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Police to raise physical fitness requirements

The police agency here will raise the standards for the physical assessment of police officers amid rising criticism that the standards are too low, officials announced Tuesday.

Under a decision by the Korean National Police Commission, the police officer fitness regulations were raised, addressing concerns of a ruling party lawmaker after seeing questionable results from last year’s physical.

A ruling party lawmaker released a report in 2010 on the subpar standards of the Korean National Police Agency’s fitness test, where over 94 percent of the 4,978 officers received first and second grades, calling the test “a waste of time.”

The report by You Jung-hyun of the Grand National Party found that the high score for sit ups of men 24-years-old and under, was six lower than that of male middle school third graders at 50 reps.

Through the revision, officers will have to complete 56 reps for sit ups, 51 reps for pushups, and pull 55 kilograms in a grip strength test in order to receive first grade. The commission also raised the bar for 1,200 meters sprints by lowering the time required to four minutes and 35 seconds, a 13-second drop.

“The standards have been raised to achieve a proper distribution addressing the problem of officers grouping in first and second grade,” said a police official.

“In order to prevent officers from fainting and experiencing other side effects, the upward range of the standard has been minimized,” he said.

By Robert Lee (rjmlee@heraldcorp.com)
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