File this under things that make you go hmmm….
The Ontario Police College is getting rid of their physical fitness testing for new recruits, according to a new memo.
The test, known as The Physical Readiness Evaluation for Police (PREP) test consists of an interval training course that assesses a recruit’s overall fitness level, strength and endurance.
According to the memo, PREP testing will “no longer be a component of the Basic Constable Training Program.” Instead, new recruits will take part in a foot-chase course, which the college says is “reflective of their day-to-day duties” as a police officer.
The foot-chase course will not be graded at the college and a successful completion of the course will not be required in order to graduate, the memo said.
Another police fitness test known as the “PIN test” has also has been stopped. This test involves four components: core endurance, push ups, flexibility, and running. This PIN test changes apply to new recruits as well as any “previous intakes” who successfully completed all aspects of the program, other than the physical fitness test.
Although the Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services called the physical testing a duplicated service performed by both the college and local police services and noted that individual police services are responsible for ensuring that their recruits are physically able to perform the duties of the position, there have been some concerns with the changes.
For example, how can a police officer cope with the demands of the job if he/she is not fit? There have even been suggestions that perhaps the real reason the Ontario Police College may have removed the fitness testing from their curriculum is that officers weren’t passing the assessment.
Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto Police Association is not concerned about the change and says the removal of the physical fitness test will help streamline the hiring process and result in more officers on the street.
The memo was sent to all training bureaus, the Ontario Municipal and First National Police Services, and the Ontario Provincial Police on Aug. 21 by Paul Hebert, acting director of the Ontario Police College’s Public Safety Training Division. The training program changes came into effect as of Sept. 5, 2018.
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