Rookies and civilians test their fitness skills on equal footing at North Dakota Highway Patrol Obstacle Course
BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — The CTA fitness test for the North Dakota Highway Patrol involves an obstacle course. This is where civilians and new recruits test their skills to see if they can succeed in law enforcement. To graduate from the North Dakota Highway Patrol program, you must complete the course in five minutes and 30 seconds.
The course simulates a foot chase, interacting with a suspect who resists arrest, and then removing the suspect.
“It’s not uncommon for us, of course, to go hand in hand with someone or defuse a situation. It starts with our first words, but sometimes we have to use that physical part,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol planning officer and cultural liaison Sgt. Jenna Clawson Huibregtse.
In training, obstacles level the playing field. There is no negative impact on gender or age and each individual has their own strengths. Recruits can train.
“It’s harder than it looks. If people walk in and watch from the outside it looks like a slow obstacle course course but anyone who has the opportunity to run this course is definitely gassed at the end they are tired but it is doable added Clawson. Huibregtse.
For Private Erin Quinn, who works with recruits on the course, and all of her colleagues, diverse recruiting is especially important. Law enforcement is now trying to better represent local populations by involving more women.
“Women and men together, we’re a great team because we all see things in different ways and we’re able to put those perspectives together and come up with a good solution,” the K9 soldier and manager told North Dakota Highway. Patrol Chelsey Schatz.
Although women make up 51% of the population, they make up only 12-14% of North Dakota law enforcement.
At the end of the practice day, Chelsey Schatz and K9 Tara demonstrate that it’s mostly hard work that pays off.
Soldiers say new recruits train for about 6 months at the academy before completing 6-8 weeks of field training with an officer.
The last group of new recruits are expected to graduate on February 4.
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