4-6 Mandatory Physical Fitness Assessments
Policy Type: Local
Responsible Office: Chief of Police, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department
Initial Policy Approved: 11/25/2013
Current Revision Approved: 3/2021
The VCU Police Department (VCUPD) is committed to ensuring that all sworn officers are fit for duty. To this end, all officers are encouraged to maintain an acceptable level of physical fitness necessary to safely perform their job duties and responsibilities. The purpose of this policy is to outline the process for mandatory annual fitness assessments for all sworn officers.
The requirements of this policy apply to all department sworn personnel. Prior to hire, the department requires the successful completion of fitness assessments. VCUPD will conduct mandatory fitness assessments on an annual basis. This policy benefits individual officers, the department and the community at large. Therefore, the physical fitness assessment will be used as a tool for career development and selection for special assignments and training.
All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this written directive. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the division commander to ensure that any violations of policy are investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.
- PHYSICAL FITNESS – The reasonable level of fitness required for the typical job duties of a sworn officer.
- ALTERNATE EXERCISES – The Training Division will make a reasonable accommodation to substitute alternative exercises for any individual that cannot complete the standard fitness assessment exercises. This will require a valid medical exemption.
- SWORN OFFICER – Law enforcement officers certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), sworn by the Circuit Court to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia while employed at VCU.
- WORKPLACE – Any VCU property, whether owned or leased, or any site on which official job duties are being performed by a VCUPD employee.
- It is the responsibility of each sworn officer to maintain their health and fitness for duty.
- Sworn officers in full duty status are required to participate in the fitness assessments based upon exercises selected from the LawFit program. LawFit is a nationally recognized, vocation-specific fitness program specifically designed for the tasks and duties of a law enforcement officer
- A valid medical exemption is required if an individual is medically unable to participate. It is the responsibility of the employee to provide documentation to the Training and Education Division regarding any medical restrictions. Any employee unable to participate for any reason may contact the Training and Education Division for guidance. This includes, but is not limited to, sworn officers who are temporarily under a doctor’s care or who have self-identified under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- The fitness assessment will be conducted once per year and will consist of the following exercises:
- 1.5 Mile run (timed)
- Maximum repetitions of push-ups (60) seconds
- Maximum number of sit-ups (60) seconds
- Prior to conducting the assessment, the participants may complete several warmup and stretching exercise to be determined and conducted by the Training and Education Division.
- Scoring of the exercises will be completed using established scoring tables that are part of the LawFit program. These tables are gender and age specific for all of the exercises. These scoring tables have been modified and customized to meet the needs of the VCU Police Department.
- At the conclusion of the annual fitness assessment, participants will receive a score based on their fitness level and performance. A department average will be established, with 75% as the department’s minimum standard for advancement in career development.
- If an officer fails to meet the above threshold for career development advancement and has completed (or is close to completing) the remaining requirements, the subject officer may contact the Training and Education Division to schedule another physical fitness test for the purpose of satisfying this career development requirement.
- Participants are encouraged to improve their fitness levels and scores each time that the assessment is conducted.
- There will be no set guidelines for passing or failing. The only requirement is mandatory participation. Scores may be used as one of many determining factors when looking at selection for special assignments, transfers, and promotion.
- For purposes of the Career Development Program, fitness scores will be reviewed and included for program eligibility and advancement. Scores will be recorded and maintained by the Training Academy. Refer to VCUPD Written Directive 4-3 Career Development for further information.
- Participants that score 85% or above will be awarded a VCU Police fitness medal.
- Upon request, the Training and Education Division will make available the VCUPD’s modified version of the LawFit scoring table. Information regarding the LawFit program is available at http://www.lawfit.org/.
- VCUPD provides exercise equipment at VCUPD’s headquarters for use by all department employees. The Training and Education Division also provides information to assist officers with fitness-related issues. Prior to using any exercise equipment provided by VCUPD, the department employee must complete and submit a mandatory waiver of liability to be kept on-file with the Training and Education Division.
- VCU’s Recreational Sports offers exercise equipment available for use by all employees for an additional, reduced cost. The university also has a Wellness and Fitness Program for weight loss and fitness needs.
Related Forms and Documents
- Waiver of Liability
- 4-3 Career Development for Sworn Personnel
- 4-4 Commendations and Awards
This policy supersedes the following archived policies:
4-6 Mandatory Physical Fitness Assessments - 11/25/2013