Leaner and faster: the Madisonville Police Department is becoming one of the fittest law enforcement agencies in the commonwealth.
There's a mandate requiring officers to pass a physical fitness test at least once a year.
Chief Wade Williams says their department is the only one in the state where this is required, but he says his team has responded well to the changes.
Detective Leighann Leavell says she was a bit nervous when this mandate was first implemented.
"When I graduated the academy, I was really excited because I was told I was never going to have to take the pops test again," Leavell said.
Upon graduation from Police Academy, Kentucky law requires officers to take and pass one physical fitness test but Chief Williams wanted to make this an annual test.
"Only a rational person would say, well if this is a standard, they say you need to be a police man, than why is it when you graduate it all goes away," said Williams.
"You get busy in work and family life and some things are pushed to the wayside which would sometimes be physical fitness," noted Leavell.
The test includes a scoring system based on push ups, bench press, sit ups, a 300 meter run, and a mile and a half run.
Williams says those who continually fail could face consequences. He says it's important because all of these correlate directly to an officer's duties including one incident not too long ago.
"We were involved in a foot pursuit, and then we were involved in an actual physical altercation, and then it ended up being a weapon, fire armed involved," Williams said. "So it was an officer involved shooting so any given day at any given time we want our officers to be able to defend and protect the community."
MPD even has their own gym next to the station where officers workout.
Leavell says overall she and the rest of the department are excited about the change, but she still won't get used to taking the test.
"I'll get nervous every time until I retire," she said.
Chief Williams says they just completed their first test.
As a department they lost over 220 pounds and the hard work is paying off.
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