Ohio sheriff: Fitness standards keeping cadets from taking final exam

Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey said three cadets failed the fitness test over the last few years and weren't allowed to take the written test, one of them a class valedictorian

By Ashley Silver

LONDON, Ohio — Cadets in Ohio are having their dreams of becoming an officer denied due to unfair fitness standards, according to one sheriff. 

Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey raised concerns about the current academy rules that prohibit cadets in the state’s police academy from taking the final written exam if they fail a fitness test, Local 12 News reported. 

Cadets in Ohio go through more than 740 hours of training and curriculum, but are only allowed to take the written final exam if they successfully pass a fitness test of pushups, sit ups and a 1.5-mile run.

"This is wrong, fix it and fix it today, now,” McGuffey said during her address to the OPOTA Training Commission. “This rule is bad for Ohio, and I know it’s a rule and I liked to request to get it changed today."

McGuffey shared that three cadets failed the fitness test over the last few years and were not allowed to take the written test, one of them a class valedictorian.

"I don’t know how to describe the frustration I feel,” McGuffey told Local 12 News.

The commission and OPOTA executive director Dwight Holcomb said that changes will take time: "There’s so many components of administrative code, the revised code and things that have to involve the Attorney General so some of these decisions can’t always be made on the spot,” Holcomb told the news platform.

One local sheriff questioned the heightened fitness standards over the years, suggesting the fitness exam has become too strenuous.

"I cannot meet the fitness standard in my age bracket, and I ask that you reflect on that as a commission and ask if you could meet the fitness standard in your age bracket,” Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said during the OPOTA Training Commission meeting.

The OPOTA Training Commission stated that it had begun reviewing the fitness standards in 2019 for potential changes and a task force was formed last year with the goal of announcing updates to the policy in 2023.

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