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Physical Requirements for Police Officers

Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
Do you look up to the guardians of civil law and order as your role models? Do you want to join their ranks and fight crime? Well, this is a demanding job and it calls for tough, enthusiastic personnel. Find out more about the physical requirements for a police officer.
'Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.' - John F. Kennedy
Enforcing law and maintaining civil order is no cakewalk. The formulators of law have an easier time as compared to the enforcers, insomuch that their job is done once the law is passed and added as an amendment to the constitution.
The latter, on the other hand, are left with the dirty job of upholding and safekeeping such law and making sure the actions of all members of the society remain within its defined jurisdiction.
This is effective only when the enforcers wield power, strength, and authority over common civilians, because no matter how much human civilization has progressed and how much we vouch by the virtues and ideals of democracy and equality, the hand that wields the stick still commands the herd.
This makes it extremely necessary that individuals who wish to become a part of any police force, must be physically fit and have sufficient strength to intercept a lawbreaker when verbal warnings fail. Therefore, physical fitness is taken very seriously and fulfilling these requirements are mandatory, and not just desirable.


These requirements include a desirable stature, which means the height and weight should be proportionate to each other, minimum vision, and hearing capabilities.
A person must not weigh more or less than what is medically acceptable for his height. This is extremely crucial since the job may require him to do a lot of fieldwork, and physical activities like participating in rescue missions, intercepting criminals, etc.
A candidate must have a minimum eyesight of 20/40 or more, with or without corrective lenses. For an FBI officer, this requirement is tightened to uncorrected vision of 20/200 in each eye, which can be corrected to 20/20 in one eye and not worse than 20/40 in the other.
Such a candidate's hearing capability must be very acute, so much so that he should be able to locate the exact sources of more than one sound coming at the same time. He should also be able to understand anything spoken in English and the local language in different volume levels and dialects, from a fair distance.
Nowadays, due to so much of migration taking place all over the world, it is desirable, though not mandatory, that a candidate knows more than the two aforementioned languages.

Evaluation Method

Physical strength and fitness are measured through a rigorous test. In this test, the candidate is asked to perform various physical tasks, in order to ascertain whether he has the ability to subdue and restrain a suspect. Also, muscular endurance, trunk strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory endurance, and anaerobic power are tested.
Different countries and states have various sets of tasks for evaluating the fitness of candidates. These mostly include pushups, sit-ups, running and walking for a specific distance, broad jumps, chin-ups, sit and reach tests, etc.
Therefore, if you wish to become a law enforcer for the society, ensure that you exercise regularly and make physical fitness a part of your lifestyle.