(WMC-TV) – Dozens of police recruits were injured during training exercises last week and the heat could be to blame.
The entire current class at the police academy filed paperwork claiming to be injured while on the job. Some recruits were given first aid at the academy, while 12 others went to the doctor.
The Memphis Police Department Academy website headline reads, "We are currently seeking intelligent individuals of unquestionable integrity."
Right now, there are 66 recruits at the academy. On June 28, all 66 of them said they were injured while on the job.
MPD said at the time, the recruits were all doing an exercise known as the "bear crawl." The department describes it as a routine part of physical fitness that builds up the upper body, arms, legs, lower back, and abdominal strength.
Fitness trainers on YouTube say the "bear crawl" is a fabulous strength and conditioning exercise that works your total body focusing on chest arms.
According to Action News 5 weather archives from June 28, the high was 101 degrees with a low of 70. At 10 a.m., it was sunny with a heat index of 91. At 11 a.m., it was sunny with a heat index of 95.
A police source told Action News 5 that the "bear crawl" has been part of fitness training at the academy for decades and when temperatures get hot, the training does not stop.
MPD says the incident is under review right now and declined further comment.
The Memphis Police Association declined comment because recruits are not members and the union believes there may be lawsuits filed as a result of these injuries. It is unknown how long this particular "bear crawl" session lasted.
We are awaiting further details.
The police department say a third party administrator pays for on the job injuries.