The Importance of Being Physically Fit as a Police Officer

June 3rd, 2015 by CTSCCC

In recent years, public awareness of fitness has grown to the point where most people know that being physically fit doesn’t just mean having a strong body. While strength is important, physical fitness also means increased flexibility, faster recovery from illness or injury, improved endurance, and much more.

Police departments across Canada realize the importance of physical fitness and how it affects the performance and safety of their officers. Today, many police departments at the municipal, provincial and federal levels have specific health and fitness standards that applicants must meet if they are to be considered – and for good reason!

Police work can be physically demanding. If you’re considering a career as a police officer, the good news is that a solid police foundations training program will help you develop the technical skills and physical capacity to excel on the job.

Read on to find out how being “fit for duty” enhances police officer performance in more ways than you might think!

Physical Fitness Boosts Energy Levels and Mental Clarity

Police foundations courses typically include physical education classes along with some dedicated time in the gym, so most students who enroll find themselves in great shape after a couple of months!  But keeping up the workout routine once you’ve entered the workforce and are busy can be very challenging.  In addition to fitting in regular exercise, police officers must take care to watch their diet.

A recent study done in a major metropolitan US police department showed that officers who brought healthy lunches to work each day experienced higher levels of physical energy and mental clarity compared to those who typically hit the drive-thru out of convenience during their shifts. Given the importance of quick thinking and physical agility to police work, it’s definitely worth swapping a midday burger and milkshake for some lean meat and veggies.

The Role of Muscular Strength in Police Performance

Developing muscular strength through physical fitness routines such as weight training helps prepare the body for bursts of speed and power officers need while on the job.

No matter your height, age, or gender, good muscular strength will have an impact on your ability to apprehend an agitated suspect, sprint up a set of stairs, or burst through a locked door. Students pursuing Police Foundations training in Barrie learn how to use their strength to perform defensive maneuvers that protect both themselves and the citizens they serve.

Physical Fitness Promotes a Professional Law Enforcement Image

Studies show that developing physical fitness can also protect police officers from becoming victims. In numerous interviews with criminals conducted by the FBI over the past 10 years, it was revealed that offenders usually size up an officer’s physical ability when making decisions to flee, take aggressive action, or submit to arrest.

The results indicate that regardless of race or gender, if officers appeared fit and carried themselves in a professional manner, offenders were more likely to submit peacefully to arrest. When officers were perceived as out of shape, offenders judged them as potential targets and capitalized on the situation.

Earning a police foundations diploma will give you the skills and knowledge to seek employment with law enforcement agencies throughout the country – from a local municipality all the way up to the RCMP. Graduates of police foundations programs are also qualified to pursue a variety of other related positions, including:

  • Canadian customs and immigration
  • custody and correctional services
  • federal and provincial government enforcement bodies
  • loss prevention control
  • 9-1-1 operator
  • Court bailiff

A healthy fitness regimen will not only help you meet departmental requirements, it will help you perform better on the job and maintain a persuasive professional image of strength and vigor.

In what other ways do you think physical fitness is important for law enforcement professionals?