Law mandates fitness for police officers
Be serious in your physical training — your life depends on it now and your quality of life depends on it later
You may not be aware of a long-overlooked law which mandates fitness for all law enforcement officers. Officers must train to achieve high levels of fitness or possibly suffer severe penalties under this law. The law requires a total commitment by every street officer in the nation to achieve a level of physical fitness conducive to survival, while:
• Involved in foot pursuits
This law requires mandatory compliance. It is as irrevocable as it is uncompromising. This law allows for no appeal. It is the law of the jungle, ladies and gentlemen: Survival of the fittest.**
Real World Fighting
While an officer struggles to overcome a suspect’s resistance or win a desperate fight for life, that officer needs not only tactical skills, but every bit of strength, flexibility, mobility, and endurance available to them. These commodities only improve with training — conversely, they quickly diminish when someone fails to train.
Most agencies have entry-level fitness standards, but there the requirements for any level of fitness ends precisely when the urgent need to apply these attributes begins. Officers at agencies which do not require re-testing of fitness levels as a career progresses must be self-motivated to continue their personal physical training.
Some Do Train
At this very moment your future adversaries are training hard in prisons all over the nation to be better able to kill you!
Then comes the pattern sadly also oft repeated. As these younger officers, in top condition are gradually overcome by altered priorities, complacency and age they begin taking, “training breaks.” Time marches on and the “training breaks last longer and longer. Eventually too many of the scoffing officers become that older officer struggling to get up from a kneeling position on the firearms range, because of their weight.
Fitness training not only aided in my career survival it has also enhanced my life. I highly recommend that every street cop run, lift, stretch and shadow fight as long as you live. Exercise may not stop the aging process, but it allows you to do what you love to do longer and better. Move it and never stop the moving of it, or you will lose it.
I urge you all to follow the example of a colleague of mine, Officer Willard Sill. Willard always stayed fit, active, involved, and rarely could be seen without a smile on his face. He retired from the La Crosse Wisconsin Police Department in 1960 after a full career.
I believe the current average life expectancy of a police officer is around 58. He has easily surpassed that — he celebrated his 100th birthday in March 2012 and he is still smiling.
Be serious in your physical training — your life depends on it now and your quality of life depends on it later.
My fellow officers run, lift, stretch, and shadow fight, for “Survival goes to the fittest” is the law of the jungle and it is a jungle out there.
Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Positive!
** According to Wikipedia, "Survival of the fittest" is a phrase coined by British polymath philosopher Herbert Spencer and widely (but inaccurately) attributed to Charles Darwin. One interpretation of the phrase "survival of the fittest" is to mean "only the fittest organisms will prevail" (a view sometimes derided as "Social Darwinism").
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