This video of the Garda (Irish police) physical competency test provides a unique insight into the job of a professional police officer.
According to the narration, the test is based on a work study of Gardai and sergeants. Candidates are expected to be able to run around cones (representing people or objects in a crowded area, according to the voiceover), walk along a 100mm wide beam (representing a typical Irish garden wall), go under parking barriers (not necesssarily limbo-dancer style), pull a 45kg dummy around the floor, lift a spare wheel weighing 15kg, ascend and descend stairs at speed (safety rails are provided) and climb over standard farm gates. Following that, the prospective Garda is expected to push and pull a heavy weight along a rail. This is said to simulate a physical confrontation.
It all sounds a little funny, but I believe the test is structured like this to ensure that it is completely relevant to the demands of the job, and that’s obviously fair enough. Previously, there was a minimum height requirement, but this got the Garda? into trouble regarding sexual discrimination issues (the heights were different for men and women, and the courts found this to be unfair, since male and female gardai were expected to carry out similar duties).
So much is hidden about the way the Gardai operate. It’s nice to see at least part of it made a little more transparent.