Physical Fitness Selection Standards
The Department of Public Safety has established physical fitness standards that must be met in order to be considered for selection as a State Trooper Recruit in the Division of Alaska State Troopers. The Department recognizes the importance of physical fitness for success at the State Trooper Academy and in job performance.
These physical fitness entrance standards help ensure the successful applicant can undergo both the physical and academic demands of the academy, and the law enforcement work environment without undo risk of injury or fatigue.
In an effort to brief Department of Public Safety State Trooper Recruit applicants, this pamphlet provides information on the rationale, purpose, procedures, standards of performance, and activities to prepare for fitness testing. It is intended to answer the basic questions pertaining to all aspects of the fitness testing process.
What is Physical Fitness?
Physical fitness for law enforcement officers may be defined as the ability to perform essential tasks with vigor, alertness, and little or no fatigue with a rapid recovery period after high levels of exertion.
During and after periods of physical exertion, a law enforcement officer must be able to maintain good judgement and make correct decisions.
Good physical conditioning has been shown to:
- Reduce the incidence of back injury (the most common injury suffered by law enforcement officers) and heart attack (major cause of death of law enforcement officers over 35 years old)
- Reduce the amount of sick leave needed and retirements due to disability
- Enhance recovery from injury
- Provide additional options besides the use of deadly force, and
- Provide an outlet for relief from stress
Physical fitness has been demonstrated to be a bona fide occupational qualification for law enforcement officers. Job analyses on law enforcement officers have demonstrated that fitness is an underlying factor in determining the physiological readiness to perform a variety of critical physical tasks necessary in law enforcement work. Physical fitness has been shown to be predictive of job performance and use of sick time.
Physical fitness can be an important area for minimizing liability. The unfit law enforcement officer is less able to respond fully to strenuous physical activity and may be of danger to him or her self, colleagues, or the public.
How will physical fitness be measured?
The Department of Public Safety’s Pre-Employment Physical Fitness Test includes push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 mile run.
Push-ups to Failure
The subject must begin with their hands placed about shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing forward, and their feet about 6-8” apart. A test administrator will place a 3-inch block under the subject’s sternum. Starting from the up position (elbows extended), the subject must lower their body to the floor until their chest touches the 3-inch block. The subject then returns to the up position. This is one repetition. Repositioning of the hands or feet is not allowed at any time during this test. When the subject moves their hands or feet, the test will be determined finished. Resting is allowed during this exercise in the up position only. While resting, the subject must remain in up position with their arms fully extended and their back straight. If the subject fails to keep their back straight, or repositions their hands or feet during a period of rest, the test will be determined finished. Pushups performed without the back essentially straight are not counted. The minimum number of acceptable pushups is 25.
1 Minute Sit-ups
The subject starts in the down position by lying on their back, knees bent, heels flat on the floor, with their fingers laced and held behind their head. A partner holds the subject’s feet down firmly. The subject then performs as many correct sit-ups as possible in one minute. In the up position, the individual should touch their elbows to their knees, or pass the plane of their knees with their elbows. The subject then returns to the down position (until their shoulder blades touch the floor.) Resting is allowed in the up position only. During this exercise, the subject’s neck should remain in a neutral position, and their elbows must be in parallel to the sides of their body, and their hips must remain on the floor. The minimum number of acceptable sit-ups is 27.
1.5 Mile Run
This is a timed run over a measured course. The course may sometimes be on a sidewalk, a cross-country trail, or an oval track. Minimum acceptable time is 15 minutes, 12 seconds (15:12).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum acceptable standards will not be allowed to retest during the same recruitment cycle. Every applicant will be allowed one opportunity to complete the physical fitness test.
Note: Before starting any physical exercise program, it is recommended that you see a medical doctor.
Preparation for testing
The Department of Public Safety wishes you success on the physical fitness portion of the State Trooper Recruit selection process. We recommend you take the time to properly prepare, by starting a personal fitness program that includes both strength and aerobic exercises.