Spanish Fort Police Dept. begins physical testing for officers

Baldwin County

SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — This may not sound like a headline, but there are no blanket requirements for police departments to have officers maintain a certain level of fitness.

“Officers as they come through the academy, they’re required to do push-ups, sit-ups, and a run. It’s something they have to do and prove they can enter the police force. However, in law enforcement, there no standards we maintain after the fact,” said Chief John Barber. He launched Mobile’s program a few years ago and brought it across the bay with him.

The test consists of a maximum plank hold, maximum reps of push-ups in one minute, and a 1.5-mile run. It’s not punitive — officers won’t get fired or disciplined for not “passing,” but there is a scoring system based on age and gender. The scoreboard is up on the wall at the department.

Lt. Heath Gilmore has embraced the wellness program. Chief Barber told officers about the plan to test in the spring of 2021 when he started with the department last year.

“Being overall healthier means less time you’re gonna call in sick, things of that nature so it’s just all around better for you especially with what we do,” said Gilmore, who lost more than 40 pounds gearing up for the test.

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