Physical fitness is usually a requirement of the job. Officers and agents can often be expected to be able to perform a given number of pushups, situps, pullups, and bench presses before being hired. Being able to run at least one and one-half miles in under eight to ten minutes is a common requirement as well. Some agencies require much more than these relatively simple abilities, and here is where research well in advance of application is the intelligent approach. If you recognize that you are not capable of meeting the physical requirements of the agency that you hope to work for, you will have enough time to begin a training program and prepare yourself to pass the physical fitness tests. If you train consistently and with discipline, over time you will likely improve enough to tackle the agency's requirements. It is mentally easier to prepare ahead of time to pass these tests than to fail on your first attempt and then train for a second try.
Regardless of the minimum standards at the time of application, an applicant's physical health and conditioning need to be sufficient to withstand the training at the beginning of any law enforcement career. Some careers demand the maintenance of a very high standard of physical conditioning in order to deal with certain rigors of a particular job, but all entry-level personnel should be able to pass a physical entrance exam (both health and fitness), physical agility testing during and after training, and periodic checks throughout their career to make certain that minimum standards are maintained.