DPS officer hopefuls, Javier Soto sweat through physical tests

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Hundreds of hopefuls spent Wednesday trying to prove they have what it takes to become an officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

On Tuesday, more than 650 applicants took a written test. Those who passed gathered at University of Phoenix Stadium Wednesday for the physical test.

In order to continue the application process, candidates had to meet a set of minimum requirements for push-ups, sit-ups, a 1.5-mile run, a 300-meter sprint and a 40-foot agility course.


  • Push-ups: 24 reps
  • Sit-ups: 28 reps in 60 seconds
  • 1.5-mile run -- 16 minutes
  • 300-meter sprint: 73.2 seconds
  • Agility run: 21.8 seconds

"These standards are at the remedial basic training academy level so being able to just meet these standards places the applicant at a distinct disadvantage," reads the DPS website.

The requirements at the academy are much more stringent. For example, a cadet will expected to run a 10-minute mile -- for three miles.

Those who pass each aspect of the physical test have the chance to qualify for a cadet position at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy, where they will undergo several weeks of rigorous training.

An applicant who fails any one of the PT elements cannot move forward and has to re-take test the next time it's scheduled.

DPS Sgt. Eric Anspack put 3TV's Javier Soto through his paces, counting push-ups and sit-ups.

"You have as much time as you need to give us as many proper push-ups as you can," Anspack explained. "You need to go until you can't go any more."

While he didn't go until he dropped, Soto did hit the minimum number of push-ups required by DPS to pass. After a short rest, it was on to the sit-ups -- as many as he could do in a minute.

"One hundred would be great," Anspack said. Passing is 28.

"You're probably good for at least 29, right?" Anspack asked, reminding Soto to breathe.

With 25 seconds to go and having done 32 sit-ups, Soto wrapped up his test (in the interest of TV time, of course.)

"I qualify," he said with a laugh.

To learn more about careers with DPS, check out AZDPS.gov/Careers.