Many Northern Utah law enforcement agencies have implemented rules to ensure officers stay in tip-top shape throughout their careers.
Not all employees embrace these annual tests, mainly because not passing them can mean getting fired. Davis County Sheriff Bud Cox says 10 percent of his officers could lose their jobs if they fail the agency’s five-part fitness test.
But officials enforcing the rules say meeting physical fitness standards is more than fair and is a matter of safety, for the public and the officers.
“Most professions come back and look at the basic standards and say, ‘Can you still do it?’” says Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner.
The Utah Highway Patrol requires its rookies to pass fitness tests every six months for the first 18 months on the job. But it doesn’t stop there. Troopers must meet physical fitness standards to promote and administrators must pass the annual test or be replaced.
“Whether it’s voluntary or forced, too much is at stake when you don’t meet the requirements,” says Sgt. Lee Perry of the Utah Highway Patrol.