Steps to the Academy

Physical Abilities Test

The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) will assess a participant’s physical attributes that reflect core enabling knowledge, skills, and abilities, and essential tasks common for law enforcement officers. The PAT is conducted in a time-dependent, continuous flow manner. The PAT determines the participant’s level of physical condition and aerobic capacity. The tasks associated with this test measure specific physical abilities which include;

  1. Exiting a vehicle/opening a trunk,
  2. Simulated gun belt reach exercise,
  3. Running 300 yards with 15-pound go-bag,
  4. Serpentine through cones,
  5. Wall climb,
  6. Dragging a 150-pound dummy,
  7. Hurdle stepover,
  8. Low crawl,
  9. Sled push with 180 pounds,
  10. Battle rope lift, and
  11. Dry firing a weapon six times with each hand.

Participants must complete the course in 7 minutes and 30 seconds in order to pass the test.

Exercise 1 – Vehicle Exit

Candidates will begin the course seated in the driver’s side of the squad car with hands on the steering wheel and the seatbelt fastened. The candidate then unfastens the seatbelt, exits the vehicle, and moves to the back of the vehicle where they must unlock and open the trunk.

Hands on the wheel

Exercise 2 – Reach

Candidates will reach into the trunk and grab a 3-pound dumbbell weight and pass it from one hand to the other behind the back, touch it to the floor of the trunk, and then pass the dumbbell behind the back the other direction before placing the dumbbell down in the trunk. The candidate then removes a 15-pound weighted go bag from the trunk and closes the trunk to complete this exercise. Candidates will run to the start of the Straight-line Run.

Reach into trunk test

Exercise 3 – Straight-Line Run

Candidates will begin the run from the first pair of cones located in the upper left corner of the course. The Straight-Line Run will be for a total distance of 300 yards (approx. 900ft). Candidates will run two (2) full laps around the perimeter of the course (see diagram) with the 15-pound weighted go-bag. At the completion of the run, the candidates will drop the go-bag and immediately move on to the next exercise.

putting on backpack running with backpack PAT diagram

Exercise 4 – Serpentine

Candidates are tasked with navigating through a series of cones. Candidates will run to the colored marker/cone and then weave through the outside of the two columns of cones. In total, the candidate will weave through 10 cones.

Running serpentine

Exercise 5 – Wall Climb

Candidates will run 50 feet to the exercise immediately following the completion of the Serpentine. Candidates must successfully climb over the wall and then run 17 feet to the next evolution.

climbing a wall

Exercise 6 – Dummy Drag

Candidates find a 150-pound dummy lying face up and with its head facing toward the cone 25 feet away. Candidates must drag the dummy headfirst 25 feet, maneuver around a cone, and then back to the starting position 25 feet away. Once the feet of the dummy cross the finish/start line, the dummy needs to be placed down in a controlled manner.

dragging a dummy dragging a dummy

Exercise 7 – Hurdles

Candidates will run to this exercise immediately upon completion of the Dummy exercise. Candidates must successfully clear a series of three hurdles (24, 12, and 18 inches in height) that are spaced five feet apart. After completing the exercise, candidates will run 10 feet to the Low Crawl.

overcoming hurdles

Exercise 8 – Low Crawl

Candidates must successfully crawl on all fours or on hands and feet under a 27-inch-high area for 15 feet. Once a candidate completes the Low Crawl, the must run around a colored marker/cone and then run 75 feet to the Sled Push.

crawling under

Exercise 9 – Sled Push

Candidates will push a 180-pound weighted sled a total of 60 feet. They will push the sled 30 feet, cross a predetermined point, rotate the sled, and push the sled back 30 feet.

a weighted sled Pushing weighted sled a weighted sled

Exercise 10 – Battle Ropes

Battle ropes will be attached to the sled by the candidate. Once the candidate finishes the Sled Push, he/she should attach the ropes, and then run to the end of the ropes. The candidate will grab the end of the ropes and start by raising both ends up to shoulder level and then lowering (at the same time) in wavelength manner for 15 repetitions. To count as a complete repetition, the mid wave of each rope must reach at least 36 inches high from the ground and contact the blue maker. After completing the 15 repetitions, the candidate then proceeds to the Dry Fire exercise.

Battle ropes battle ropes' attachment raising battle ropes

Exercise 11 – Dry Fire

Candidates will run from the Battle Ropes to the final exercise. As the candidate approaches the Dry Fire exercise, he/she will pick up a simulation handgun from the table. The candidate assumes a proper firing position with arms fully extended and must dry fire six (6) rounds using the dominant hand and is required to count out loud with each round. He/she then switches hands and dry fires another six (6) rounds using the non-dominant hand and is required to count out loud with each round. The candidate then places the handgun back on the table, and sits down in the adjacent chair, signifying the completion of the PAT course.

"firing" simulation handgun