International Journal of Exercise Science 7(2) : 140-151, 2014. Strength, when considering gender and race, provides a basis for training, hiring, and retention for police officers. The purpose of this study is to identify muscular strength differences among racial groups from initial-recruit to in-service tests. Strength variables included bench press, bench press/lean mass and bench press/body mass. Scores were retrieved for the 1990 to 1995 recruit classes and were paired to the 2006 in-service fitness log. Sample included 309 officers: 30 females (13 black, 17 white) and 279 males (41 black, 238 white). Mean age of recruit was 24.6 ± 3.4 years and for in-service was 37.1 ± 3.7 years. Time between tests was 12.5 ± 2.0 years. Bench press strength significantly increased for all gender and racial groups. Black males were significantly stronger in bench press at initial-recruit and at in-service than white males. All racial and gender groups increased in bench press/lean mass, however, the increase in white females was not significant. No differences were found between black and white females in all strength variables at both testing periods. Black males were significantly stronger than white males in bench press/body mass only at the initial-recruit test. White males showed a significant increase in bench press/body mass over time, but they did not reach the strength level of the black males at in-service. Police departments, with a properly designed physical fitness program, can expect to see increases in strength of personnel over the first half of their careers; however, there are gender and racial differences.
Boyce, Robert W.; Willett, Tyler K.; Jones, Glenn R.; and Boone, Edward L.
"Racial Comparisons in Police Officer Bench Press Strength over 12.5 Years,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 7
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss2/5