By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Prospective police officers will first have to pass a physical fitness test before they will be allowed to join the Port Isabel Police Department. Such was the news after the Port Isabel City Commission unanimously approved a recommendation from Chief of Police Robert Lopez during a regular meeting Tuesday, July 11.
Lopez’s recommendation to institute a physical fitness test is part of ongoing changes the chief has been making to the department, the procedures its officers follow and its facilities since taking on the leadership role last October. The test will consist of a mile run and a rescue scenario challenge wherein prospective officers will be required to pull a weighted mannequin from a vehicle and drag it to a safe distance. Both assessments will be timed.
“We’re going to be using a human mannequin that the fire department has,” Lopez said. “Charlie (Wood) with EMS will also be on standby when we’re doing the agility runs,” he added.
Initially, the physical fitness requirements will only need to be met by incoming officers, but Hockema explained he hopes to be able to roll out the requirements to those already on staff. “Of course, we’ll have to make some accommodations,” he said.
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