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Physical Ability Test

Physical Ability Test

Law enforcement is a demanding profession in which police officers risk their lives daily in order to protect the property, lives, and civil rights of others. Today’s police officer needs to be ready in body and mind to accept the daily challenges of the job. Officers must be able to respond quickly to crime scenes, conduct searches, make arrests, investigate crimes, handle crowds, mediate domestic disputes, use reasonable force when necessary to defend themselves or others, and relate to a diverse community in Washington, DC.

In order to ensure that sworn officers of the Metropolitan Police Department are ready to serve effectively in the Nation’s Capital, applicants must pass a Physical Ability Test. The Physical Ability Test has been designed to test the ability of applicants to perform physical tasks that are essential to carrying out the duties and responsibilities of a police officer.

The Physical Ability Test events are based on a study of essential work tasks performed by police officers in the Metropolitan Police Department. The study revealed that officers must be able to pursue, subdue, and arrest individuals, climb stairs, run, dodge obstacles, drag persons and objects, climb over and under obstacles, and operate a firearm safely. These are the tasks that are simulated in the Physical Ability Test. The skills that you must demonstrate in the test are skills that do not require prior experience as a police officer.

The Physical Ability Test consists of eight different events. The test simulates chasing a single suspect on foot, and encountering circumstances that could arise during the foot pursuit. The first seven events must be completed within one minute and twenty eight seconds. The eighth event is a separate event and is not timed. The events are as follows:

  • Event # 1: Patrol Car - Suspect Description
  • Event # 2: Obstacle Run
  • Event # 3: Stair Climb
  • Event # 4: Suspect Drag
  • Event # 5: Barricade Duck
  • Event # 6: Fence Climb
  • Event # 7: Suspect identification
  • Event # 8: Weapon Dry Fire