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Brentwood Chief Wants Force to be Certified Fit

Chief Disbennett said when a resident calls for an officer, she can't choose the fittest one to come.

Brentwood Police Chief Steve Disbennett wants all officers in the force to pass a fitness test to do the job.

At the Nov. 15 Public Safety Committee meeting he said 18 area departments have expressed an interest in a physical fitness standard.

Disbennett said a test might be an officer, sitting in a car, would get out, run 100 yards and hop over a fence.

“It’s an agility test,” he said. “When somebody calls us on the phone they don’t ask for the most fit guy to come, they get a police officer.”

He said the cost to the city would be $1,000 for just the patrol officers or $3,000 for all ranks, and the cost would be covered by drug enforcement acquisitions. He said SLAIT, the insurance group the city belongs to, and the St. Louis Police Chiefs Association also contributes.

Disbennett would like all ranks to take the test, including himself.

"If I’m driving down the street, I’m a police officer," he said. "I should participate the same as everybody else."

Officers would have a 3-year period to complete the requirements. He said it's not a way to eleminate people.

“It doesn’t take an Olympic athlete to do these things,” he said.

He said a test group of officers will determine the line standard. Also, officers will take a physical before taking the test, to make sure they’re fit enough to begin with.

“Physical fitness is a very big part of this job, and most of the time, we don’t need to run a marathon, we just need them to perform a job that is required of us,” he said.

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