The physical abilities test (PAT) is consistent with national models and industry standards, and locally validated based on statewide statistics. Components of the test were designed to simulate actual tasks and essential knowledge, skills and abilities required of the job. These skills were identified through job task analysis and a review of critical job responsibilities requiring physical proficiency. Five primary components, in order to simulate essential functions of an entry-level criminal justice officer, were identified and incorporated into the PAT:
- Exiting a patrol vehicle and removing items from the glove box and trunk, to assess coordination and dexterity. This component represents basic motor skills/hand eye coordination needed to perform routine tasks.
- A 220 yard run for endurance and cardiovascular condition.
- A 110' obstacle course consisting of a 40" wall, three hurdles, a serpentine section, and a 27" low crawl to measure coordination and agility.
- Drag a human form dummy weighing 150 lbs a distance of 100' for strength.
- Officers are to assume a proper firing position and dry fire a standard service handgun (a revolver is preferred) six times in both the dominant and non-dominant hand.
The test is concluded when the officer re-enters the vehicle. In order to evaluate the performance of the officer as satisfactory or non-satisfactory the test is timed. Distances and heights of the components comprising the PAT were determined through review of common rescue and pursuit documentation and patrolled distances of correctional facilities; as well as, common heights of obstacles encountered by criminal justice officers.
The Physical Abilities Test was developed to test the above listed range of physical abilities. Successful completion demands a significant physical effort. The results of your test will reflect your overall physical abilities and training for the above addressed areas (specifically Strength and Stamina) is recommended. Applicants should come to the test wearing appropriate exercise clothes and comfortable running shoes. It is suggested that participants come to the session fully rested and hydrated. To help reduce unnecessary injury and determine if you can safely perform all the required tasks it is recommended that you consult with a physician prior to participating in the physical abilities test.
Physical Abilities Test
Upon arrival to the scheduled session there will be a check in, orientation period, and a walk through of the Physical Abilities Test. Participants will be allowed to ask any questions related to the test and procedures during this period. A warm up period will be allotted. The PAT is a measure of a participant’s best effort (completion should result in a near maximal to maximal effort) and fatigue should result. The running of the course will be timed to evaluate performance. Premature fatigue resulting in a lower score (longer time to complete) may be avoided by choosing the appropriate pace to maximize the rate at which the course is completed. To achieve a passing score for the test an applicant must complete the entire PAT within 7 minutes, 4 seconds. Any time exceeding the 7 minutes, 4 seconds cut off time is considered a failed test.
Course Design and Components
The PAT was designed to assess physical attributes, which reflect core enabling knowledge, skills and abilities and essential tasks common for law enforcement, corrections and correctional probation officers. The physical abilities test is to be conducted in a continuous flow manner that is time-dependent in order to determine the participant's level of physical condition and aerobic capacity. The PAT measures specific physical abilities through a series of tasks which are listed as follows:
- Exiting vehicle/open trunk
- 220 yard run
- Obstacle course
- Dummy drag
- Obstacle course (repeat)
- 220 yard run (repeat)
- Dry fire weapon
- Place items in trunk/enter vehicle
Task 1 - Exit vehicle/open trunk
The test begins with the applicant seated, seatbelt on, with hands at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions on the steering wheel. The applicant is wearing a gun belt and a flag belt with flags positioned over each hip. The trunk key is in the closed glove box. The trunk release is not to be used by the participant. A handgun and flashlight are positioned in the front center part of the trunk. The trunk is closed and locked.
- On the command "go" the stop watch is started and the participant remove hands from steering wheel, open glove box, remove key, unfasten seat belt, and exit the vehicle leaving the glove box and door open.
- Move to the back of the vehicle and insert key, unlock, and open the trunk.
- After opening touch each flag with the opposite hand and remove flag belt.
- Remove handgun and flashlight from trunk. Holster the handgun and continue to hold the flashlight.
- Immediately enter through the cones marking the beginning of the 220 yard run.
Task 2 - 220 yard run
While carrying flashlight and wearing gun belt and holstered handgun the participant runs 220 yards on a relatively flat, grassy surface.
- Complete run and exit 220 yard course through cones.
Task 3 - Obstacle Course
Upon completion of 220 yard run the participant enters the obstacle portion of the course.
- While continuing to hold the flashlight and carry gun/gun belt climb over 40-inch wall.
- Climb/Jump over a series of 3 hurdles of different heights (1st=24", 2nd=12", and 3rd=18") and 5 feet apart.
- Serpentine through a single row of 9 cones placed 5 feet apart.
- Crawl under low crawl hurdles (27 inches high and spaced 4 feet apart).
- Drop flashlight after the low crawl, near the pylon.
Task 4 - Dummy Drag
Participant sprints 50 feet, grabs the 150 pound dummy and drags it 100 feet on a grass surface.
- Sprint 50 feet to where the dummy is positioned.
- Lift the dummy with a firm, safe grip (using proper technique) and drag for 100 feet to next set of cones.
- Sprint 50 feet to re-enter the obstacle course and pick up flashlight
Task 5 - Obstacle Course (Repeat obstacle course in reverse order)
- Crawl back under low crawl hurdles.
- Go back through 9 cone Serpentine.
- Climb/Jump back over series of 3 hurdles.
- Climb back over 40 inch wall
Task 6 - 220 Yard Run (Repeat 220 yard course)
Re-enter the 220 yard run and complete run.
Task 7 - Dry Fire Weapon
After completing 220 yard run, the participant places the flashlight on the ground and removes the hand gun from the holster. Then assumes a proper firing position and completes 6 trigger squeezes each using the dominant, then non-dominant hand.
- Place flashlight on ground and enter the Dry Fire Weapon area.
- Once in Dry Fire area, remove hand gun from holster and assume a firing position (arms completely outstretched at shoulder height and parallel with the ground), and perform 6 trigger squeezes with the dominant, then non-dominant hand.
Task 8 - Enter Trunk/Enter Vehicle (Repeat task 1 in reverse)
- Exit Dry Fire while holding hand gun in hand, pick up the flashlight, and place hand gun and flashlight in the trunk.
- Close trunk, remove key and go to driver's door.
- Enter vehicle. Close driver's door. Place key in and close glove box.
- Fasten seat belt and place both hands on steering wheel.
The stopwatch is stopped once the hands are placed back in the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. To acheive a passing score for the test, an applicant must complete the entire PAT within 7:04:00. Any time exceeding the 7:04:00 cutoff time is considered a failed test.
Click here for a copy of the agility test standards
Click here to view and image of the course layout
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