Memphis police clarifies comments regarding helping recruits pass physical, psychological tests

WATCH: How far will City of Memphis go to get police recruits?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis is putting extra effort to help people who want to join the Memphis Police Department.

FOX13 learned the MPD Training Academy will provide an instructor to help applicants who failed the physical test to pass it a second time.

Getting physically fit takes personal initiative, especially if you want to be a police officer and are applying to join the MPD.

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"It is very important. You have to show them what you can do. You have to show them your ability, the best of it,” said Eddy Stuiroczrula, a Memphis resident.

FOX13 discovered on Facebook the MPD Training Academy wants to help those applicants who failed the physical aptitude test, providing an instructor this Thursday.

When FOX13 reported on applicants trying to pass the physical test in 2016, dozens were turned away because they were out of shape.

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Mayor Jim Strickland said he sees nothing wrong in helping qualified applicants pass the physical test that includes running 1.5 miles in about 16 minutes and passing an agility test.

"They have to do the work. No one can come in and do the running test for them, so they have to put in the extra hours.,” Strickland said. “And we are making it easier for them to put in the extra hours.”

The city has launched a major campaign to find qualified applicants who want to join the force, making recruitment trips to at least five cities.

"We are calling an applicant saying please turn in your paperwork on time, trying to get them through the physical, trying to get them through the psychological," Strickland said.

City officials clarified those comments, saying they are simply trying to make sure recruits turn in everything on time.

Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen tried to set the record straight Wednesday.

“Unequivocally, the administration is not doing anything to help any applicant with the psychological, medical or background," said McGowen.

"We are not doing the work for them,” McGowen said. “Nor is there anything happening to help them get through the psychological, medical or background screening other than what's be done traditionally.”