Officer Safety Corner: Building a Successful Police Fitness Program

Chief Kevin Meyer, of the Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, Police Department, has been doing police work for more than 20 years. During his years of service, Chief Meyer has been fitness conscious and has found that keeping in shape has made him a more effective police officer and a better person. Other officers have likely felt the same effects of fitness, but despite these common sentiments among law enforcement officers, a glaring disconnect exists between the need for police officers to be physically fit and the availability of fitness programs specifically focused on police work. Police work has distinctive physical challenges that are unlike those of conventional sports or fitness. The expectation of fit police officers in the absence of police-specific fitness training is akin to the notion of issuing firearms to officers, but not providing an opportunity to train or practice using them.