The Physical Characteristics by Sex and Age for Custody Assistants from a Law Enforcement Agency

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Abstract

Custody assistants (CAs) are a position within a law enforcement agency who are responsible for assisting officers with maintaining security in correctional facilities. Unlike other positions, CAs may not be required to complete physical testing prior to being hired. This lack of testing could influence the characteristics of CAs who attend academy training. Therefore, retrospective analysis of performance test data for 108 officers (69 males, 39 females) was conducted. The tests included: grip strength for both hands; number of push-ups and sit-ups in 60 seconds; 201 m (220 yard) and 2.4 km runs; and maximal aerobic capacity (V˙O2max) estimated from the 2.4 km run. Data were stratified by sex and age (≤24 years, 25-29 years, 30-34 years, ≥35 years). Independent samples t-tests (p < 0.05) calculated differences between males and females. To compare age groups, a one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc was utilized (p < 0.05). Males scored significantly higher than females in hand grip, push-ups, and sit-ups, were faster over the 201 m and 2.4 km runs, and had a higher V˙O2max (p ≤ 0.001-0.024). There were no significant differences in performance tests across the age groups for either males or females. To better tolerate the rigors of physical training, female CAs should attempt to improve their fitness prior to academy as they often need to complete the same tasks as the males. Age did not appear to influence the physical characteristics of CAs, although all CAs should attempt to develop the fitness qualities needed for their occupation.

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