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Testing for the demands of the job

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Scott Hendrickson leaned over the hood of a black Suburban, breathing hard. But he didn’t vomit.”It’s been known to happen,” Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson said.Hendrickson took an agility test Friday morning at Two Rivers Park as part of applying for a police officer job with the GSPD. He passed.

The agility test route roughly equals a quarter-mile loop. In it, prospective officers have to push a Jeep, run up and down a hillside, run up stairs, hop over or through some playground equipment, climb a pole, drag a human-like dummy, crawl under a picnic table, jump over a bike rack, weave through cones and run back to the starting point within four minutes.It’s not like the old days when a police candidate may have had to do large numbers of push-ups. The test is instead meant to ensure a prospective officer can perform physical tasks similar to those they might encounter on patrol.Wilson said this test at Two Rivers has been essentially the department’s standard for 10 years or so, and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office uses a similar test at the park.Before the physical test, Hendrickson had to pass a nationally standardized aptitude test on basic subjects like reading, writing and math. One other applicant had failed the written test Friday. Wilson said prospective officers seem to be failing the math portion of the test more these days, maybe because a lot of people rely on calculators to do simple math.

After the written and physical test are interviews.Hendrickson will meet with three officers for a group interview. The idea is that both sides meet to ask questions and determine if the prospect’s mindset and personality fits with the department’s.Hendrickson works in the office of a construction company in Denver. He said he wanted to become a police officer because of the excitement and unpredictability of law enforcement. He first met Wilson when the GSPD was recruiting at a Red Rocks Community College police academy. One reason he applied for the job here is because he wants to live in a smaller mountain community.If Hendrickson is hired, it’ll bring the GSPD closer to a full staff. Like many employers in the area, the GSPD has had trouble hiring and retaining staff due to the high cost of living and lack of housing in the area.



Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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