Tougher fitness test eyed for new COs at NY jails

Union representing jail officers supported creating tougher physical requirements

By C1 Staff

NEW YORK – Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte is looking into toughening the fitness test for new recruits, in order to eliminate the growing number of big-bellied corrections officers.

According to the New York Daily News, one veteran officer said “some of the newbies can barely fit into chairs; this is long overdue.”

The department is also discussing enacting an age limit for recruits – 35 years old, the same cap for NYPD recruits.

Any changes to the qualifications for hiring must be approved by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, which administers the city’s civil service exams, and its state counterpart.

The union representing jail officers supported creating tougher physical requirements for those looking to join New York’s Boldest.

Currently, new officers must be able to run up a flight of stairs while wearing a heavy riot suit.

They must also be strong enough to grab a mannequin weighing roughly 80 pounds and drag it several feet. However, they don’t need to pass a strenuous physical exam involving numerous exercises before being hired, and are not retested while on the job.

It’s not clear what the new fitness test would entail.

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