Kingsport police applicants put fitness to the test

Matthew Lane • Feb 6, 2020 at 1:44 PM

KINGSPORT — Thirty-eight men and women tested their mettle in the pouring rain this week, maneuvering through an obstacle course at Domtar Park. It was the next step in an application process of becoming a Kingsport police officer.

The Kingsport Police Department is trying to fill 10 vacancies, for which 186 people applied.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the KPD conducted the next step in the process — the physical fitness exam — a series of nine obstacles meant to simulate the types of situations an officer might encounter in the field, said Tom Patton, KPD public information officer.

Among the exercises, applicants had to walk across a downed telephone pole, scale a wooden wall, crawl through a short tunnel, and carry a human-sized dummy weighing approximately 185 pounds, meant to simulate rescuing a downed officer, Patton said.

The next steps in the hiring process will include interviews with a panel of officers, a one-on-one with Chief David Quillin, a background check, and medical and psychological exams before final candidates are selected.

Candidates who are already certified officers and make the cut could enter field training this spring and be working on their own by the fall. If candidates have to go to the police academy in Blount County, then it’ll be closer to winter before they’re flying solo.

Patton said the department is hoping to fill some of the 10 vacancies with this round of applicants. Another round of testing is expected to take place in May.

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