Arthur Jefferson is the training instructor for Abilene Police Department. It's his job to get new recruits ready to be officers.
"We start out emphasizing the foot chase from the very beginning," Jefferson said, "We push them to achieve the best possible physical status they can achieve."
Police foot chases happen more than you might think. Officers need to be in the best physical condition possible to keep up with their suspect. During the police academy, recruits are required to run, as well as do sit-ups, push-ups and just about anything else you can think of when it comes to physical fitness.
"If the bad guy or the suspect stops and chooses to fight, they have to be in better conditioning than that person, because now they have to fight that person after running a quarter of a mile," Jefferson said.
They also have to get use to running with all their gear on. Between their belt, shoes and bulletproof vest, they are easily carrying an extra 30 pounds.
"They just don't think about it. They see the suspect run and they take off after them," Jefferson said.
Once all the new recruits have completed the police academy, they are no longer required to continue working out. Recently, the Abilene Police Department started a physical fitness program for all their officers to test their fitness level.
"We want to determine where the department sits, as far as our physical conditioning overall," Jefferson said.
Once they are done with their assessments, they will offer a voluntary program for all their officers that will proving them with workouts and nutrition information.