The impact of occupational load carriage on the mobility of the tactical police officer
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Specialist police officers carry external loads during operations to assist with task outcomes and reduceoccupational risk. To investigate the effects of load carriage on the operational mobility of specialist police officers, 6 male police officers (mean age 33.3 ± 4.13 years) from a tactical operations unit (mean years as specialist 5.3 ±2.5 years) completed a tactical move and dummy rescue. Scenarios were conducted in a randomised unloaded or tactically loading condition (22.8 ±1.8 kg). Time to complete the tactical movement task increased with load (unloaded=18.59±2.44 sec: loaded=19.89±1.61 sec) and officers were significantly slower (p<0.01) during the dummy drag mobility task when loaded (unloaded=9.29±0.53 sec: loaded=10.25±0.77 sec). Officers carrying loads greater than 25% body weight were impacted upon to a greater extent. This study suggests that occupational load carriage, while important for operational outcomes, has a negative impact on the operational mobility of specialist police officers and that conditioning for mobility should include tactical loads.
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