Tuesday, December 16, 2014

OPD Physical Ability Test

I am seriously looking into working for the Oakland Police Department, just because I think they are a really good one. They have you take a couple of exams before the interview. One of the tests is to check whether you are likely to be able to complete the Academy physical training. It's not meant to be difficult, but for me it was.

In it, you have to wear a weighted vest and do a timed obstacle course with a fence, serpentine cones, and a dummy drag (165 lb sandbag man that you have to drag 50 feet). I did complete the practice course, but at 8 seconds over the cutoff time. (35 seconds under the cutoff time is considered a very good score for a woman.) The officer who told me I didn't pass told me that if I ran for a half hour every day until the actual exam, I could probably get my time down. I had never run a half hour, but I gave it a shot once, and a couple of days and massages later I could walk around upright again.

On the morning of my exam I felt pretty confident for no reason. I had really started off slow during the practice, conserving everything for the dummy drag, and since I had managed that I thought maybe if I ran faster the rest of the time, I would do better. The entire morning was spent shivering under an overpass waiting in line after line. As I got to the head of the final line, I reviewed my strategy and found it nonexistent, so I just tried my best.

I was too spent when I finished to understand whether 2 minutes and 31 seconds was more or less than the qualifying time of 2 minutes and 35 seconds, but the attendants helped me figure it out by saying "Congratulations" and giving me a paper that said the same thing.

So I am presently just barely in baseline shape for OPD purposes, but the interviews are two months out and luckily I am guarding at a gym, so I have access to a track and weights, not just a pool.

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