Wanted – anyone!


Police Academy was a series of comedy films starting in 1984 which were incredibly successful. Their humour lay in the hapless antics of some rather dumb recruits. Due to a shortage of police officers, a city in America begins recruiting anyone willing to train, getting rid of fitness tests, paying no heed to educational levels and medical standards. Not everyone is happy about these arrangements of course and most of the trainers decide to make life as tough as possible for the unprepared new recruits.

The story is set for ridiculous behaviour and crazy stunts. In true Hollywood style, it all comes good in the end as the recruits have managed to foil a major criminal plot.  These days our police can’t afford to be a sandwich short of a picnic as each one wears a Body Worn Camera and so their actions are always recorded. For more information, visit http://www.pinnacleresponse.com/body-cameras-and-the-law/.

Imagine if it really was that easy to get into the police force? What kind of requirements are there to become a UK police officer? As with any job, the first stage involves an application form. If you get past this stage then you’ll be invited to attend an Assessment Centre where you will sit tests in written English, verbal reasoning, oral and maths skills. This is called the Police Initial Recruitment Test. This is a highly competitive stage with only around 8% of the applicants getting through to the next stage.

Image credit

Next will follow medical and fitness tests. There are two elements to the fitness test and both parts must be passed to continue. Only a standard level of fitness is required so the tests aren’t very difficult and you are given three attempts to pass before your application is halted. You will then need to wait for six months before reapplying.

The first stage is the Endurance Shuttle or Bleep Test where you need to run back and forth along a 15 metre track to a series of beeps. The bleeps will get progressively faster and you have to get to the other side before the bleep sounds. The second test is of Dynamic Strength in which you need to perform 5 seated chest presses and 5 seated back pulls on something called a ‘Dyno’. You’ll get 3 practice runs before you attempt the actual test.

To prepare for the bleep test, any cardiovascular exercise is great to improve your speed and stamina. You could try running set distances and timing yourself but other activities such as cycling, swimming and running are also great. Using free weights or resistance machines at a gym will improve your upper body strength in time for the Dynamic Strength test.

Any offer of appointment, once all these stages are completed, is subject to satisfactory references and robust security checks. The recruitment process is highly competitive and rigorous but that’s because we only want the best keeping our streets safe and protecting the public. As funny as it is, we don’t want a bunch of brainless nitwits trying to apprehend criminals.

Written by Jason Harris