Pennington County Sheriff’s Office takes on personal fitness testing

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:55 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is making sure that staff members and prospective hires are up to the task with a physical fitness test.

Physical fitness is essential for everyday movement, and especially for law enforcement officers. To test employees’ and prospective hires’ level of fitness, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office set up an obstacle course. This course determines how in shape a person is; challenging participants to see if they can beat the required time.

“For every hire as a correctional officer, we have a standard agility test that we put everybody through. That way we can make sure that the people that we are hiring are able to do the task of the requirements of a correctional officer. We also do that testing each year annually to make sure that people are staying healthy, so we can continue to do the task,” said Pennington County Jail Commander Rob Yantis.

Participants must complete the course in less than five minutes.

“Two minutes and 21 seconds, you do two and a half flights. I skip two flights of stairs. You do the zig zag with the cones. Two flights again then sled push and then pull "

Obstacle courses like the PCSO setup are necessary for physical training and are used to prepare officers for real life scenarios where physical strength is necessary. This includes situations like being able to move an inmate from a jail cell or running after suspects. While there are strength requirements, there’s no upper limit on the age of a prospective employee.