Valley Police Cadet Reminds Others to Know Their Limit

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HARLINGEN - A cause of death is still being determined in the untimely death of a 26-year old Harlingen Police Department applicant.

The applicant collapsed in the final stages of a new hire job assessment. Police departments refer to the assessment as a "physical agility test."

Medical staff administered lifesaving measures on the scene, but the man later died at a local hospital.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Rio Grande Valley police department cadet Leslie Yanez. She said the applicant will be missed in the law enforcement community. 

“He’s another angel that will be watching over his brothers and sisters," said Yanez. "And I know that he would want for LEOs to live for him through us.”

Physical assessments vary depending on the police department. Yanez said it's important for applicants or cadets to know their limits.  

“Do not overexert yourself. If you know where your limit is, stop. Don’t push yourself to where you know you can’t anymore,” She said. 

EMS and paramedics were on scene at the time of the applicant's collapse.

Harlingen Police Department spokesperson David Osborne said they're on the scene at every agility test. The department also provides cooling stations with water and Gatorade for applicants to visit if they feel like they're overexerting themselves. 

“There’s been times in the past when someone says ‘You know what, I don’t think I can do this.’ Then we’re going to stop them. That’s totally OK. We can stop them at that point,” he said.

The Harlingen Police Department designed their assessment according to national standards set forth by the Cooper Institute, a nonprofit that assists law enforcement fitness programs nationally.

The assessment includes obstacle courses that mimic real-life situations for law enforcement, and fitness exercises like push-ups and sit-ups. 

“They actually start off in the police car, in the seat belt, in the police car. When we say go, they actually take the seat belt off, exit the car, and begin to run the obstacle course. [It’s] very similar to what they would if they were going to get out of their car and chase a suspect,” he said.

Osbourne said the department does not require a physical examination from applicants before they partake in the agility test.

The family of the man who died Sunday has been notified, but the identification of the applicant has not been released.

CHANNEL FIVE NEWS will update this story as more information is made available to us. 


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