  • 5’8’’ height, minimum weight 140 pounds, maximum weight 180 pounds
  • 5’9’’ height, minimum weight 145 pounds, maximum weight 185 pounds
  • 5’10’’ height, minimum weight 150 pounds, maximum weight 190 pounds
  • 5’11’’ height, minimum weight 155 pounds, maximum weight 195 pounds

The pattern that can be discerned from these values is that for each extra inch a candidate has in height, both the minimum and the maximum values of the weight increase by 5 pounds.

Police Officer Physical Requirements for Strength, Agility and Endurance

The strength testing often relies on the candidates ability to perform vertical chin-ups, meaning lifting their body while suspended from a vertical bar until the chin reaches the bar’s level.

Performing a successful ascension grants the candidate 55 percent of the overall strength score and for each additional one, he is granted another 5 percent.

The most common approach is passing candidates that manage a 75 percent score or 5 chin-ups.

In regards to the agility testing, it is generally done based on the candidates’ ability to perform high jumps. The minimum acceptable height is 3’6’’, or 75 percent of the overall score.

For each extra 3 inches that an individual jumps, a 5 percent score is added.

As far as endurance is concerned, the ability to run a quarter of a mile in less than 85 seconds will be verified. The total endurance score is calculated by subtracting 5 percent from the initial 100 percent score for every 5 seconds exceeding 60 seconds.

Police Officer Physical Requirements for Vision and Hearing Acuity

In order for a police officer to handle critical situations in the field, he must demonstrate that he is capable of distinguishing details at a fair distance. For visual acuity, the test most commonly used is Snellen, whereas in the case of perceptions, the physician will generally administer Ishihara.

To pass the eyesight testing, the candidates must demonstrate at least an uncorrected acuity of 20/30 for the dominant eye and 20/30 in the secondary one. For hearing purposes, the audiometer is the medical device of choice.

To pass hearing tests successfully, an individual needs to demonstrate a loss that does not surpass 30 DB throughout the entire spectrum of frequencies during 250 and 6000 cycles each second.

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