Burlington, NC -- Burlington's new police chief is implementing mandatory physical fitness tests for officers starting in 2015.
Chief Jeff Smythe has only been on the job three months and one of his first orders of business is to get his officers healthy.
"When I got here in the hiring process, fitness was raised as a concern for the organization so I come in and look at the level of fitness and recognize that the quality is there but there's certainly room for improvement," said Chief Smythe.
Burlington officers will have to complete a yearly physical fitness test starting in 2015. The police department started training on Wednesday so every officer will have plenty of time to prepare. Plus, all officers have free access to a gym, medical staff, and nutritionists.
The test is known as the POPAT, the Police Officer Physical Ability Test.
Corporal Graham Sappington said, "They'll climb three flights of steps. They'll push open a 45-pound door. Once on the other side of that door, they'll complete a set of 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups. They'll then return to the steps, climb three more flights of steps."
In addition to all the physical testing, the officer has to recite the street names they were told right before the test started.
The whole thing has to be completed in seven minutes and twenty seconds.
Chief Smythe said, "The people expect that when a cop shows up, he's able to get over the fence and go catch the bad guy or he's able to arrest the bad guy without injuring himself or someone else."
If an officer doesn't pass the test, their job could be on the line but the chief doesn't expect that to happen.
WFMY News 2, Burlington Police