Officers Unable to Pass Test Get Light Duty

Officers Unable to Pass Test Get Light Duty

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Jill Atwood ReportingSome Ogden police officers have been placed on light duty after failing to pass the department's new physical fitness test. Some would argue the physical requirements have nothing to do with being a good cop; others say the public expects a certain level of fitness from their officers.

This has really been a sore subject with some of the rank and file in Ogden. So far out of about 110 officers that have taken the test, nine have failed, three of them women.

The Ogden public safety building's gym is getting a real workout these days. Officers have to meet certain physical minimums or find themselves sitting out. The bench press is certainly a pressing issue for some.

Randy Watts, Asst.Chief, Ogden Police: "When you have change in an organization of this magnitude there are always people a little bit negative about it."

Most have passed, but as of right now nine have not and about 25 have yet to take the test. For those falling short light duty has been tough to take.

Chad Ledford, Ogden Police Benefit Association: "It's hard. There is a lot of pride in being a policeman and for someone to say you can't go out and be a policeman today, it's really hard for some people to swallow."

To pass the Ogden PDPT test an officer must be able to do 25 pushups with no time limit, 35 sit-ups in one minute, have a 16 inch vertical jump, run a mile and a half in less than 15 minutes and 54 seconds, and bench press 75 percent of their body weight.

Randy Watts, Asst. Chief, Ogden Police: "Keep in mind the people who didn't pass are the people that just don’t like to train. And with the public's expectation and with the police department's expectations that police officers will be perfectly capable of performing their jobs, this is a new thing -- change in lifestyle."

Still, if they continue to fail some veteran officers may find themselves off the streets and behind the front desk.

Chad Ledford, Ogden Police Benefit Association: "One of them was a detective in our youth crimes child sex crimes unit. Another is a DARE officer, one of our DARE officers."

Randy Watts, Asst. Chief, Ogden Police: "When we change the color of our tie morale is low. When we buy new police cars and someone didn’t get one, morale is low. We're doing what is in the best interest of the police department the community that we serve and the officers who are willing to work and accomplish the objectives of this police department."

The union representative says the folks that didn't pass have two more chances and all the personal training that they may need is provided. As of right now other police agencies in Utah are watching Ogden to see how they do. Layton will be implementing a PT test as well; they will test in the spring.

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