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Police go the extra mile on fitness


Police go the extra mile on fitness

Almost three months after the introduction of revised fitness standards for Police officers, 97% of all staff required to have a current Physical Competency Test (PCT) certificate have achieved the mark – the organisation’s best ever result.

Alan Cassidy, General Manager Human Resources and Organisational Development, said the current PCT certification rate was the highest ever recorded.

"This is an excellent result given the high fitness standards Police expects of its staff and reflects our commitment to ensuring every officer is deployable to the appropriate level."

Mr Cassidy said the remaining 245 staff that did not have a current PCT included 65 who had not yet passed the test for fitness reasons, while the remaining 180 comprised those who were injured, ill or on leave of various types.

As of 1 March, all constabular staff (Constables, Sergeants and Senior Sergeants) are required to hold a current PCT in order to be operationally deployed. Commissioned officers are strongly encouraged to attain their certificate, with Police Commissioner Peter Marshall, 59, among those to hold a certificate.

Mr Cassidy said that for many, the final deadline had proved the appropriate motivation they needed to take the steps required to bring their fitness up to par.

“There are many examples where individual officers have embraced the challenge, including one who built his own PCT course at home and practised until he passed, while in the case of another officer, the PCT assessment led to the identification of a previously unidentified medical condition that could have had more serious health implications if left untreated. Another officer, 69, also recently passed after overcoming an injury and is the oldest serving member to have a current certificate.”

Mr Cassidy said remedial fitness plans were in place for the small number of staff who were still to attain their PCT, in order to ensure they were deployable. Until they attained the necessary certification, they would continue to serve in a range of non-frontline roles.

“This will have no impact on our service to keep the community safe, nor detract from our ability to respond to crime, crashes and other incidents,” Mr Cassidy said.

"While we want to ensure every officer is fit for duty, the small number yet to meet the requirement represents a very small percentage of the total number of constabulary staff that are required to hold a current PCT. However, we are confident that with the appropriate support they will get up to the mark.”

Mr Cassidy said given that Police constabulary staff were fitter than ever before, depictions by some media of overweight and unfit officers quaffing donuts were simply not reflective of a modern New Zealand Police service.

“The images portrayed by some media have far more to do with Hollywood stereotypes than the reality of policing in New Zealand in 2013. We currently have extremely high levels of fitness among our constabulary, and we remain absolutely committed to ensuring every one of our officers remains fit, healthy and able to do the job.”

ENDS

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