All full-time Rochester Police Officers are required to take a Quarterly Physical Fitness Test. Rochester has (3) Officers who have completed the Cooper Aerobics Institute Course, Physical Fitness Specialist. The test is based on this program. The events included in the test consist of the Bench Press, Sit & Reach, Sit-Ups, Push-Ups and 1.5 Mile Run. Scores are based on the Officers demographic group, gender and age. The departmental average is consistently in the mid to upper 80%. We know that Physical Fitness is a Critical Component of a Police Officer’s job, and Officers Presence and Appearance go a long way in convincing the uncooperative violator that it may be a wise choice to comply with the officer”s commands.
THE RED STRIPE
In 1987, two Rochester Officers, as part of the Field training process, conducted a half marathon, a 13.5 mile run. This was a watershed event in the organization that has become a tradition. Though not mandatory, officers who have completed this run are authorized to wear a red stripe on their class “A” uniform trousers. The principal behind this tradition is that Rochester Officers should keep themselves physically, ethically, and spiritually sound. The physical component is merely part of a disciplined lifestyle that we, as police officers, should choose as a way of life.
Physical Fitness Award
This award is designed to recognize those officers who go above and beyond the fitness standards required by the department.
Physical Fitness Ribbon
To earn this award, Officer’s must complete either a 13.5 mile run or a 100 mile bike ride. Those Officers who complete either one of these events are authorized to wear the department’s fitness ribbon, denoting this achievement. Officers who complete a 13.5 mile run and a 100 mile bike ride are authorized the ribbon with one star. Officers completing a marathon or three successive 100 mile bike rides within a three day period are authorized to wear the fitness ribbon with two stars.
The period for which the ribbon is authorized to be worn is from May 1 through April 30, after this the award expires and must be re-earned. The concept behind this is not to dwell on who you were, but to remain cognizant of who you are.
The P.R.I.D.E. Program (Physical Readiness Initiative for Developing Excellence)
The program concept is a recognition by the Rochester Police Department that physical fitness is a key component of a police officer’s job.
Studies have shown that officers’ who give the appearance that they are in shape, and can handle themselves, are far less likely to be assaulted. Additionally, officer’s who are in shape are more likely to acquit themselves well in use of force encounters. Conversely, officers’ in poor physical shape are not likely to do well in such encounters. Logically it would follow that these officers would be quicker to escalate the level of force they use to bring a suspect under control because they realize they are not prepared to physically handle the encounter without relying on non-lethal alternatives.
Officers scoring the 80% to 89% range of the Cooper Aerobic Standards are authorized to wear the PRIDE Ribbon. Officers scoring in the Excellent range, 90% to 100% are authorized to wear the PRIDE Ribbon with 1 silver star. The star is to be centered in the ribbon.